Just Your Average Saturday Night

Day 58 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

I’ve been working in computers in some form or another for a long time. I started by fixing other people’s stuff in the early 90s, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I never really considered all those years ago what this would mean for my personal time three decades later.

I guess this post is going to be one long whine session. I’m sitting here, at my computer at 9:30PM on a Saturday night. I’m tired, and I’m drinking coffee because I’m going to be here for a while.

Why am I tired and sitting at my computer drinking coffee on a Saturday night you ask?

I’m working of course.

See, when I was young and just getting started in this industry, I spent most of my time fixing people’s PCs. You know the drill. Mostly Windows or DOS (which was still a thing at the time), but some Apple equipment. There were sound cards and modems and printers oh my.

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was pretty good at it. Good enough that when I went to college in the later early 90s to study Computer Science, I got myself a job fixing the PCs of the faculty and staff of my university to pay my way through. Then I moved to a SysAdmin job for one of the local departments, and then managed a help desk.

If you’d have asked me during those years what I’d be doing on a Saturday night in June, 2020, I would never have guessed, “Working”.

But things continued, and from managing a help desk, I went to Server Application Support. That’s where things really started to go sideways for my personal time.

See, now I wasn’t working on computers with single users. I was working on servers with hundreds or thousands or sometimes hundreds of thousands of people. Suddenly I couldn’t just restart a computer whenever I wanted to. No, those sorts of things needed to be scheduled ahead of time.

Fifteen years later, it’s Saturday night and we’re patching our production hosts on a Saturday night during our maintenance window. I’m tired. Not just because I need sleep, but because my Saturdays look like this all too often.

Someday soon, I’m going to have to figure out some way to spend my Saturdays with my family or friends. Some way to not be stuck on a computer staring at a progress bar until 1:00am.

Someday. I guess that day isn’t today though. Only three hours and twenty minutes to go.