Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I daren’t close my eyes, for fear of little men…in control centers…with automated paging systems…

LET THE GLADSOME TIDINGS GO FORTH: Tonight is my last night being Primary On-Call Tech Group Person. As of tomorrow morning? I am off the hook.

For a while, anyway.

MAN. It has been…interesting. Mostly because it has been years and years and years since I last had to be the pager-toting “emergency responder,” you know?

My phone has been jingling and jangling since Friday night. Almost every single night, something has gone wrong enough to warrant me getting a page, followed rapid-fire by emails saying “WHAT’S THE STATUS?!” followed by pages and emails saying “PLS CALL 800-SPLAIN-SELF NOW.”

Or, more accurately, something-anything has gone wrong – and apparently, we have a bit of a hair-trigger about it.

Where “we” here means “the centralized control center people who have an automated system which generates problem tickets, pages and emails leading to calls wherein the actual humans in the control center can’t figure out why they paged and/or emailed you about it either.”

But the thing that is killing me on it is, I get started too danged early in the morning to be dealing with “issues” at 11:30 at night, you know? Like last night, when my phone was still doing the jitterbug at midnight, and I’d been up since 3:30 in the morning because it was a “commute in” day, and they paged me three times in rapid succession and I was all, “DUDE. IT’S A JOB THAT IS SET TO ‘DO NOT ALERT ON FAIL.’ I REALLY DON’T GIVE A FLYING @*^&@ ABOUT IT, AND NEITHER DOES ANYBODY ELSE. WHAT DO I NEED TO SAY TO YOU TO MAKE YOU STOP. PAGING. ME. ABOUT. IT?!

Of course, that was only inside my head. With my voice, I was saying things like blah blah terminate and yadda yadda non-critical and no impact and other soothing-like things.

…all the while feeling my blood pressure rise as the insides of my eyelids scraped repeatedly on the sandpaper that my eyeballs had become at some point between the 2-1/2 hour commute back home and that last ‘PLS CALL NOW’ page…

And then I was just sitting there, mindlessly fishing in Warcraft while I kept half an eye on the stupid job to make sure it did either succeed or terminate within the specified timeframe, until 12:30.

But of course, even though it was a WFH day for me today, I was still awake at 5:30. Because:

  1. The husband wants the alarm set for 5:30 even though he has absolutely no intention of actually getting UP until 6:30 at the earliest
  2. I want to be working by 6:30
  3. Well, ‘want’ is a relative term – more ‘I like to keep my working hours as close to steady as I can’
  4. My back and hip were killing me. Because of course they were. Because they love to act out whenever it would be least convenient. It’s a THING with them.

And then I spent all day today wondering why I was so damned tired now with bonus crankiness! I don’t think I’ve had to work so hard to contain my considerable Powers of Sarcasm™ in a good long while.

I’m slightly afraid to go to bed right now. I desperately want to, mind you, because I’ve shot right past being ‘tired’ and am solidly in the ‘stupid tired’ range…but still…I’m slightly afraid to try for it.

Because you know what happens the minute I get to sleep, right?

OH yeah. {beep! beep! beep! beep!} (woot! woot! woot!)

Status report, Number One!”

Captain. It would appear that our ship is under attack by the Alien Snot Monkeys of Planet Zerboxinix.”

“Great Scott! That would be an awesome name for a band, Number One!”

“Yes, yes it would, Captain; unfortunately, they are not a band, they are data-eating creatures which thrive by devouring log files, and they are causing massive job failures throughout our systems. We estimate we will suffer total system collapse in approximately eight minutes, forty-three seconds.”

“Well, somebody had better page the on-call, then.”

“Very good, Captain.”

And then I will drag myself out of bed, log in, stare at it for a minute and say, “Um, guys…see that ‘0’ right there? Under ‘Alert On Fail’? That would mean no, do NOT alert on fail. WHY-FOR YOU CALLING ME WITH THE PAGING AND FREAKING OUT?!”


To sum up? I’m so glad my on-call rotation is (almost) over now.

Pass the mute button and the sleep-masks, it’s a party around HERE tomorrow night…!


PipneyJane said...

I know exactly where you are coming from. Particularly on the scratchy eye-balls thing. I am fortunate that I haven't been on call since I stopped nursing but working for muppets (as I do now) means unexpectedly long days and far too little sleep.

Hope you enjoy tonight's sleep uninterupted.

- Pam

PS: What is it with men and alarm clocks? Why can't they just get up when the alarm goes off like normal people? My DH will hit the snooze button for hours before he gets out of bed. It's really, really annoying.

PBear said...

Ah yes.... fortunately I don't get many calls anymore, and very few overnight, but I remember well the days when getting called meant getting up and going IN to the office to work the problem. Because there was no such thing as handy-dandy pc's and home access. Yes, I'm a dinosaur.... :-)

Joan said...

No! No partying! Strictly Eyelid Theater!

P.s. Haha, did you set the word verif to "achingX"?