Monday, June 1, 2015

81 days until vacation

I spent about 45 minutes on the phone today with an IT rep who had been assigned a trouble ticket for one of the systems I am responsible for. It's always an existentially weird experience when I have to punt on the technical problems with the portfolio of sites I am nominally responsible for, but sometimes it can't be helped. My areas of expertise are not all-encompassing, and even if they were I am prohibited from directly accessing certain things because of my status as a mere contractor and webmaster. Still, there's always a part of me that dreads calling in the specialists only to have them point out that the problem was something I could have fixed after all, and I had merely overlooked it.

Thankfully, that wasn't the case this time. But that is very much a double-edged sword. The gratification of feeling entirely justified calling in the big guns was short-lived, once it became apparent that the big guns didn't really know what was going on either. I know I'm not the dumbest person on the phone call when the IT admin is saying "Well, that is strange," as I demonstrate the buggy system behavior; if we're both stumped, at least I'm in good company. But on the other hand, that really doesn't get us any closer to fixing the problem.

The issue remains open-ended, and we may or may not have made incremental progress in tracking down the root cause. This is all very much the bulk of my job description - keep things running, fix them (or get someone else to fix them) when they don't - so I don't consider it time poorly spent. Except maybe the few minutes that were lost when the IT admin put me on hold, came back on the line a bit later, and apparently couldn't hear me even though I could hear him, which led to him hanging up and calling me back, which was both a bit of a cluster and not terribly reassuring in terms of the overall infrastructure stability of our enterprise. But so it goes.

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