Wednesday 30 April 2008

I've got a feeder for you to perch on....

As I set out on my run at lunchtime today, I heard a noise to my left-hand side. I turned, just in time to see two birds locked together and flying straight towards me. After a heartbeat wondering what on earth they were doing (do birds mate on the wing?), I realised that it was a hawk holding a smaller bird tightly in its talons. The smaller bird was stuggling weakly and crying out desperately in its attempt to avoid becoming the larger bird's lunch. It looked grim, but as the hawk tried to gain height, it became clear that its eyes were bigger than its stomach and that it had bitten off more than it could chew, and it was forced to release its prey before they both hit the ground. The hawk then wheeled away and flew off into the distance, cursing, leaving the smaller bird to fly off slowly and a touch gingerly, probably a bit stunned about quite how lucky an escape it had just had.

Ask me again tomorrow morning, but at the moment I feel a little like that smaller bird, struggling in the talons of a hawk, mewling pathetically. My first meeting was at 09:30 this morning, my last meeting finished at 17:45. Meanwhile, at 17:00, the change window opened for the big release that we're doing tonight on the system I'm responsible for. In preparation for that I have had to:

-> talk to building management to get our security passes extended so that we'll be able to get in and out of the office after 10pm (the point at which the doors are usually sealed for the night)

-> talk to facilities management to ensure that the heat and lights stay on through the night in the bit of the office we'll be working in.

-> talk to site security to make sure that we'll be able to get through the gates and off the site before they reopen at 6am.

(could all of that be managed by one person? of course it could.... but when outsourcing to three separate companies saves you a few quid, why would you make anything easy?)

Between 5pm and sometime in the small hours of the morning, we'll be working on implementing some big system changes and then checking that everything came back up in one piece in time for the start of business tomorrow. It might take 12 hours, it might take more. Best case scenario is that we're all done by 2am, but we could be here until the rest of the office arrives to start the new day. The only thing I know for certain is that the point of no return, the point at which we can't put the old system back if everything's gone horribly wrong, is not until 4am.

Sounds like a fun night, eh?

If everything goes well and the hawk lets me go at some point in the small hours of the morning, then I might be able to fly woozily back to the nest to get some sleep before my 9am meeting on Thursday morning.

Work, eh? Bobbins.


  1. Good luck ST, I hope it goes smooth.

  2. ...and you never know, maybe I'll be busy.

  3. thanks cody - I'd live blog it for you, but seriously, how dull would that be for everyone?

  4. Proper bobbins.

    I hope there's some lieu time coming your way, if not a fat overtime payment.