Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

A Day in the Life

Posted from Studio City, California at 12:25 am, October 3rd, 2005

The reason I’m back at Warner Brothers is to upgrade software on several of their servers. Over the past six weeks I’ve done numerous trial runs on development servers, created a step-by-step plan for the upgrade of the production servers, and in general tried to set things up so that the upgrade would happen without incident. All of the supporting software was loaded onto my PC and ready to go, my notes were detailed, and I felt good about the whole operation.

Yesterday, after coordinating with teams around the world, the upgrade was set to start at 11:00 AM. I arrived at the building about ten minutes early, and as I was walking to my office noticed a chair that looked really familiar sitting in the hallway, followed by a monitor that looked really familiar, followed by a lot of papers that looked a lot like the notes I had organized on my desk. Upon entering my office I was greeted by two Hispanic guys in painter outfits, and an office in utter disarray; apparently this weekend I was not the only one working. Mildly flustered, I scrambled to get my notes back in order and to set up to work in my boss’ office down the hall. Shifting back and forth between the two offices I finally managed to get the bare minimum necessary copied from my office PC to my laptop, and after about fifteen minutes I was feeling more-or-less ready to go.

Printing up one last item, I returned to the boss’ office only to discover that a third, unseen painter had gone around and shut and locked all office doors. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi, can you open that office back up? You guys are painting in my office, so I’m trying to work in the boss’ office and I don’t have the key.”

Him: “Yes, I see you working there.”

Me: “Uh, yeah, that’s where I’m working. Can you unlock the door?”

Him: “Yeah, you can work there, no problem. We’re painting. They want us to shut all the doors.”

Me: “Right. But can you open this door?”

Him: “Yeah, I don’t have that key. I’m just the painter.”

Much fun and one building security guard later I was madly scrambling to get the upgrade back on track. The scheduled checkpoints where I was supposed to give status reports to everyone were particularly entertaining, and made even more fun when the painters showed up with several buckets of turpentine and sent me on a high that I’ve still not come down from. But in the end everything seemed to be working, and the roommate humored me when I returned home and demanded we get margaritas. Several drinks and one DVD rental later I was sleeping on the living room couch, with evil dreams of painters and software dancing through my head.

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