And a skirmish with an unrelenting enemy

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I usually hate my on call weeks with a passion. Midnight sleep interruptions. Climbing out of bed before the sun rises. Dealing with a million different little “disasters” that, in the grand scheme of things, just don’t matter at all.

See, I’m an information technology support analyst. When I’m on call, I’m responsible for managing the crises that keep some twenty percent of the facilities our company runs from doing their daily business. Our business is producing, shipping and selling a whole line of consumer beverages. And they are beverages nobody needs to consume.

I have a bit of trouble justifying the existence of my job. Mostly because I have trouble justifying the existence of the entire industry that makes my job possible. When I really think about it though, a whole slew of industries that exist in the world of human endeavor probably shouldn’t exist.

But I digress. I was talking about my on call situation.

I traveled to the family vacation home in the Adirondacks on Friday evening since I can do my job from pretty much anywhere. When I’m on call I tend not to go into the office much because when I do, I inevitably wind up working both day and night.

Anyway, I started on call at 6:00 PM on Friday. Things were smooth until around 1:00 AM. That’s when network operations called me about the facility in Orlando, FL losing connectivity. Except Orlando isn’t one of the facilities I support. So I had to explain to the technician that he had called the wrong person. At 1:00 in the morning. On what was supposed to be a long holiday weekend.

As it appears to be the way of the Universe, a bad situation begets more unpleasant news. My cellphone spent most of the night in service to various notifications of technological failure. Every time I heard it, I would have to, at the very least, check to see what issue had arose. Twice I had to get up, log into my laptop and perform some action to acknowledge the issue or resolve the situation.

To heap insult upon injury the bedroom in the vacation home had somehow become headquarters to several squadrons of thirsty mosquitoes. Just about the time I started drifting off again, a new sortie would be launched. It was a bloodbath and I was still on the losing side by morning. When I got up for good I launched a counter-strike and left the walls looking like something out of a 1970’s horror film. I cleaned up, packed the Jeep and retreated. I couldn’t survive another night of heavy casualties. The mosquitoes had won the day.

I had dinner with my 81 year old mom and all of my sisters at a neat little pizza place about an hour south of my apartment. I have five sisters and we only pull off a family gathering about once a year, so it’s a pretty special occasion. My mother beams when we all manage to get together.

Anyway, on my way back from dinner the cellphone rang. Twice. No rest for the weary. I spent a significant portion of both Sunday and Monday managing two more network incidents. I sent out my final communication at 2:00 AM to prepare management for what they would be facing at the opening of business on Tuesday morning. I had a couple glasses of wine and went to bed.

I woke up this morning at 5:15. I checked my phone and found that all of the network outages that were active when I went to bed had been resolved. I sent out a revised communication, made my coffee and breakfast and sat down to write this. I’m in an oddly contented place, especially considering I haven’t had a decent nights sleep since Thursday.

I may just pack my shit up and head back up north for another round with the enemy air force.

Thanks for reading.

Written by

father, motorcyclist, old retired guy who’s just a little lost on a blue marble corkscrewing its way to oblivion

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