Perhaps I’m coo-coo, banana pants crazy but I’m perfectly willing to spend an hour automating a repetitive 10-minute task. At my previous job (Seimitsu), we called this being “creatively lazy”. “Randal,” I hear you say, “isn’t that a waste of time?” Well, that depends on your answer to this question: “Will anyone ever have to perform that 10-minute task again?” If the answer is “yes” then it’s not a waste of time in the slightest to the poor soul asked to spend that 10 minutes God know how many times until they quit, retire, or die.

Let’s take a recent example from my current job (the names have been changed to protect the blah, blah, blah… Please don’t fire me!). For marketing purposes, we needed to know the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all of the medical practices, physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in and around given areas who might refer to our office. So did we forsake some unfortunate person to the drudgery of googling (or searching through phone books!) and manually compiling this information? By the Power of Greyskull, no! Off I went to solve this little problem with code.

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