Friday, 19 February 2010

I Don't Rate It

The Boss : "I don't like the way you do your rates."

Here's me, internally : Oh My Fucking God What Now Woman.

Here's me, out loud : "Eh.. how so?"

The Boss : "Because you don't show your working."

I'm having flashbacks to second-year statistics class now.

Here's me : "Uh.. I thought they were pretty well laid out...."

The Boss : "No. You need to stop letting these.. spreadsheets..." - she almost spits the words out - "do all the work for you."

Let me explain this to you. The rates for shipping cargo are based upon, by and large, the size of the cargo. A rate might then be X amount per cubic metre, plus certain flat-rate surcharges, with some currency conversions involved. It's not exactly fucking calculus, like. It's quite simple. You could, honestly, do it with a calculator, if you so desired, but if you sat at a computer doing several hundred of these a day, you'd probably at some stage get tempted to take the odd fucking shortcut, if you were halfway sane. I do. Of course I do. My rate calculations look a bit like this - actual example -

I use this standard little template I have set up for myself in Excel, and change the details, and it takes me about nine fucking Earth seconds to work out a rate, as compare to TB's hour-per-shot. OK? Got it? Yeah? OK? You're smart people, I know you understand.



I am being told I shouldn't do this, because it doesn't 'show my working', unlike The Boss's calculations, which look like this (actual, fucking, fuck me, fuck my life, christfucking example) :

Alright, so this is fundamentally the same process with the same results, except that it takes me about thirty minutes a day to process all of my rate requests and it takes her several hours to do the same, but hers, somehow, show her fucking working in a way which mine do not. Because apparently writing out the same shite each time and punching it into a massive 1970s speak-n-spell-lookin' calculator is somehow more fucking valid than my 'fancy' approach that takes ten times less time. 

Have yourself a little scream, if you wish; I'm having one over here.


  1. Oooh, sir... you could always copy and paste your formulas from the Excel sheet alongside your actual rate calculations.

    That'd fox her. Also stoat and weasel her.

    I do like the way you guys get to use the abbreviation "THC" all day though. Although I'd bet it'd constantly remind me of something and drive me nuts.

  2. o_O

    Holy shit. I can't believe I've been doing this for 14 years and haven't noticed that connection before. Now that you have brought this to my attention, it's going to drive me nuts.

  3. Be happy that she does her calculations by hand. If she did them in Excel, she might have time to blog about you.

  4. Penny, she'd first have to ask what a blog is, I'd bet.

    Koala, please. The shipper I worked for insisted that all calculations be shown on the back of the folder. The folders were special ordered pre-printed with what work had to be shown... weight, $/cube, fuel surcharge, docs, customs fees, blah blah blah. Heaven forbid you work it out on the computer and just staple your spreadsheet in there. "You can change things in the computer. If you work it out right here on the folder, you just cross out anything you want to change so we can see what you changed." Ok, then.

  5. I think the only possible explanation is that she fears what she doesn't understand and hence a complex package like Excel frightens her senseless. Of course, very few people fully understand every bit of Excel, the difference is that most of us can do our basic spreadsheets and just ignore the bits we don't need or understand without cowering in the corner for fear that some exotic pivot table thingy will break loose and bite our fingers off.

    Of course, you can appease her request for more "working out" by adding in a few (unnecessary) intermediate steps to your template. You could even print it in blue Comic Sans so it looks like you used a pen. My guess is that she would still find some other reason to object to it.

  6. If it makes you feel any better (or at least know that your pain is shared), I used to work with a woman who, when given a spreadsheet and asked to calculate the total for a column of numbers, would PRINT OUT the spreadsheet (usually ending up with about 20 pages of crap as a result), add up the figures on the paper using a pencil, then when she had the total, typing it back into Excel at the bottom of the column.

    I'm now wondering whether your boss would take the same approach :-/

  7. Why can't she just leave you the hell alone? Does anyone else care how you calculate your rates? How could it possibly matter unless you're coming up with the wrong answers consistently?

  8. @ Anon - check it out.

    Wayward - because in a way, both of us have gone completely stir crazy in here together, I think.

  9. I was feeling more charitable when i said that earlier. After today, E, the answer is because she's a knobhead.

  10. @SK> I had forgotten that episode. There's no need for the jury to retire. Good luck :)

  11. Oh, I know what her real problem is. You're making her look bad, because you get far more done in less time. The obvious solution, in her mind, is to make you do things her way to slow you down to her own level.