Re: suggest improvement to DB
"Your problem was the old familar one ........ You thought something was obvious so did not mention it."
Tee hee. I've got one of those.
I once worked for a small bleeding edge firm with a contract to a large cruise line to write a ticketing system. It was not going well. I had just been hired and was rushed to the angry customer with a bunch of their younger, wiser programmer analysts to see what could be done to make them happy.
I was an Old Mainframe Guy. Customer rep was an Old Mainframe Guy. We locked eyes.
"Forgive me if I'm covering old ground, but I'm new here and need to fully understand the problem we are trying to solve" I said in my best humble voice. There were rolled eyes from the younger members of my own team but no reaction from the customer rep.
"Could you tell me, does the SS Saucy Sal always have the same number of staterooms?" I asked. My team groaned and rolled their eyes some more. The customer rep's mouth twitched and, after a suitable pause, he said "No".
You could have heard a pin drop. We were still eye-locked.
"I see. Could you explain how and under what conditions you change the number of staterooms on the SS Saucy Sal? Again I'm sorry if this has already been covered." The customer rep proceeded in a level tone to explain how and why this transformation would come to pass. We were still eye-locked (though blinking was allowed) but I could detect a palpable thaw in the customer rep's attitude re: contracted software "specialists" from Somewhere Not Here.
My own mob were trying not to do the Bonehead Gape Face.
"That's very interesting. Thank you. Now, when you say you ticket up until the last minute, could you tell me exactly what you mean and how you go about delivering that service?" A very revelatory explanation involving servers loaded on beer trolleys, long extension cords and fistfuls of cash and paperwork was delivered, demolishing the model my own team had laboriously constructed from assumptions and guess.
By the end of it the customer rep was smiling and we were on a much better footing with him and about 3/4 of the staff. (I had to impress someone else in their DBA department early one morning by demonstrating mad skillz on the fly before the other 1/4 came grudgingly around).
It took a couple more of these before my own team forgave me for being new and old at the same time, and mired in the mainframe world instead of flying high on a balloon made of PCs, Visual Basic and the Light of Jesus in Their Eyes.