Being the company’s only system administrator is not easy. Surely, you have the power to control each and every electron which is quite cool. This ultimate digital power on the one hand dooms you to be irreplaceable on the other hand. That’s when lyrics like “Wouldn’t it be nice if I were redundant / then I could roam all the world” come into my mind. However, the trend leads to keeping of admins in a species-appropriate environment: pairwise. Until species’ protection gets in here, it seems as if I can stuff backpacker world tours. The reason is quite obvious: Servers tend to sudden death and don’t have the wishful ability to reawaken by themselves. If they had, they were cats. The interested reader might chip in with the nearly complete GSM-coverage. Right: Nearly. Ever tried to tweet your thoughts while crossing the Sahara desert or did a complete server update on your way to the top on mount Kilimanjaro? You probably won’t enjoy that much. Hence, I need to add “take yet another extra WalMart bag to carry notebook and mobile satellite receiver as well as an emergency engine with a diesel tank with you” on my personal list. Who ever carried 50 gallons of fuel on his back knows what I will have to expect and how much fun this won’t be.
I would go so far as to say that even trans-atlantic flights, a welcomed entertaining offline break for the average Facebook consumer, turn out to be my personal perfect horror trip. Arriving at the airport, some uniformed men suddenly appear and ask me why I do carry a running mobile satellite receiver with me. Surprisingly, they are not satisfied with the most obvious answer: I am an administrator who takes his job seriously. Moreover, they tell me an outrageous story of world-wide terrorism and try to explain the world in a simple yet strange way.
Furthermore, they even force me to shut up and down – the former meaning my objections, the latter my equipment – and have nerve to call me paranoid. Anyway. I am an admin, not a rebel. So I conform and quickly rush through the security check. Some never ending 15 minutes later, I take a seat in the plane. But the worse part of the trip is just about to begin. Innocently I sit in that plane, trying to connect to my servers which means bring both laptop and mobile satellite receiver online to bring this frustrating offline period to an end. The stewardesses, usually known for their never-ending smile, suddenly freak out and for a second I feel like George Clooney realizing that he is in a vampire temple in disguise.
From one second to another their smiles turn into grotesque faces and from one second to another there’s a bunch of hyperventilating stewardesses yelling at me to turn off my phone and notebook because this ought to be forbidden. Please. For me, it’s yet another fake world conspiracy trying to cut the magic band between an admin and his servers. Okay. Got me. Terrorists win. However, I’m still an admin, not a rebel. So I conform again. I decide to wait until the maximum altitude has been reached and brought me as close as possible to my favorite satellite. This takes me another 45 endless minutes. Watching the latest Disney movie doesn’t help either.
But having reached the summit I quickly resume my sessions and connect me to my servers. Everything is working smoothly. Unfortunately, the vampires return – with some reinforcements in tow. It’s the gentlemen from the cockpit telling me the reason that our plane is going to hit the ground very soon would be my internet connection. Again, I am doomed to the agony of being offline because of the selfish behavior of a few. To tell the truth, it’s just their lack of not being able to fly a plane without all that blinking and computing electronic helpers that actually do all the work while the so-called pilots just try to be good-looking and touch down all the time. Anyway. If you don’t keep your admin in a species-appropriate environment, his personal holiday destination look-up procedure has a quite limited framework.
In the next episode of Admin’s Weekly: I will save the world and get over my yearly summer depression. Afterwards, I’ll visit Scooby-Doo at his nursing home to interview him about love and intrigues at Mystery Inc. during the 70s.