Today.

Jun. 20th, 2007 10:00 pm
dangtri: (squirrel)
Sorry, this is going to be a rant.

  1. Morning. I take 20min to hunt down the RFID-chip card I need to get into work. I haven't had it since Friday, when I changed bags, and had last seen it close to my desk. Finally I discover it at the bottom of a pile of dirty laundry I prepared yesterday.
  2. At work, we see problems with clients loading data into their accounts. Too many identical problems for there to be no common underlying cause. A co-worker calls in the systems people. I spend a while on IM with the  sysadmin, all the while keeping the account teams informed and exchanging info with my immediate co-workers. It doesn't look like an application problem to me ... it rather looks as if the data couldn't be written on the incoming server. I reschedule a team meeting and a meeting with my boss, who isn't happy. Back with the engineers, keep saying things like "could there be something wrong with the disk? is there enough space?".
  3. In the middle of the day, my most experienced co-worker had asked for permission to take half the day off due to acute exhaustion.(He's a contractor, so this is unpaid, and he was clearly not thinking anywhere close to his best...) I should probably have refused. Then my laptop develops a Blue Screen of Death and refuses to come up again. I leave it in the capable hands of our IT guy and go foraging for a snack. Or lunch. The laptop is returned to me minus a 256MB RAM chip, and was dead for only an hour. My boss calls again and asks me to attend a high-level meeting with our particularly problematic German client tomorrow. And reminds me that the German country manager has asked for some detailed info ... ah yep, that was this morning. Yeah, will go, sigh.  Meanwhile, things at the data loading front don't get any better, and clients are up in arms. I go on a conference call with various engineers, talking ping and package loss, and testing the same thing again and again. "Unknown error", how I hate thee. Until I test something a slightly different way. And get "no space left on disk". Argh. I navigate into our biggest client's cache, delete 500MB of files, and services are restored -- at 4pm. (Yep, there was a bit of silence on the other end of our conference call, an immediate change of the daily cleanup script and the promise to put monitoring in place.)
  4. I'm hardly off the call when the HR director calls me. I interviewed a candidate on Friday, and my boss interviewed him on Monday. As the HR assistant is on leave, it falls to me to set up a third interview with a bunch of people in North America. Her call reminds me that I wanted to ask what sort of interval is acceptable/to be expected between interviewing rounds (indeed, I only got the feedback of my boss's interview yesterday, with a note from the HR Dir to please hurry to set up interview nr. 3). Instead of answering my question, she comes across all sarcastic, like, the candidate's interviewing elsewhere and if we wanted to lose him, we could of course take our time.  She knows damn well that we've been looking for a long time and that this is by far the most promising candidate in a while. I feel this day is really starting to get to me and get defensive. She asks me for a meeting in her office.
  5. I have another interview at 5, but quickly contact my North American colleagues to arrange for interview times for Friday's candidate. I set it up, confirm with the agency. Whew. The atmosphere relaxes. A quick stroll over to our newest team member, who has some questions I'd have to put on the back burner all day. We're interrupted by a call from a client who can't log into his account. A quick check and I confirm -- about half of our clients are without access. Damnation. I can't even connect to that database server for direct queries. I quickly revive the email thread about the data loading problem ... while getting my stuff together for the interview (thankfully on the phone). The last thing I see is the alert that "select getdate()" does not return the current date, but a date frozen forever some time in the past.
  6. Interview. Was ok. Too preoccupied to decide what I really think of the candidate -- he's a pretty well-oiled networking guys, and I don't know squat about networking. His French is likely to be too weak.
  7. Back at my desk at shortly before 6 pm. One colleague is just leaving, the one in the office is looking dead on his feet. The third is currently working from home at the other end of Britain, due to rather alarming bureaucratic hassles. He won't be in tomorrow, and I'm not sure anyone has told the team. Server still down. Systems engineer is at the data center for the second time today, and reports the box looks like it's in a suspended state. Certainly an anomaly for a production DB server with a LARGE database attached to it. Anyhow, he reboots the beast, and half an hour later it shows signs of revival. A little later I can log in.
  8. Check: Last co-worker is still online. I push him to sign off and go home. The sign-off message doesn't make any sense at all... we get it kinda sorted. He's gone: one more thing accomplished. I pull the data for the German country manager and send them without comment. Take care of a few non-urgent inquiries which have been unanswered for hours (and as they are in German and the other German speaker is the one who's been off since mid-day, they fall to me). Wait for the customer notification that the system's up. Sysadmin on IM -- he's in a similar frame of mind: k.o. on his feet, and were is this fucking "all clear" notification?
  9. 8pm, notification has gone out, I pack up and leave. Take a short walk, smoke a cigarette to calm down a bit. Next stop: Tube, Piccadilly Line. At Green Park: no change to the Victoria line. I ask a person who sports a Transport for London logo if it's just the interchange to the Victoria Line or the entire line that's down. He says, just the interchange. So hop on the next train on to Leicester Square, with the plan to get the Northern Line and change back to Victoria at Stockwell. I miss Leicester Square TWICE. This is getting to me. Anyhow, TfL guy lied to me: Victoria line is suspended between Warren Street and Brixton (that's about the entire southern half of the line). I catch a bus at Stockwell.
  10. Home at 9:45. The RFID downstairs key fails to work on the front door. Has the entire technology world gone crazy today?! (There is a back door, which works.) I need food, rest, and someone to take care of me. Won't get the third, big sigh. Pre-heat the oven while I check my mail and decide to write this LJ. Decide to give the HR Director a heads-up about the Tube -- she works very late and also takes the Victoria Line. We used to have a good relationship, but maybe I got too friendly and informal? Meanwhile I make the mistake of checking my work email too -- and find a meeting request from HR Director because I "left for the day" even though "we were meant to talk". OK if I wasn't outright sobbing before that pushes me over. Alert her of Tube problem anyhow, get a cool "thank you", DON'T send an acknowledgment of her meeting request. Continue writing LJ. Arrived at point 10 I remember the preheated oven -- oops. Luckily I hadn't put anything (ready-made veggie and cheese croquettes) in yet. The meal should be ready by the time I finish this up. It's calmed me down at least.

And now on to supper and taking care of the rebellion that has developed in the forum I host ... it'll be childs play compared to the rest of the day.

July 2010

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