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But, Why Was I So Angry?

May 7, 2018

Rodney, can you get one of your agents online to validate our changes?


We need someone from your office to validate our changes. Is that a problem?

It wouldn’t have been if you’d asked me six hours ago. This time of night it’s going to be a lot tougher.

It was not my finest moment. In fact, I was probably. . .no, I was definitely more annoyed sounding than the above dialoug indicates. It wasn’t the fact that I was working Friday night, actually Saturday morning at 1:00AM. It was the fact that I was now going to have to spend 20 minutes trying to get an agent from our afterhours center to join our call. Getting agents to validate was not difficult. It seemed like on nearly a weekly basis for the past two months we made changes that required some sort of validation. Naturally we planned the maintenance for times when the least agents would be impacted. But, as a 24×7 operation, there was never a time when we had zero agents. That meant lots of late night work.

The process of getting agents to validate was also pretty simple. During business hours I could reach out to our onsite analysts and find out the name of the after hours manager. I could then email the manager and arrange for them to be on a call at the needed time, like 1:00AM on a Friday night.

But, without prior planning the process was a lot more challenging. It involved random emails to the list of possible managers. Depending on who was working and when they checked their email it might be a few minutes or hours before they got back to me. And the problem was that we were at the end of the maintenance window. We had a team of engineers who had finished their work and were just waiting on the conference bridge. . . waiting for my team to tell them that the maintenance was successful. They were not interested in waiting. And frankly neither was I. I’d worked a long day, and I was ready to go to bed.

But, getting angents to validate was not unusual. Except that eight hours earlier, as we were preparing for the maintenance I had actually asked my counterparts if we needed validation.

No. The maintenance shouldn’t impact your agents at all. Just let us know if they notice anything broken.

I’d let my team’s email distrabution list know that there was maintenance. I also explained they didn’t need to dial into a bridge unless there was an error.

And now I was stuck on a call with a group of tired engineers who just wanted me to get someone who could tell us if the maintenance had been successful.

And I was angry.

I shouldn’t have been. Not really. I like my job. Sure, it requires me to work long hours, and I end up on calls in the middle of the night, but I’ve been doing this for four years. I’m good at it and I enjoy it.

But, not tonight. Tonight I wanted to be anywhere but here, working with anyone but this team.

It took me a while to figure out why I was angry. I’m still not sure I completely understand. But, eventually we got an agent to join the call and validate that we had no issues and we could finally stand down the call.

And I could go to bed.

We have more maintenance scheduled for tomorrow. They’ve told me that the maintenance shouldn’t impact my agents and we won’t need anyone on the call to validate.

I’m scheduling them for the call now.

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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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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