Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

What day's that planned outage happening? Just get here anyway, minion!

On-Call Thank Bibulous it's Friday, because I can write this and go home. And you can read it and revel in another episode of On-Call, our end-of-week amusement-inducer in which we revisit readers' remembrances of things thankfully past.

This week, reader Murray told us about a gig in which his employer ran its own data centre. And the time his phone rang one Sunday morning asking to come and work in it.

It was his IT director, “sounding very sheepish” because “He'd been informed of a building power-down some weeks before and had forgotten to do, well, anything.”

So Murray hustled his way to the office and began “began the 4 hour process of gracefully shutting down every (mostly non-virtual back then) server, knowing full well this was going to take me at least 12 hours to get everything back on in the right order and tested, plus the inevitable hardware failures that come with thermal-shock when stuff gets turned off.”

Sounds like a lovely way to spend Sunday, doesn't it?

Murray just got on with it, turned everything off, reported this fact to his IT director and then killed time waiting to get everything running again.

But Murray didn't stray far from the office, which meant he soon noticed the power wasn't going off.

So he asked the security guards if it had gone off, or if they'd seen any electricians on-site.

The answers: “No” and “No”.

“It turns out the IT director had his weekends mixed up,” Murray recalls. “The power-down was scheduled for nextweekend.” So Murray turned everything back on, dealt with the inevitable failed hardware, waited eight hours for replacement hardware to arrive … and then repeated the whole exercise the following weekend when the power really was turned off.

This time electricians did arrive and power did go down … but not in the data centre room.

So Murray lost two Sundays and, worst of all, his contract didn't include overtime.

Has your boss forgotten something important? Have you been forced to do utterly pointless work? In either case, write to me and you could find yourself in a future On-Call. ®


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