Sunday, July 10, 2005

Night Shift

I don’t normally write about my work, but this is so good, I just cannot pass it up. As you may know, I am on call 24x7, two weeks on, four weeks off. This is my week, and so far the weekend has been eventful – I get calls every night. This time, though, our helpdesk has gone out of their way to make my night work more enjoyable.

Second runner-up

On Saturday morning, they call me at 2AM telling me about a plant that is down and so they cannot run their night shift. I fixed the problem, but, when I tried calling the plant to confirm that they are, indeed, fine, my cell wouldn’t connect. So, I call the helpdesk for some, well, help.

Me: I am calling about ticket number XXX, I fixed the problem, but I cannot get hold of the user. Can you please call him for me, and put us on a 3-way?
HD guy: Are you sure the user isn’t sleeping?
Me: Pardon?
HD guy: How do you know the user is awake?
Me: He better be, he’s running production.

First runner-up

This morning, their automated paging system was down, so at 5AM, they page me manually… they send me a numeric page… with somebody else’s phone number. Then, while I’m listening to the poor guy’s answering machine (“This is Ken…”), they page me again, this time with the correct number… they were one digit off the first time around.

I’m really sorry, Ken. I really am.

The winner

The winner is actually me. A few months ago, I came up with a snafu that it will take years for our helpdesk to beat. Here’s what happened on March 14th (the date is important).

At three in the morning, I get a call about a plant here in our area that is down because of a production problem. I am given the ticket number (the format is seven-digit number-dash-creation date, as in 1234567-0314), and the last four digits of the shift leader’s phone number (he’s in our area, so his area code and the first three digits are the same as mine – (123) 456-XXXX).

I proceed to give my user a call, but, since my brain is not awake yet, I end up dialing “March 14th” instead of the last four digits of his number… as in (123) 456-0314. Having no clue about what I have just done, I patiently wait for a user named Douglas to answer the phone. Instead, I get an irate woman.

IW (mad already): Hello?!?!

Me (thinking as fast as I can with my brain still asleep): Why does Doug have a female voice all of a sudden? Hmm, it’s been a while since I talked to Doug. Maybe he does have a high-pitched voice. Maybe it is him. I should probably answer him by now.

Me again (incredulously): Doug??

IW (really mad now, yelling on top of her lungs): It’s three in the morning!!!!

Me (scared out of my mind, still half asleep, hang up on a reflex).

Then, of course, I checked my cell phone logs, realized what I’d done, and, chuckling, proceeded to call the real Doug and work on the problem.

So, as you can see, working in the middle of the night can be so fun! You should hear us swapping last night’s anecdotes in the office each morning, laughing our butts off (the “0314” story was a huge success and I had to tell it several times). Do you want to try? Please drop me an email, and I’ll let you cover for me… every night if you want to!

The Goldie has spoken at 10:51 AM

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