My most f*cked up client process I ever had to deal with:

Digitalizing E-Mails.

I seriously asked if they were joking on me… Wasn't the case.

The process was: Get E-Mail, print out, scan, archive (digitally).

Nobody could explain to me the necessity for this bullsh*t.
"Hmm... Kinda always worked this way, I guess"
The client was a big company. My coworker aged 5x faster during that project. I swear to god, I'm not joking.

  • 1
    Why not just,....

    Well, you got fucked:(
  • 6
    Step 1) Bill them $$$ for your time
    Step 2) Find a very specific kind of teenager
    Step 3) Pay the teenager $ to do this shit while you go do some real work (hey, $ is a lot of money for someone who worries not about rent or food or bills or kids)
    Step 4) Say you will have to do this again yearly to "correct for decay in the archived emails"
  • 14
    Why not be innovative and suggest adding some useless extra step? I'm sure they'd love it.
  • 19
    I would've written a script to export the lot to an image, and then added some random scanning / image artifacts in the picture. Job done, sit back, relax.
  • 6
    There's scan apps or some tool I saw which takes existing pdf and makes them look like it was photocopied. Leverage software. Not to mention saving the environment
  • 3
    Where they scanned on the same system or was this meant as a Battlestar Galactica air gap?
  • 2
    Hmm... Okay, sounds stupid... But even if they insist on you having to print it and then having to scan it:

    Still automatable. As long as you have a scanner with a feeder.

    1. Write a script that prints all mails with an extra page inbetween. Write something like "NEW EMAIL foobar bar bar" on it and some attributes like filename.

    2. Give it all to the feeder scanner and OCR everything.

    3. Find the page numbers of the above code via script and separate them in different pdfs. Rename those according to the attributes.

    Upsides, job is not as mindblowing boring. Downside, job is probably done after a day or two instead of two or three weeks.

    Still worth it, though.
  • 10
    Sounds like some misunderstood legal practice.

    Like, the got permission to archive things digitally by scanning it and interpreted that to account for emails also, and that means print out and scan.

    To many people are scared of legal and do not want to question them so we end up with many stupid processes that when you do brung it up to a legal expert they many times facepalm :P
  • 0
    Did you print and scan the attachments too?
  • 4

    That reminds me of a legal practice I have heard off by one of my occupation teachers here in Germany.

    Financial law dictactes that you keep documents around for different time periods, but somewhere roughly around a decade.

    A company did scan faxes and threw the originals away. They got in trouble for it. Had to pay a hefty fine.

    Their solution was to install a digital fax server.

    It was explained to me like this: Fax has a special legal standard and it counts as an original. Therefore the original cannot be thrown away. But since they now got it digitally in the first place, no original was created and they were allowed to archive it digitally.

    That was years back when I was at trade school and that was an old story of an old teacher, but still, I found it funny.
  • 4
    Reminds me of how courts work in my country. You can send an email to people working there, they even get individual email addresses, but it all comes to one guy responsible just for this, who prints the emails and then delivers physical copies to right people.
  • 2
    When it comes to healthcare and legal, I’ve just learned “don’t fuck with the system”.

    If the client needs it printed, let’s automate the printing system. QR codes as cover sheets get fed to the scanner. Ask the intern to move the pages from printer to scanner, and press the go button, and they’ll spend their nights building a raspberry pi paper mover. Viola. It’s less time than fighting, and more money in all of our pockets. Let’s be honest, nobody knows “that law” but everybody believes it’s there. The folklore that drives these systems is pretty impenetrable in some places.
  • 1
    That company lacks DDD. I used to work for big corporations to model their domain and it always showed they can cut off the amount of work by half for like 10 departments if they make a simple piece of software.

    In those places nobody knows what you do and its by your own design because as soon as somebody gets interested in your work you can be sure they want to replace you with someone or something cheaper. So you mud the water and make your job sound very very complicated. I dealt with that enough to know how drones think.
  • 0
  • 0
    Why wouldnt you just print to pdf if you're gonna Archive it ? BetchA the graphical and text elements are more cleanly organized
  • 0
    And fuck this
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