At a soup kitchen on Potrero St in San Francisco is a man named Charlie. Charlie has been working to take care of the homeless for over thirty years. One of the responsibilities he’s taken on is having the kitchen’s address available for those in need to use to receive their mail. Looking through the mail that’s accumulated takes Charlie, or whoever is checking the mail for someone, can take forever.
Searching for someone's mail consists of looking one by one for the recipient's name on each envelope. At worst finding, or not finding, a single piece of mail can take upwards of fifteen minutes.
A simple SQL solution could make life incredibly easier. When mail arrives, why not populate a simple table in SQL consisting of a recipient & arrival date?
CREATE TABLE mail ( id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, recipient_id INTEGER, arrival_date TEXT delivered BOOLEAN); CREATE TABLE recipient ( id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, name TEXT);
Presto! From here we have a starting point to make simple queries to the database which would identify if someone has a letter waiting.
No longer will soup burn when you have to look for mail!