Systems Administrator Appreciation Day was originally created so “civilians” could commemorate the individuals they rely on for their technology support. IT folks shouldn’t lie idle, though. They should use the day to thank the people who support them.
The last Friday in July is now known worldwide as Systems Administrator Appreciation Day, or Sysadmin Day. Even though the name might not indicate it, the holiday really exists to show appreciation for all IT workers, not just those with a specific title. Let’s be realistic, specific titles often don’t mean anything outside of the IT staff anyway. (How many of you out there still get called “computer person”? Come on, show of hands…)
Originally thought up by Ted Kekatos, a sysadmin in Chicago, the holiday has gotten a lot of mainstream press in the last few years; mainly in a “how cute,” human-interest kind of way. The attention makes sense, though, and Sysadmin Day is built on a strong precedent: Administrative Professional’s Day has a long-established tradition in the United States. In both cases, the principle of the holiday is to honor those who make others’ lives easier.
While Sysadmin Day may be intended to remind the nontechnical public to appreciate the geeks in their life, I can’t think of an IT person who doesn’t owe some thanks to another techie for making his or her life easier. As a help desk pro, I rely on network administrators, vendor reps, OEM support teams, and techs in a wide variety of other departments and organizations. Sysadmin Day is a reminder to me to drop those people a note to thank them for their help.
I can’t say I’ve ever received gifts for a Sysadmin Day; no one’s ever baked me a cake. People have taken the day as an occasion to thank me for my work on their behalf, though, and that’s appreciation enough for me. I actually find that I do more giving than receiving on Sysadmin Day, and I encourage all support pros to follow my example. We spend a lot of time here on the User Support blog talking about customer service. It’s worth remembering that even as support personnel, we’re someone’s customers, and they’re charged with providing us with support. If you have people who take good care of you, consider using Sysadmin Day to thank them.