Repeat after me: I do believe in fairies!
Every job I’ve ever had has been held by someone before me. I’ve never met her. I’m not sure whether she is young and petite, plump and good mannered or bony and gnarly. What I am sure about is that she is a fairy. Now before you tell me fairies don’t exist, hear me out. This isn’t the fairy who leaves $2 under your pillow for a tooth (or 20 cents if she was a stingebag like my mum). She isn’t the kind sort who bites people like in the labyrinth and she isn’t green like Kylie Minogue in Moulin Rouge. What she is, is a text sniffer.
A what? Well, it’s a variation on glue sniffers, coke addicts and vegetarians. This fairy, who has worked in every organisation I have, is a nocturnal text sniffer. Like the carrots you leave out for the reindeer every Christmas Eve and the beer you leave for Santa (it’s Australia!), you leave out a piece of text asking the fairy to do something and by morning she’s waved her magic wand and done it.
Want proof? Well, if the fairy didn’t exist then I wouldn’t see all these text requests people leave her. Case in point. I open a database today and read a comment. Mail returned to sender December 2003. For the last 8 years because the text fairy was there before me, this person has received no mail. (Well, she slipped up a few times but we’ll overlook that for a moment). Along come I with my lack of text sniffing ability (I’m sorry, I can’t read 3,000 notes in a night), and I send mail to this person. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone turns around to me tomorrow and says ‘you’re not a very good data monkey’. ‘The record says this person died in 1999 and they were on the list you gave us to mail last month – can’t you read? Off with your head I say!’
So this morning to avoid decapitation, I took a deep breath and tried to think like the text sniffing fairy. This can’t be hard. I’ll just search for any comment containing the word deceased. Problem solved. Hmmm… that was until I found a comment saying ‘passed away in 2002’. Oh dear. How many euphemisms are there for died? And what about RTS, or R.T.S. or R T S or ‘return to sender’ or ‘left address’ or ‘moved away’ or ‘gone overseas’ or… someone get me a drink right now!
This is why I have come home and said, I do believe in fairies. If I say it one more time before I go to sleep then perhaps the text sniffing fairy will reappear and sort all my records for me. Yes, just one more time – I do believe in fairies because in the words of Lewis Carroll’s Bellman, what I tell you three times is true.
Posted on May 30, 2011, in Data, Not for Profit and tagged Bellman, data, database issues, fairy, green fairy, Kylie Minogue, labyrinth, Lewis Carroll, moulin rouge, text fairy, text fields, thrice, toothfairy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.