Life of a sysadmin

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The life of a sysadmin goes approximately as follows.

8am: Your pager goes off and wakes you up. The message says it's the office, and it's
a crisis. You roll out of bed moaning.

8:15am: You are now sufficiently awake to phone the office. Your pager has gone off
three times already. You get through to the office and the receptionist is frantic. She
says nobody in the entire office can print and they have a major proposal that has to be
faxed out before 9am and if it isn't the company could lose a million dollars in new
business. You try to get her to explain what's wrong, but she's incoherent.

8:30am: You're dressed in yesterday's dirty clothes (they were all you could find in
time) and running out the door, sipping a Jolt cola and hailing a cab to the office.

8:45am: You arrive at the office.



8:46am: You determine that the problem is that the printer is turned off, and you turn
it back on. 10,000 pages spew out from the hundreds of multiple failed attempts by all of
your coworkers to print.

8:47am: Your boss reams you out for "not having fixed that printer problem last time
when you said it was all taken care of. You spend the next hour explaining that there's
nothing you can do to stop people from turning off the printer if they *really* want to.
You don't bother to mention that you happen to know that the person who did it is your
boss's spouse.

9:45ish: You finally convince your boss to release you and make your way to your
office, assaulted all along the way by people demanding that you must help them fix
things right now that you know are going to take weeks and really aren't priority.

10am: You finally arrive at your office and shut and lock the door to keep out the
users. You start to read the 40 or so email messages you find waiting every morning,
which include about 5 new requests, 34 or so messages demanding to know why such and such
hasn't gotten done yet, and one message from your boss denying your request to have an
assistant and demanding that you justify how you spend your time yet again.

10:30am: You realize that you're never going to finish getting through your email if
you keep getting interrupted by these damned telephone calls from the same people who
sent you the email asking the same questions, so you put your phone on do-not-disturb and
go back to your email.

11am: You've just finished responding to all of your email, including the umpteen
millionth justification of your existence for your boss. Unfortunately, the secretary has
figured out how to order the phone system to override your do-not-disturb on your phone,
and is now routing all the angry phone calls from your coworkers to you.

11:30am: You finish talking to everyone on the phone and calming them down.

11:30am-4:30pm: You work your ass off on whatever projects have the most urgency to
the company. Usually this involves a lot of work with software, crawling around on the
floor several times, tearing a hole in your clothing, and banging your head (hard) on the
bottom of a desk.

3pm: You have your lunch delivered to your office.

4:30pm: You finally get to touch your lunch, and realize that Burger King french fries
do not taste good cold. You're on about your 15th coke since arriving in the office.

4:35pm: Your lunch is over. You're not finished eating, but your boss has just phoned
you (he knows how to override the DND on the phone too) and demanded that you drop
everything and go fix some asinine problem which you know is caused by the user and
which you fix every week and which you have warned the user about but about which they
just don't listen.

6:30pm: You finish the project your boss set you to and decide to try to sneak out of
the office and go home. (Not that you have a social life or anything, but you haven't had
8 hours sleep in a month and a half.) In the elevator on the way out of the office you
encounter a coworker, who grabs you by the ear and drags you back to the office to fix
something that's bugging them.

6:30pm-8pm: Somehow, despite repeated attempts to leave, the moment you try to
actually do so, someone else appears to force you to work.

8pm: You're about to depart when you're suddenly informed that there's some vitally
urgent data processing that has to be done and that only you know how to do and which
can't be performed until all of the data entry people have left for the night at

8pm-10pm: You try to nap in your office but the phone keeps ringing so you finally
give up and put in several more hours of working.

10pm: You try to do your data processing but can't because there are still people
logged into the data acquisition system. You spend the next fifteen minutes running
around begging them to log out, and they reply that "yeah, I'll be out in a

10:20pm: You get sick of waiting, walk over to the server console, issue commands to
kick off all the users, and disable logins.

10:30pm-2:30am: You perform that data processing which nobody else could do because
they won't let you teach them because they know what kind of hours you have to put in
doing it.

Midnight: Your blood turns to coca-cola.

2:30am: You realize that the data processing isn't QUITE done but you're about to pass
out so you re-enable logins so you won't get paged about THAT in the morning, scrounge a
taxi voucher out of your desk (they've given you your own pad because you use them so
often), call a taxi, and leave the building.

2:45am-3:15am: You freeze your ass off waiting for a taxi.

3:15am-3:30am: The taxi takes you home. The driver seems to have decided to take the
scenic route for the hell of it.

3:31am: You collapse in a heap on your bed and fall asleep face down with your shoes
on the pillows and your clothes still on because you're too tired to remove your clothes
or even orient yourself properly on the bed.

8:00am: Your pager goes off.

Repeat ad nauseum until your boss doesn't like your response to one of his "justify
your existence" demands and fires you or you die of caffeine poisoning. Oh, and don't
bother factoring in any weekends or holidays: You'll be expected to work those too.

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