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Be All That You Can Be. . . In IT

April 16, 2018

“We do more before 9AM than most people do all day”
– US Army slogan

F Lee Ermy died yesterday. You might not recognize his name. I did, but a lot of the news coverage seemed to think his name was relatively unknown. You might remember him as Gunny in Full Metal Jacket. Ermy was a Marine Corps drill instructor who then took up a second career in movies.

Sember Fi, Gunny.

I was never in the service. The closest I got was a semester playing Army in the BYU ROTC program. Dan Fogelberg wrote a song called “Leader of the Band.” One of the lines says,

He tried to be a soldier once, but his music wouldn’t wait.

In my case it was a career in IT that couldn’t wait. I had to decide whether to stay in the ROTC and pursue a military career, or take a job at a little computer company called WordPerfect. I took the computer gig. It’s been a good gig. But, I often think back on what might have been. My daughter is a soldier and I couldn’t be prouder.

I remember the Army recruiting ads when I was a kid. One that struck with me was the one I quoted above, “We do more before 9AM than most people do all day.” I’m not sure exactly how that is an attraction, but I still remember it years later, so obviously it worked.

Today was one of those days that saying came to mind. The first call was at 4:30AM. It was from my client. They had a report of an outage at one of my call centers. My only 24×7 center.

4:37AM I called the center and left a message for someone to call back.
4:43AM I got a call back from the center to say they were not seeing any issues, but they would check on the outage
4:52AM I called the client back to let them know we were not seeing any additional issues
5:08AM The center called me and left a message
5:14AM The center called again to confirm no outage
5:46AM My Incident Management Team called and left a message
5:53AM My Incident Management Team called back to check on whether we had an outage

Ninety minutes and 7 phone calls all before 6:00AM. . .and there wasn’t even an outage. Well, there had been earlier in the night, but it was cleared up by the time I got involved.

As I thought about the Army slogan, I realize I had misremembered it. I thought it was “We do more before six AM than most people do all day.”

Not today, soldier boys.

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. 

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