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Friday, March 23, 2012

Sleep deprivation and pager duty

Sleep deprivation is an interesting thing. Mix that with customer-facing communications and life gets interesting.

A friend of mine was working a double shift in the data center. He had the usual responsibilities, which included running out to check and possibly reboot machines which stopped responding to pings. They had a template to use for this, and it had a little blank spot in the middle for what their findings had been.

On this particular night, one of those messages looked like this:


Your server came up in our monitoring system as being unresponsive for ping. At console, the following messages were found:

you cars is the gotem p

Your server was rebooted and is now back up and online. If you have any questions, please contact your support team. Thank you for choosing $company!

The customer was appreciative of the prompt attention and service, but couldn't make heads or tails of his comment. By then, he was off shift, and the support team threw it over to the data center for clarification. They had no idea, either.

The next day, he didn't even remember taking the page and rebooting that server. That's how out of it he was.

Naturally, "you cars is the gotem p" then entered the company lexicon as what you might say when doing a ticket after working for far too long. It was the sort of thing you really did not want to do.