Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Spirited Away

I usually don't like the "here's how my day went" blogs, but seeing as how my weekend got eaten by the unfolding events, I figured I'll just share it as slice-of-life stuff I might find vaguely interesting in thirty years.

On Friday night a big customer of mine was planning to start a big rollout of a software and hardware upgrade. It touched nearly every person in the company and involved replacing a server, upgrades on client machines, and a dozen laptops to configure and ship out. We had tested the bejezus out of all the software, and felt like it was ready to go. I gave theIT contacts my phone numbers, and told them I was available to help if they ran into trouble.

I get a call on my cell around 8 pm on Friday. I'm in bed with the kids, and I don't want to wake them up, but I can see on the caller ID it's the client and I'm sure they need help. I slip down to my office, and pick up the call they are making there. They're stuck on the first step of the installation. I talk them through it five minutes, and they're back in business. Going back to bed, I think, "Ok, that's good. They have my number, they can get me if they need me." I sleep with my cell.

In the morning I get up to feed the dogs, and see the message light on my phone. Three increasingly frantic phone messages from the client: 10 pm, 11 pm, 1 pm. Oh hell. Equally panicky emails from the customer as well, the kind that can't quite decide what order in which they will kill you, your family, and themselves. I check my cell again: no messages, no missed calls.

I call the IT boss on his cell at 6 pm: he's on his way back into the office, to pick up again after throwing in the towel at 2 am. At this point I'm assuming it's my fault they're in trouble; maybe I should have forwarded the office phone to my cell or something. And I've been in their situation before and have nothing but sympathy.

I stay on the phone with them, off and on, through Saturday morning. By noon I can tell they are not going to make it alone; their brand-new hardware is rebooting with a BIOS error every hour or so, but it's too late to roll back and they have to go ahead with all the new software on the old hardware. I drive out to their site, a little over an hour away. I can feel my weekend slipping away . . .



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