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How’s That ‘Expect The Unexpected’ Working Out? 

December 8, 2015

The anticipation is killing me. . .but it’s the couch cushions that are painful. When does planning for contingencies become a useless exercise?

I spent most of last Saturday working. Because a certain amount of my job is reactionary, I tend to get pulled into calls at all hours and any day. Every day for the past three weeks we’ve had to deal with unexpected issues and outages. (The Most Terrible Time Of The Year.) 

This period sneaks up on me every year. We hit November and I think, “Why are there all these calls I need to be on? “Then I’ll remember that I went through the same thing last year. I’ve started to get better at predicting my outage calls. “Expecting the unexpected” is how I think of it. And that’s my current problem. My systems refuse to break in a predictable manner.

I don’t mind the unexpected calls in the middle of the day. I mean, I’m already at work, a call to deal with a production issue just gets me out of meetings. It’s the afterhours ones that are being obstinate. 

Yesterday, I decided I’d reclaim some of my past Saturday by cutting out a little early and getting to work on some projects that I had to skip on Saturday to deal with work issues. I said goodbye to my boss and headed home at lunchtime. Twenty minutes into my drive home, the phone rang. 

Hello, this is Rodney.

Rodney, we are having an issue. Can you inform the client and jump on our phone bridge?

My cell phone can be on two calls at the same time. When the third call came in while I was already on two, I let it go to voicemail. Three hours later, I was at home and I was finally off the phone. Amount of time I’d been able to “reclaim” from Saturday? About an hour. Maybe 90 minutes.

And it’s not the calls I get but the ones I miss that are the most aggravating right now. Earlier this week I talked about  getting woken up super early two days in a row. At that point I decided I just needed to accept the fact my sleep was going to be interrupted each morning for the next week. To spare my lovely wife a phone call in the wee hours of the morning, I moved to the much less comfortable couch. 

So far? Not a single early morning call. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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