Day: June 11, 2015

Mischief by the Numbers (Mischief update)

The human female has been doing a lot of ordering. She really enjoys spending other people’s money–as who wouldn’t? When I take over the planet, one of the best parts will be never having to pay for anything myself ever again.

It’s a tough job. I’ve had to stubbornify computers, slow down internet access, sow confusion in the hearts and minds of vendors, fiddle with vendors’ web pages, muddy terms of service, and snarl lines of communication left and right. Let’s see how she’s progressing…

Item: Wooden lab stools

Ordered: 44

Color choices for finish: 4

Different catalog numbers for the same item from same vendor: 2

Weeks for delivery: 6

Phone calls or emails it will take to arrange delivery: probably 2

Item: Dissecting microscopes

Ordered: 5

Number of quotes from vendor before one showed up with the right price and address: 3

Number of separately-billed parts needed to buy to assemble one usable scope: 5

Item: Microcentrifuge:

Ordered: 2

Number of emails/online chats to establish educator discount: 2

Whopping educator discount (percent): 1

Item: Large cabinet for storing exams

Ordered: 1

Number of cabinets of the right size available anywhere: 1

Number of different catalog numbers for this item with single vendor: 2

Height difference between this cabinet and door, in inches: 0

Phone calls/emails required to set up delivery: probably 3

Number of hernias among delivery personnel: probably 2 (projected)

Number of times the human has applied for a rebate offer from this vendor and had it rejected for trivial reason: 3

Item: Aquaria

Ordered: 5

In stock: 4

Emails/chat sessions required to get vendor into purchasing database: 5

Aquaria purchased via purchasing database portal: 0

Emails from vendor explaining they don’t do purchase orders: 1

Transactions completed without hitch: 0

She has also been hard at work on the herbarium database:

Number of source files to combine: 9+

Number of records: 250,000+

Number of pairs of duplicated accession numbers that must be tracked down and resolved : ca. 50

Specimens that will have to physically examined to correct record entry: 2000+ (rough estimate)

Hours spent in combining, removing redundancies, formatting, fixing errors: thousands.

Hours spent convincing spreadsheet program to save file properly: 10 (regular occurrence)

New gray human female hairs: I cannot count that high

Formula: How much I care = (Hours in workweek X hassles per hour) / vacation days taken

That’s right folks, incalculable!

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