I hate you Excel

In which Excel makes me angry.

Messy desk at work

What life is like when you have a deadline rushing towards you and your Excel spreadsheet crashes and you have autosave on:

Oh that is a slight inconvenience, but other than a few minor formatting changes and some reentry of data life can go on.

What life is like when you have a deadline rushing towards you and your Excel spreadsheet crashes and you have autosave off:

Today was going to be a good day. I was going to be less grumpy at work and get on with the long list of tasks I had to do. My random music playlist was doing well, it was throwing up some good tunes. I was even making some great improvements to one of the spreadsheets that was giving me no end of bother. I’d renamed all the tables and created dynamic name ranges. The data validation was spot-on and was busy working on the VBA to be able to make a database in Excel.

And the day went from “Okay” to “I need a face to punch”.

Since I started this morning I have been working solidly on the same spreadsheet making big improvements but also doing all the mind-numbing background work that is needed. Checking formulas, creating named lists, making the formats look nice and neat. The kind of work that makes you want to force the mouse into your eye just to have something interesting in your life.

So while finishing this off and trying to add some validation formula to the sheet to make sure that simple instructions can be followed (like putting in a date that is not 100 years in the past) the computer I sit at decided that asking it to do a simple IF formula was not “Something I can do Dave” and went all Roy Batty on me. It threw up a Crash error, asked me if I would like to let Microsoft know of another piece of crap software failure and then died.

Just like the little piece of me that was happy today did. Seriously, I am stopping at MAC on the way home and getting some black nail polish. I could win the lottery tonight, be told Firefly is on the way back and that there is a proper ending to Mass Effect 3 being released and still I would be sad.

=IF(GES>happy(A1),”Be surprised”) – I may need to add ISNA.

For all the smart-alecs out there, yes I know I should save regularly so I won’t have a problem if my spreadsheet crashes but you know what…go put your head in a usb drive. Saving regularly is like those other great life tips, looking both ways before crossing the road, avoiding yellow snow, not chewing electricity cords. Obvious advice that nobody heeds.

With our IT it takes as long to save as it does to do the actual work. It interrupts the flow of building an awesome spreadsheet and is just something you don’t think about. If you are one of those types that regularly save then well done you, look at you with your perfectly working spreadsheet and joy in your heart.

I shouldn’t have to do that though. The version of Excel I use has an auto save (once every five minutes) so I trust it to do what I ask it to do. Not in this case, instead of auto saving the working spreadsheet it has decided to either corrupt the backups or delete everything in them. I am left with fancy recovered but blank workbooks. Hey Bill Gates, when you are done with curing Malaria perhaps you could sort this fubar out.

The reason I am trying to make Excel look like Access is also down to the inept ability to do anything IT based. I could get everyone on the team licenses for Access, but this incurs such a cost (to both the wallet and the time to explain what a database is to our IT guys) that I would rather stick my keyboard in my non-moused eye. It was suggested that I should ring the IT help desk but I am certain that every time a phone rings in that department everyone jumps up scared at the noises emanating from the “ringing witch box”. Trying to explain an IT issue normally begins with “A computer is…” and they have only just grasped the idea behind “pay-per”.

So what am I left with. A file that is corrupt, bruised knuckles and wanting to go on a trip to Azkaban to cheer up.

Today I had autosave on. It was a good day.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Saved by the Bell.”

Tell us about a time when you managed to extract yourself from a sticky situation at the very last minute.

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

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