SysAdmin Day today – Let’s say a story

It is SysAdminDay today and I will start with a bitter joke. A well known management one, but tailored for sysadmins:

The old sysadmin had resigned and the new one was taking things over. After having finished orientation of the systems and important stuff that needed to be performed since day one, the old sysadmin gave the new three envelopes.

– Open these if you run up against a problem you don’t think you can solve, he said.

After a few months passed by a severe problem arose. Downtime was long, management and customers furious and all over our sysadmin. Desperate and without any other help, he opened the first envelope. The message read, “Blame your predecessor.”

So he did and everybody got off his back. In a calmer environment and with less pressure he was able to get things working again.

About a year and a half later, havoc rose again. Deadlocked, our sysadmin opened the second envelope. “Reorganise” said the message.

He decided to switch automation software, documented why this was beneficial for the company’s business and indeed the systems behaved better and everyone was happy again.

Time passed and it just so happened that the system was inexplicably inoperable again. So the helpless sysadmin decided to open the third envelope. The message read, “Prepare three envelopes”.

You know people at work appreciate you when they do not let you open the second envelope.

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