aftermath

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TRAS Is a 4-Letter Word

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OK, so I’m uninformed enough to think that my attendance at the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting two weeks ago was for “training.” Uininformed that “training” is a TRAS accounting code reserved for specific internal government training courses with specific training class codes. I suppose there’s even a specific internal government training course that might have taught me that, if only I were courageous enough to take it (as in, the type of courage that leads men to jump off cliffs).

But TRAS – the recordkeeping system that I have to use for my governmental agency travel expenses – is apparently sufficiently informed about what “training” means, that when I get around to the second major procedure – filling out my expense vouchers – and finally make it to the very final step of that procedure – electronically signing my voucher – the system is smart enough to not let me do so because there ain’t no training class code for the EA Meeting.

So tell me, if the TRAS system designers were bright enough to program that into the voucher procedure, would it have been all that terribly difficult for them to shove a pop-up screen warning of that way way back as one of the very first steps of the first procedure, the expense authorization itself? Instead of making me and my manager unwind what already took me more than 3 hours to fill out, so I could redo everything as “general” instead of as “training”?

So together with the 5 hours spent with SATO, our government travel agency, over their blunder that wiped out my return flight, plus the time I spent in rescheduling a return on April 10th instead of my original flightplan for the 9th, together with all the usual travel arrangements, together with all this time of struggling through TRAS only to have to redo it from scratch because they can’t tell me I’ve did something wrong at the beginning until I’ve made it all the way to the end, not counting time my manager has spent on my forms for this trip, I figure I put in at least 12 hours just on the administrative hassles. For maybe 15 hours of actual hardcore actuarial time spent at the EA Meeting itself.

TRAS hates me. That’s OK, the feeling’s mutual. And very personal. I’ve been known to crash systems. Watch out, TRAS.

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Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 1:59 pm

Posted in formaphobe

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