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View Full Version : So, How Many Hours Did *you* Do Last Week?


Pedersen
03-22-2011, 02:17 AM
I forgot to mention that this is pretty long. Sorry about that. Hope it's still somewhat interesting.

I was doing my journal entry for tonight, and thought you all might appreciate what can happen behind the scenes in the corporate environment. In my case, the IT department's participation in a new point of sale system deployment produced one helluvan entry tonight. Here it is, unedited, for your reading pleasure
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I didn't journal for the past two days, and should probably not do
so tonight. For me, this has been a hellishly busy time. Since 0700
EST Mon, Mar 14, 2011 (with it now being 2130 Mar 21, 2011), I have
put in 80 hours at work. If you add in my drive time, then I'm up to
96 hours spent driving to work, driving from work, or doing actual
work.

Saturday: had to get the RF scanners to the warehouse, show them
that the scanners were working, and help out with some of the minor
issues they've had. Have to set up printers for commercial
sales. Also went to the corporate offices and worked on some of the
receipt printer issues there. In fact, that's what started a fairly
significant issue. I made things so that the receipt printer could
install automatically and easily. The problem is that the printer
cannot install without administrative privileges, and not even a
simple wrapper can trigger that. We have to make sure that the
installer runs correctly everywhere.

Sunday: I thought I had a solution. I tried it, and it failed. It
failed with every option I tried. I could find no way to make this
work reliably. I had to hope that the scheduled task I had created
would be sufficient. Since I was now expecting problems to go from
"a dozen or so computers" to "three or four dozen", I had to call in
help. Called in one of the help desk techs who has been so great in
the past, and he came in without complaint. One of the drawbacks of
doing a good job is that you get more work. I can only thank him for
coming in, since his help turned out to be invaluable.

The original expectation was that data would be loaded, and stores
begin testing around 2300. If all went well, we would be done by
midnght. To say that all did not go well would be an understatment.

Around 1700 I got told we would have to push a 3.5M update (to get
signature capture devices working) to every single computer in the
company. Unfortunately, the vast majority of computers are only
connected via a T1, so the download to the computers is slow and
tedious. While I could have downloaded each to a local machine once,
and then run from there, managing a dozen parallel connections to
machines using Remote Desktop becomes unwieldy (to say the
least). So, I got to push to all the computers. The process took
about an hour.

Then I used PsExec (thank god for SysInternals!) to run it on all
the machines. That process was about another 30 minutes, but then it
was done. We were good to go for testing.

The stores all closed, data transfer began happening, and then I
started checking to see if the receipt printer installations that
had been scheduled were working. I found erratic results, with only
about 50% success rate. That was definitely not going to cut it. So,
since I already had a list of all the computers, I used PsExec
again, and ran the printer installer on every machine. We were still
ahead of the game, since that finished by 9pm.

So, then began the wait. The data transfer took until almost
midnight, putting us an hour behind to start. Finally, the stores
were allowed to begin running test transactions. This was when
everything fell apart. It seems that the signature capture update
had a missing component that we weren't told about. We had to push
another 1.5M to every computer and run that. Finally, at about 0215,
real testing began, and transactions could go through. While it
wasn't perfect, by 0330 we could see that the stores would be able
to do business. We cleaned up and headed home, getting out the door
at 0400. For me, that meant getting home at 0500.

Finally, we come to today. I got up at 0800 (that's right, 3 hours
of sleep), and then headed to work. Crappy weather made a one hour
drive into a two hour drive. I got in, and saw insanely busy. We had
lots of terminals to fix (we had managed to get, on average, only
about half of them working). Permissions issues abounded, missing
.ini files, machines that were off all day yesterday are suddenly
seriously important to get running, etc. On the plus side, we
understood the issues and could fix them fairly easily. There were
just a lot of them.

Working as a team, though, we did it. When I left, we were down to
about a half dozen machines that had problems, and they were of the
"reformat" variety. One day after deployment, and we might already
be back down to normal problem levels? That's pretty damned awesome
if I do say so myself.

No, I'm not taking credit for it. I was a part of the team. I helped
make it happen. But the people I work with did every bit as much,
just in different areas. We made it happen. That, right there, is
why I want to work where I do. Not many people can say that, either.

Blade_Raver
03-24-2011, 11:08 AM
Good job, man.

42_42_42
03-26-2011, 04:05 AM
My hubby works in IT (his title is Database Admin, but he does a lot of other stuff, too, as the IT dept consists of him and 1 other person), so a typical week for him is 50-60 hours and there have been plenty of times when he's put in 80+ a week. Although the overtime $$ is great, I really hate it when he has to work that much, not just because I barely get to see him, but because how exhausting it is for him.

Racket_Man
03-26-2011, 07:28 AM
I have 3 words: Y 2 K

Got the programs ready with the help of one consultant (who it turns out wrote a significant part of the orginal system). almost complete re-write of all of the code and file spec's from a S/36 to an AS/400 (and no they just did not want to run everything in S36 mode. they wanted an updated native system). and this was no small company either so the system was big.

spent 5 months of 12 hour days debugging/replacing all of the klunges and tricks, 3 months of live side-by-side Beta testing (both systems) at a production site, rolled the new system out mid summer and went nutz for 3 months with all of the things the sites did not like about the new system (even though it outwardly was the SAME system they had had before).

I missed seeing my favorite Aunt before she died cause I had to push back my already planned vacation time (I did get time off when she died I demanded my vacation time then and got it)