Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's a Living

Work is spilling over my weekend at the moment. There's a significant server upgrade taking place halfway across the world, and while I don't have any direct involvement in the technical details, I've still got to watch it for potential problems.

What that means is that I'll have to be glued to my laptop around the clock for status updates -- 5:00am, 11:00am, 7:30pm and 2:30pm respectively -- and I'm keeping the phone lines open in case Europe feels a pressing need to call. I've handled weekend watchouts before, mind you, but none with the intensity of this one; let's just say that the consequences will be pretty bad if something goes wrong.

Fortunately, my weekend turned out to be fairly open; the only obligation I have involves the matter of my dad's death anniversary (which actually took place on the 16th, but we're dropping by his resting place on Sunday morning). The visit fits quite neatly into my schedule, which means that I don't have to consider uncomfortable questions like, "Is the cemetery a Wi-Fi hotspot?"

Speaking of Wi-Fi, the main issue I've encountered involves connecting to the company network in order to check my e-mails. I have a single cable internet connection at home, which I do plan to use after an eternity of attaching and un-attaching wires of various shapes and sizes. I had plans to pick up a wireless router last week in order to make the process more painless, but I never found the time to go shopping.

Of course, if my home internet connection goes down (or if I can't figure out the silly thing), then my next option is to head towards the nearest Starbucks for three straight sessions. Starbucks will only give you a connection if you're willing to pay for it, however, and I'm wondering if I can file an expense report for this. (Our Accounting department probably has a field day with my messages.) If that comes up short, I'll have to travel all the way to my office building and set up shop there. You don't need me to tell you how painful that option would be.

And that doesn't even consider the possibly of something happening to the upgrade -- something horribly wrong that could potentially stop operations, drop stock prices like a rock, and bring an end to the 21st-century world as we know it. (Yes, I'm exaggerating here.) However, if something does happen, then we go into full recovery mode, which will almost certainly require my time in the office for Sunday afternoon. Yes, this is still painful.

Not that I'm complaining, of course. This is my job, after all. I picked it up when the offer was made, and I was perfectly aware that there would be days like this. In these cases, I feel that it becomes less a question of a lost weekend, and more a question of whether or not the company will have some operations to return to on Monday. That's enough to convince me that I have to take some time out and provide some form of responsibility here.

So yes, I'll be glued to my laptop for a while. It won't prevent me from trying to enjoy a couple of days off work (so to speak), though; I'll just be a little distracted today.

Now let's just hope that something bad doesn't happen to Europe...

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