On the Job

October 29, 2001

That's Right, I'm Here For You!

I'm a Unix sysadmin. It's what I do, and I think I do pretty well at it. I am not, however, to be confused with your bitch. I will do my job and help you out as far as I can, but after that, guilt tripping me and treating me like dirt really don't help your cause. When your servers fail, servers that you have repeatedly said don't need to be under IT control because you can handle it, you really shouldn't expect me to drop everything to fix them. However, when I do have time to check it out and offer some assistance, you're just shooting yourself in the foot when you say, "No, that's ok, we figured it out" when I'm fairly certain that you have not in fact figured anything out, you're just pissed at me.

On those systems when I do have time to drop everything and lend a hand, and I do the best I can but still can't fix the problem, calling me repeatedly saying, "It still doesn't work" is not likely to get me running back. I know it still doesn't work. I left the machine in a non-working condition because I didn't know how to bring it up. You are going to have to suck it up and refer to someone who knows more than I do, like Sun, even if it costs $260/hour. I have to do it on my systems when I can't fix it myself, so do you. And no, I'm not paying for it -- they're your machines.

One more thing. I appreciate it when you tell my boss what a good job I've done when I help you with something in a timely manner. I try to do that all the time, I really do. But not every problem is something I've encountered before, and I don't feel that every single little email problem you have is really worth 3 hours of my time researching it. Losing the spell checker is not the end of the world. Being unable to delete a meeting from your calendar won't cause the sky to fall. I will help you with these things, but be patient. There's probably some PFFTable person demanding I fix their server first.

Published: October 29, 2001
Editor: stacy

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