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EXCEL rant - Nit picky boss

(99 Posts)
bringthethunder Thu 18-Jul-19 11:30:38

So, I have a project whereby I am using Excel to calculate all Sales over a 18 month period, with some other intricate, fussy bits added in

[example: Add up total packets of crisps sold (its not crisps but don't want to be too specific as its a niche market we operate in)]

So, I've been working on this for 3 days, based on a 2 line email I received from my boss which offered very little info on what he really wanted. I was literally told "I want an 18 month breakdown of all sales, and total up all the crisps and all the customers".
I've had to go back to him umpteen times asking for further info on what he actually wants as some things just aren't countable! For example, I can count crisps, but I can't count how many people bought them as one customer could buy 1 packet, one could have bought 50!

Anyways, after 3 days I send him the completed project which was time consuming and frustrating due to the lack of info provided and having to employ some sort of psychic wizardry to estimate things. I was feeling quite pleased with how it was all presented and calculated. Sent it days before deadline.
But instead of even a basic "thanks" - he has come back to say that the "Crisps" column AutoSum function hasn't added all the way up the list 9making an incorrect total) and did I mean this or is it a mistake? hmm stupid, passive aggressive question
OBVIOUSLY ITS A MISTAKE. JUST BLOODY DRAG THE AUTOSUM UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE. Why would he need to come and moan at me about one, tiny thing on a massive workbook, that literally takes him 1 second to correct?! I mean, I get that its my job and in an ideal world the mistake wouldn't have been there but I manage people also and I would never get at staff about such a thing.

So, my questions is: if you are a manger would you spend time writing out the email passive aggressively asking for the correction, waiting for it to be done and sent back, or would you just take 2 secs to fix the thing yourself and be chuffed that the work was done DAYS ahead of deadline?

forkfun Thu 18-Jul-19 13:58:36

Your manager is a dick. But don't dwell on it. Perhaps just say something like 'Oh, sorry for this very minor mistake. I'm glad I got it done ahead of time, though. It was quite a lot of work.'

HennyPennyHorror Thu 18-Jul-19 14:06:11

Excell can go and DIE. I hate it. I think it's designed by a fool. YANBU though. What's your job title?

UrsulaPandress Thu 18-Jul-19 14:06:13

I'd come over all passive aggressive back at him.

Tanith Thu 18-Jul-19 14:09:19

Send him step-by-step instructions on how to correct the mistake?

blueluce85 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:10:49

I kinda get where the boss is coming from... The one thing he asked for to be done, wasn't done!!!

And btw, you can count unique records only on excel so you could do a count for the customers too if you wanted to?

popehilarious Thu 18-Jul-19 14:12:33

giving the benefit of the doubt, he might've actually wanted to check if you had a reason for doing it that way. It would save him time to ask you that rather than try and figure out if there were formulae in the table elsewhere being referenced, etc, or some mathematical reason why some figures were being omitted. I don't think he was wrong to check.

If it was a big spreadsheet my colleague had been working on I'd be reluctant to fiddle with it myself and assume I'd corrected it!

PuppyMonkey Thu 18-Jul-19 14:15:18

I’m sure he’s a dick and all that but if I’d been sent an Excel thing where a column wasn’t adding up properly, I probably would just go back and double check with the original person before changing it??

Presidentemmett Thu 18-Jul-19 14:17:47

I’m with your boss on this one. The spreadsheet is wrong and if used could lead to incorrect decisions.
In my team work like this would be tested before being sent.

Ffsnosexallowed Thu 18-Jul-19 14:20:03

I'm with your boss too. No point in sending the spreadsheet early if it doesn't work.

Sciurus83 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:22:58

Agree with PP, if I found a mistake I would go back to the original author to check. I'm afraid YABU for sending a spreadsheet with a mistake. No need for them to be rude about it though, easily fixed very quickly with a phone call or IM, which is probably what I would do if it was someone in my team.

ChequerBoard Thu 18-Jul-19 14:24:22

It's an attention to detail issue. You seem out the spreadsheet with an incorrect formula so the total it was showing wasn't correct.

If your boss hadn't spotted it, that incorrect data could have been acted on. He needed to tell you that you made a mistake. Take the time to check your formula next time.

VivienneHolt Thu 18-Jul-19 14:30:01

I get why you’re annoyed, but delivering before the deadline isn’t worth much if the work has a mistake. It was a bit PA of your boss to point it out the way he did, but at least it was useful feedback - and he probably wanted you to know there was a mistake, since it’s a good thing he realised before relying on those figures.

I would just take it on the chin (and as a lesson to double check the work next time).

Pantolilies Thu 18-Jul-19 14:30:31

You made a rookie mistake and he will now doubt the integrity of the data.

babysharkah Thu 18-Jul-19 14:30:41

I'm with your boss too, sorry.

VivienneHolt Thu 18-Jul-19 14:31:39

'Oh, sorry for this very minor mistake. I'm glad I got it done ahead of time, though. It was quite a lot of work.’

Do not say this unless you want to get a reputation for being a defensive drama queen.

Pantolilies Thu 18-Jul-19 14:32:47

I will not be chuffed, I will be frustrated that such an important detail wasn't checked before sending it to me as I should be able to trust my staff work without having to check every minor detail.

whothedaddy Thu 18-Jul-19 14:33:02

I'm with your boss.

What he asked for doesn't sound so complicated.
It does require accuracy and you didn't really do this.

Please don't take this as an attack but if you struggled with this perhaps ask your boss for some excel training.

A lot of work places expect employees to do a lot on Excel without adequate training.

Thatmustbemyname Thu 18-Jul-19 14:33:30

Sorry, also with the boss on this!

The error is so obviously wrong that it would imply you haven't proofread the report, and therefore who knows what other mistakes are in the report.

WhatchaMaCalllit Thu 18-Jul-19 14:34:44

LOL @ChequerBoard - was that a slip of the keyboard there? "You seem out the spreadsheet..." immediately after you comment "It's an attention to detail issue". grin

The question wasn't whether the formula was correct (it was, it's that not all of the cells in the column were selected to be included in the total), it was whether if you were the manager you would have sent an email to the person who created the spreadsheet for you based on pure guess work or whether you would have 'fixed' the issue yourself (by extending and including all of the cells to be selected)?

Based entirely on the post you put up at 14:24, I'd say you're in the group that would email back to the person and not go about fixing the issue yourself. Am I wrong?

ThinkWittyThoughts Thu 18-Jul-19 14:35:23

Yep, that would concern me, especially if I felt the task wasn't exceptional for the job.

To echo pp, if there's a customer identifier in the list you can definitely count number of unique people buying crisps.

Chune Thu 18-Jul-19 14:35:27

I don't think it's that nit picky to be honest, that's a pretty basic error.

BazaarMum Thu 18-Jul-19 14:37:09

You sound like hard work.

There was a significant error it what you had done. I would not be expecting my boss to correct it, I would apologise for the error, double check everything and send it back error free.

Tone is difficult to judge by email. You come across as a total martyr.

Iggly Thu 18-Jul-19 14:38:39

Sometimes bosses like to feel special by pointing out the one error without acknowledging all your hard work.

It’s not hard to say, thanks, I know I wasn’t clear in my requirements. I was just having a look at the formulae - can you just double check the summations for me please?

As a boss it’s hard sometimes to tell if people realise they’ve made mistakes and it’s better to let them know.

DerelictWreck Thu 18-Jul-19 14:39:38

Sorry OP, also with boss. What if it had been done on purpose?

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