A lot of the time when I see queries that are written with all sorts of gymnastics in the join or where clause and I ask some questions about it, people usually start complaining about the design of the table.
That’s fine, but when I ask about changing the design, everyone gets quiet. Normalizing tables, especially for Applications Of A Certain Age™ can be a tremendously painful project. This is why it’s worth it to get things right the first time. Simple!
Rather than make someone re-design their schema in front of me, often times a temp table is a good workaround.
Click through for an example.