And when things get weird…

Going to be a weird week for me. Most of the weekend was spent in some degree of sinus pain/pressure. Worked last night on some Carcosa Corp stuff, which wasn’t bad, just took a while. Today came into work a tad late, but no random stuff being broke due to last night’s work. I have bad luck with making late night changes that look fine, but in the cold light of day (and customer activity) you find the errors and mis-estimates. Not today, other than adjusting firewall rules to take the additional databases into account.

The weird starts with DR testing at work this week. I’m the guinea pig, as the new guy, I’ve been kind of deliberately kept in the dark, so when they hand me the documentation, we can see if there are flaws in it, that someone who’s familiar with the process would just be able to fill in. We’ll see how well this works. I’m kind of anxious because, hey, new situation. But it should be ok, or at least be educational.

I also have a friend going in for a what’s supposed to be a minor surgical procedure. All should be ok, and it should be a day procedure. But of course, I’m twitchy. Don’t like my friends in hospitals. *sigh*

Add in Friday’s expected political insanity, I expect the internets to be utterly awash in hatred and anger. So I’ll probably avoid much discussion, set filters to maximum, and maybe spend the weekend trying to translate the Voynich Manuscript. Or go to art museums and bookstores. Or binge on cheesy 80s horror movies. Or get on social media, and find 2000 more groups from all over the spectrum to block…

So this week will be a tad challenging. But there are perks. And books, and people who care. Oh yeah, and Cthulhu. Always good to have an eldritch monstrocity that drives you insane in your corner. So on that tentacled note, I’ll ramble more later. I’m going to try to post more here, get back in my blogging habit, vs miniposts on Facebook.

Final day at Carcosa (for the moment)

Well, today was my last day at Carcosa Corp…as a contractor. Come Monday I fill out a bunch of online paperwork, pick my insurances is, provide a lot of details, and I’ll be a real employee.

What does this mean, besides I’m back oncall for the first time in about 15 months. In a very adhoc manner, which will take some getting used to. I’m used to being on call one week, and off the next. Instead it’s if you have plans let the others know, and whoever gets to the problem first handles it. I’d be more concerned, but I’m not the only hermit on staff. As for working non-core hours/weekends, I’ve been doing that to a degree anyway, this just makes it less of a ‘keep up with hours’ nickel and dime bit than it’s been, which is fine by me. I rather be salary and just get stuff done. So lessening some of the more annoying bits of the job.

I have a new snazzy laptop, I’ve been trying to get the automatic VPN part to work, but it seems to have issues. I’ll talk to our desktop IT guys on Monday about it.

So yeah, end of one chapter, begining of another. Even if it’s mostly the same. See everyone Monday when I’m an offical Senior Shoggoth Wrangler for Carcosa Corportation. May the King in Yellow be gentle with your feels *wink*

News from Carcosa

I’ve posted this on my LJ and other social media, but I can’t forget my trusty Deep One blog. A little over 2 weeks ago my boss at Carcosa Corp called me to give me the news, they were going to make me an offer to come on perm where I am. Same duties for the most part, with the addition of being oncall and being responsive to alerts and work outside of core hours. Well today I had a call with the HR rep. Long story short, I accepted the offer. 19 PTO days a year, good benefits, and both a title change (adding a ‘Senior’ to my title) and the money that goes with it. Went and did the drug screen and filled out the info for my background check. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll come on board on December 12th. So happy. So is everyone I work with, I seem to be a popular fellow there. So yeah, things are going swimmingly. Now if only Carcosa Corp would open an office in Innsmouth, I’d be set. *wink*

Patching servers and stress

Well this week has been iffy. I slept for crap all last weekend, so come Monday I gave into the voices in my head and called in. And mostly spent the day sleeping or napping. I ended up making up the time this week, including a 15 hour day on Thursday for 4th quarter patch fest.

In Vulpinese, I’m what I call a burst worker. I rather do a large task in one shot, rather than break it up over multiple days. So even though we had today and yesterday to patch all the dev and stage servers, I wanted to it all on Thursday. But between working around the QA folks and developers, I was behind by the time it was after working hours. Worked from 08:30 to 23:30, and by the end I was loopy enough that I was making mistakes. And I still have a number of servers to work on, and I had a dev environment of many databases to get online. My original fix no longer brings the databases up correctly, and I was too fried to figure out the hunt and peck fix I did months ago. So I tried shutting it all down, and running them back up even slower to prevent race conditions…but it didn’t work as I came in with a number of stacks still offline. I also came into some dorked hosts. Yeah, I was having flashbacks to the Shoggoth Pit when I’d walk in after an extended shift to even more work.

