Tuesday, March 3, 2009

this project is driving me nuts

I'm collaborating on a database project with Sam and some other people, and now we're apparently stuck in a collaboration with a very Difficult Person. He's the creating the database that someone else designed on paper, and this whole thing is taking 1000 times longer than either Sam or I anticipated. Every single step of the way takes longer. Difficult Person is not a good communicator, shows up late for meetings, and says contradictory things about the database structure.

At first what he had to do was supposed to take only a few hours, so Sam was just going to pay him hourly and then we'd move on. 65 "working" hours later, Sam decided that Difficult Person was screwing him (or just extremely inefficient), so he brought him on as an author of the database. Whatever that means. Now at least he has incentive to work efficiently.

Last night I had a meeting with him that went until 10 pm. He was late because he couldn't find my building (walked past it) and I spent 10 minutes outside saying, "ok, now cross X street then cross Z street... No, you went the wrong way. Turn around..." After an hour and a half of meeting, we had kind of connected 3 tables out of about 30+. Now we have to consult the designer across the pond before we can proceed.

Jon says I need to be more assertive with this guy. I'm afraid of being a bitch about it.

The most frustrating part about this project is that I wish I knew enough about database design to just do it myself. I've done a little bit, but not enough to confidently put this one together. So, I'm at the mercy of a bad communicator who doesn't understand the data.


Transient Theorist said...

Not that you probably need something else to do, but sometimes situations like this are great excuses to learn something that you didn't know how to do at first - I bet in 65 hours you could learn all you'd need to know to do a great job and more.

I guess it'd be the finding of 65 hours that would be tricky...

Working with other people can be really frustrating.

Karina said...

Hi Theo,
That was originally the idea. The problem was that it was designed for MySQL, and I want to use a more beginner-friendly program for the mac (FileMaker). Difficult Person was originally just supposed to help me get from MySQL to FileMaker, and then I'd do the rest. But now it occurs to me that I don't know what's going on...