Formative Moments In Systems Administration

Another Red Button

Swear to god:

11:13 < mhoye > I just answered a call from somebody who claimed that they could not do their job because their hyphens were not long enough.
11:14 < gnomon > Um.
11:15 < coop > there should be a telethon or something

If you’re ever wondering why sysadmins seem cranky and cynical, try and imagine how a career full of interactions like this might erode your opinion of your fellow man a little. Try and meet us halfway.


  1. Zeynep
    Posted August 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t meet you halfway, I give you candy and chocolate bars and try to trouble you as little as necessary, for you have the Power to make or to break.

  2. Posted August 27, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I need a big sign that says “NOTHING IS A PROBLEM UNTIL IT HAPPENS TWICE.


  3. Posted August 28, 2008 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Live the dream! Well, the nightmare, really…

  4. Mike Hoye
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Zynep: Not necessary! If you have a problem, come and see me! I’m really, genuinely here to help you get your job done. But you have to at least sort of know how to do your job, that’s all I ask.

  5. Amos
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… I’m imagining some sort of clean and simple list of problems, who submitted them, user vote, and comments. Like bugzilla, but for people who have hyphen length problems.

    Who knows, they’ll either gang up on you about the hyphens and you get to design your own font, or the co-worker ridicule will keep certain special people from asking for “smart quotes” next time.

  6. Jasper
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Well, hey, if you’re a print publisher, the difference between &emdash;, &endash;, and ‐ may actually be problematic for doing your job.

    Re: reboot and try again: oh god yes. On the order of 10% or more of calls to the internet helpdesk are solved by a modem/router reboot.