Death In The Bank (La morte in banca)

I'm reading "La morte in banca"by Giuseppe Pontiggia. It is set in 1950s Italy and is about a 17 year old who gets a job at a bank, but who really wants to study literature at university.


I won't spoil the plot for you, but one scene struck me. A roomful of people all working on mechanical adding machines. And I thought that in some ways not much has changed. As far as I can make out at least 50% of all people in all the offices in all the world are copying columns of numbers from one Excel sheet to another Excel sheet. Excel is silent compared with a mechanical adding machine, but I imagine the expressions on the faces of the operators are much the same.

And how many people use Excel as a database!? They think: "Excel has a lot of tables, databases have a lot of tables, therefore Excel is a database". Excel is a brilliant calculator, but a godawful error-prone inefficient "database." 

The problem with Excel is that you can start using it from day one, no thought required. And the road to hell leads on from there.


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