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My Week As A Greek King

September 15, 2017

Actually it was two weeks. But, it’s not like you think.

There’s an old Twilight Zone episode called The Man In The Bottle about a guy who gets to make a wish. He’s clever though. He understands that genies are tricky so he makes his wish very carefully.

I want to be the head of a foreign country who can’t be voted out of office. But, it must be a major country. Well known. Not some poverty stricken third world place and not in ancient times either; in modern history. A fully instrustrialized country with millions of educated people, where I’m very popular and who can’t be voted out of office.

It doesn’t turn out the way he expected.

My job involves doing many different things; project management, change control, operations and dealing with outages. Some of the things are interesting and kind of fun. Some of them can become tedious and boring. Others can be pretty stressful. So long as they maintain a good mix, I enjoy it a lot. The last two weeks have not been a good mix.

We’ve dealt with multiple outages. Not complete outages that mean we can’t help customers. But, minor to major outages that make it hard for my agents to do their jobs. It’s my job to “run” each outage until the engineers can fix it. A long outage can take all day. I had one start the Monday after labor day and it’s still plaguing me 2 weeks later.

It would be one thing if it were a 100% blackout. But, it’s not. Certain tools stop working. And it’s not like they stop working completely. But everyday around noon, I’ll get a call.

Rodney? Yeah, it’s starting again.

And for the rest of the afternoon that’s what my job entails. Trying to figure out why the system is acting slow. And then about 4:30, like some office worker with a train to catch, the issue simply disappears. And my day is shot and I’m no closer to figuring out the issue. Next day around noon, the same thing. It’s no longer fun. It’s no longer a challenge. It’s beginning to really bug me. I have lots of smart people on my team working on the issue. In fact, I’m the least qualified to actually fix it. My job is just to make sure the smart people are looking at it.

Day after day. . .after day. . .after day, after day, after day.

It’s not always good to be the king, or the popular leader of a foreign country. The twist in the Twilight Zone story was that the man got his wish. He became Adolf Hitler on the day that he killed himself at the end of World War II. Fortunately, he had another wish left and managed to get his old dull life back.

Sisyphus wasn’t so lucky. Sisyphus was a Greek king. He was a clever man. That’s kind of what he was known for. He was great at his job of being king. People liked him. And he was king. It’s good to be king. Anyway, Sisyphus got a little too confident in his own cleverness. Eventually, Zeus, the Greek god, decided to punish Sisyphus for thinking he was more clever than the gods of Olympus. He didn’t kill him, because this is a Greek story. Instead he gave him a really big rock and he told him that he had to get the rock up to the top of a steep hill. Sisyphus worked all day sweating to get that rock up there. At the end of the day, the rock rolled back down to the bottom of the hill.

See you tomorrow, Sisyphus.

For eternity he had to keep rolling that stupid rock up the hill. I wonder how he felt after the first two weeks?

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

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
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LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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