6:30 A.M.
My pre-arranged wake-up call awakens me.
Get caught up on this week’s Admin Diary entries:Read Monday’s installmentRead Tuesday’s installmentRead Wednesday’s installmentRead Thursday’s installment
7:00 A.M.
I actually get up. I’ve got an hour to get showered, dressed, and checked-out, then walk a half mile to the office.

7:45 A.M.
I check out and step outside. I am greeted with a freezing blast of wind. I really wish I had brought a jacket. I walk as fast as I can so I’ll get out of the wind as soon as possible, and I’m hoping to heat up with my increased activity. I walk about a quarter of a mile when, like a warm, embracing light at the end of a cold dark tunnel, I see what I need—STARBUCKS! Did I mention my thankfulness to God for Starbucks?

8:00 A.M.
With my body warming my favorite latte, I finally arrive at the office, and on time. I boot up and check e-mail; it’s still working.

Time to set up the meeting machine for our all-staff meeting and check on the server. I’m hoping that Bill is setting up the machine in L.A. I check on the server, and it’s at 18%. Not much of a gain, but better then nothing. I scan the server for Word documents and notice several with varying file sizes, which were previously set to 0 bytes. I go to a couple of users’ machines and open up some of the restored files. They work.

I decide it’s okay to leave Sacramento and just let the machine restore over the weekend. Everyone in the office can work, but I ask them to save all new files to their hard drive until Monday, when the server should become available. I mention my flight to Caroline, including the fact that I have to connect planes in San Francisco. She tells me that Southwest is much better and looks into direct flights for me.

9:00 A.M.
I get the meeting machine set up, but the video camera is bogging down the machine’s resources. The staff in Sacramento hates the camera anyway. I disable it but still can’t make any connection with Bill, who’s ready in L.A. Caroline gets me on a flight to L.A. that arrives about the same time my original one from Sacramento leaves. She also mentions I could go stand-by on a 12:00 P.M. flight and get in even earlier.

9:30 A.M.
With catered breakfast in hand, we dial in for the meeting. The meeting computer isn’t working, but at this point, there could be worse things.

10:30 A.M.
I have to interrupt the financial fund manager, who is about to give a presentation. I need to update the staff and catch a plane. If this guy goes before me, I might never get a chance to speak before I leave. I let the users know all about our virus worries, and how they need to be much more careful than they’ve been. I explain the consequences of viruses, highlighting the fact that I had to travel to Sacramento to take care of the results. There’s other stuff I need to talk about, but it all goes out of my mind. I’m surprised I’m as logical-sounding as I am.

11:00 A.M.
The Sacramento staff thanks me for coming out. They are very happy with the results and look forward to being back to normal on Monday. They leave me feeling very much the hero.

11:45 A.M.
I walk into the airport, and find another Starbucks. I need an energy boost, so it’s another latte for me. The 12:00 P.M. flight is delayed, due to traffic in L.A. I get on the stand-by list, in hopes that the flight will still leave before my originally scheduled one.

3:00 P.M.
Wahoo, I get on the flight! I arrive in L.A. with 30 minutes to make it to our office for the scheduled power shutdown. They need to replace almost all of the electrical fuse boxes and switches. This is going to require that we completely shut down and unplug everything. Then, the Department of Water and Power will actually shut down the main line going into the building.

3:30 P.M.
Traffic was kind. I get into the office, and people are already leaving in mass numbers. There’s nothing else for them to do, with the computers powered down. The e-mail server is acting up again. We check on the mailbox that seems to be getting most of the e-mails regarding the e-mail issue. There are a lot of nasty e-mails threatening everything from lawsuits to infecting us with a virus. Some of them call us incompetent; some of them profess to know how to fix it. A few are supportive and let us know they understand it’s a technical glitch. The nasty comments do get me down. It’s been a long week, and the last thing I need is angry comments, especially since I didn’t create the problem.

Since everyone’s off the system, we try a few things (including the so-called fix from Microsoft) and restart it a few times. It seems to be back to normal, but it soon comes time to shut down everything.

4:00 P.M.
Joe, the operations manager, asks me to see him before I go home for the night. All these problems—and it sounds like I’m in trouble, too, although I’m not sure for what. I’ve been doing all I can with what has happened. I’ll find out soon enough, I’m sure.

6:30 P.M.
All the hubs have been powered down and unplugged throughout the building. We shut down the last server, and the server room is quiet. It’s the quietest I’ve ever heard it. Some peace amid the chaos…it’s kind of comforting. I think about it, too—how many admins have this kind of trouble and then actually get to just shut down the whole network for a while?

6:45 P.M.
I meet with Joe and Max. I’m waiting to get the third degree, but instead Joe starts telling me how pleased they are with me. I’ve far exceeded their expectations, and they enjoy having me as part of the staff. He keeps rolling with the compliments and the praise. I’m shocked, but in a good way. I’ve been working since I was 16 and have never, ever heard the praise I’m hearing right now. I’m a very good worker; I’ve just never had an employer be so appreciative.

He mentions that I have a lot of options for employment, and they are glad I am with them. He hopes that I will stay for a long time and looks forward to my future with the company. With that, he hands me my bonus check. I want to jump up and down and cheer. I am professional, though, and thank him for his kind words. I let him know that I’ve run into a lot of hairy situations, but I have enjoyed working here and continue to enjoy working for them. I tell him that I, too, look forward to a long employment with the company.

7:00 P.M.
I leave the office walking on cloud nine. I feel like I can take on the world. I get in the car and open the bonus check; I look at the amount and scream. This thing is huge! It’s almost two-and-a-half weeks’ pay!

I call my wife and tell her what happened. She is naturally thrilled, especially when I tell her how much the bonus is. I tell her to get ready; we’re going out to dinner. It’s time to celebrate!

This week was probably my roughest one yet, and I’ve already been through a lot. But this certainly makes it a lot less painful than it was. My birthday may not have been the greatest, but I tell you, things are looking up!
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