We fixed the hosts, and I manually got the dev enthronement back online. Discussed the issues with my boss, and I think we have a better idea of time frames and scheduling. It will require more late nights, patching dev one night, and the two stage environments on separate nights, or at least making QC and Dev only work on one environment while the other is patched.

(interruption for the non geek. We run three environments. Development, where our dev group code stuff. Stage is where things are tested in as close to a clone of our production environment, which is what the customers talk to day to day. Aka, don’t touch prod until state has been tested like crazy. Lesson ends)

Speaking of production, we won’t be updating that til next Sunday evening. I’m hoping I’ll be working with the other admins on my team for that one, so it’s not so rushed. And speaking of Sunday, I’m going back into work this Sunday for that last 4 servers I couldn’t do today for reasons. Any time I work on Sunday will equal leaving early next week.

So yeah, today has not been the most fun. I was exhausted, stressed, and down on myself. On the plus side, no one was unprofessional or rude, far from it. Also, my fellow admins went out of their way to remind me they are really glad I work with them, and that I do a good job. Which I did really need to hear.

Came home a while ago, I’m majorly dragging. Watching ‘Event Horizon’ because I needed horror in space. I’m also thinking of watching ‘Prometheus’ because I enjoy it, and because no matter how bad you feel, you’re probably smarter than the scientists on that ship. Tomorrow I’m going to see ‘Doctor Strange’. Oh and hopefully sleep in.

The short answer, I am tired as hell, I’m kind of frazzled, but I’ll be ok. I have books, I have movies, and all will be well. Night all.

Milestones at Carcosa

I’m reaching milestones at Carcosa Corp. Tomorrow is my one month anniversary there. In some ways it feels longer, in others it’s shorter. I’m starting to get my tentacles into stuff more interesting to me, and I’m getting a rep as the guy who’ll cheerfully give you a hand. As in going to people’s desks to see exactly what the error is, or offering to come in early (or stay late) to get stuff done. Like tomorrow, showing up 30 min early to help the desktop guy with rolling out some workstations (I get to move the network cables, all that wiring foo at the Shoggoth Pit paying off). I’m still wrestling with getting things to work, but I’m getting into the swing of things. And I like the location, the coworkers, and definitely the commute. Oh yeah, and the money isn’t bad at all. *grin*

Milestone two was tonight. I made my first change to a production server. In English, I got to make a change to something that customers use. What amuses me is having to go through the whole change process that Carcosa uses, vs what I used to do at the Shoggoth Pit. I made two system changes, and added a logrotate entry. At the Shoggoth Pit that would have been done probably been done live as the customer requested it, really minor change. At most, I’d have scheduled it for a weekend/late night change to be nice. At Carcosa, I tested it on a test box, made some changes to my plan on advice from a coworker, then set it up in a staging enviroment, then got a coworker to sanity check my change. (which took the longest), then made a service change ticket laying out all I was going to do, how it would impact, when would be the best time, and how I’d back out if there were problems. Then I got…*counts* 4? execs to approve, then had to check to see if said change would interfere with other planned stuff, then finally got approval. Then I backed up the files I planned on changing, waited til traffic stopped, made the change, tested it all kinds of ways, wrote notes on both the request ticket and the change ticket, let my two partners in crime know verbally how to roll things back, emailed the project manager letting him know it was done, and I left. So many more steps, so much more work and process…

I like it this way. Yes it’s slower, but that’s expected. The exec who requested the change didn’t hover or push, he let things take the process. If it hadn’t worked, I had time to fix things, and a plan to back out gracefully. That’s how they do everything that could have customer impact. None of the ‘Well we need to upgrade, and if it breaks…well, we’ll try to fix it before dawn. or Monday.’ Redundacy, capacity, rules that are followed. These are the things that help me sleep at night, and keep me from hovering over work email (about the only thing I can hit from remote since I’m contract). I sleep so much better, I can go to bed and read without checking my phone every little while. I don’t jump when my phone goes off. This is what I needed.

It’s not perfect, I get in way early (for me), I have to attend way many meetings. Sometimes I am very confused as to what’s going on. I spend a lot of time twitching my way through various versions of software, and ye gods I wish I was running at least one Linux workstation. (I do a lot of Windows stuff that is just easier to do in a Windows workstation). I miss having a remote connection to home. But I don’t need the lifeline like I did.

So here’s to my first month, and my first prod change, and to a happy fox. Tomorrow I’ll be in early, and probably leaving early. Definitely going to get some celebratory dinnerness, and watch fun movies. Go me 🙂