Earlier in the day I pointed another database management application at our database (at least, at what I thought was our database), and asked it to 'Reverse Engineer' the schema into an E/R diagram. You know, so that I could begin to grasp how things were laid out.
The number of tables that spilled out onto the screen was horrifying. I have a very large screen, and there were scrolling pages upon scrolling pages of tables all crunched together with hundreds of thousands of lines going all over the place. I spent an hour trying to pick out clusters; it was roughly like trying to re-reel a pound of fishing line you dragged up in a clot from the bottom of a lake.
I gave serious consideration to looking for a job again. There was no way I could comprehend such a schema. Clearly my co-workers, who have been here for a few years already, were *madmen*, who only seemed like reasonable people *on the surface*.
Turns out, I had pointed the application at the whole Oracle database -- not our own, us-defined database. So, I was looking at our tables PLUS all the tables that are built into Oracle. Ha, ha! My bad.
I investigated the Medical Center's food options today. There is a kind of food court where you can get your Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. (There is a McDonalds right across the courtyard from my building.) All great food, consistent with the mission of a Medical Center. But there is also this wonderful cafeteria, where I can get, well, just lots of kinds of great food. Grill food, Asian food, salads and soups, sushi, actual real live fruits and vegetables... and, as Dale Cooper would add, at a reasonable price!
There is also this mysterious valet service, where adept Vanderbilt henchmen will take your clothes to be dry-cleaned, or take your car to have its oil changed, or whatever. I'll let you know the surcharge as soon as I find out. At Christmas time, you supposedly just drop off your presents, and they will wrap them for you. Crap, I might actually start buying presents, just to try this out! And I gather that there are places all over town where I can get discounts by flashing my VUNet ID.
"It feels a little like being in the Mafia," one of my co-workers admitted, and I have to agree. So far, there have been no real unpleasant surprises here -- when there are, you'll be the first to know.