Part of my job is being available 24/7 in case something bad happens with one of our systems. Something bad happened tonight at about 1:00AM and I'm still up nearly 2 hours later because I've not yet come down from the adrenaline rush. I'm not really happy about it.
We use a monitoring software system called Nagios that keeps an eye on critical services and servers, and then lets us know via email and text message if something breaks. I have my phone set to a really loud and annoying ring tone to ensure I wake up if there's a problem. This also means my wife, dog, and cat are on call with me as they wake up when the blasted thing goes off, too. Sometimes, my wife is never able to go back to sleep. She doesn't say anything, but she does let me know when she can't go back to sleep.
I'm pretty grumpy about the whole thing tonight. Got paged, got up and went to the bathroom and while I was in there, the phone kept going off. Turned out our sysadmin happened to be up and tried to rectify the problem, but our datacenter vendor didn't have him as 'authorized', so he was sending more messages trying to get me up.
When I realized he was sending the messages, I bit his head off.
I was able to get tonight's problem taken care of, but at what expense? I've potentially alienated an employee, my wife is annoyed and up, and here I sit almost 2 hours later - still wired from the event. With my poor health, this kind of emotional stress and lack of sleep is quite literally killing me.
My boss has titled his blog "Life and Liveliness" with this description:
Life and Liveliness is a concept taken from Scott Peck's book 'People of the Lie'. The basic idea is that everything we do, say or take part in either adds life and liveliness or takes it away. A life that is enjoyed, is full of liveliness. It's just a question of choosing to get there.
I can't say that these experiences add life and liveliness - in fact I can say without question that they take it away.
It's time to choose correctly for a change.