Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Sys Admin Day

Yesterday (or today some in other time zones) was the 7th annual System Administrator Day. As you may or may not know I am a System Admin. My little name signature even says so in my emails. So today is about me.

Thanks to all who wrote me kind letters (no one) and those who gave me things (the galley crew can print because they made me a cake). In honor of this wildly popular holiday here is a list of how to make use of your Sys Admin's time. Enjoy:

Advice to employees on the proper use of the System Administrator's valuable time

  • Make sure to save all your MP3 files on your network drive. No sense in wasting valuable space on your local drive! Plus, Patrick loves browsing through 100+ GB of music files while he backs up the servers.
  • Play with all the wires you can find. If you can't find enough, open something up to expose them. After you have finished, and nothing works anymore, put it all back together and call Patrick. Deny that you touched anything and that it was working perfectly only five minutes ago. Patrick just loves a good mystery. For added effect you can keep looking over his shoulder and ask what each wire is for.
  • Never write down error messages. Just click OK, or restart your computer. Patrick likes to guess what the error message was.
  • When talking about your computer, use terms like "Thingy" and "Big Connector."
  • If you get an EXE file in an email attachment, open it immediately. Patrick likes to make sure the anti-virus software is working properly.
  • When Patrick says he coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for him to remember your password.
  • When you call Patrick to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under a year-old pile of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, unpaid bills, bowling trophies and Popsicle sticks. Patrick doesn't have a life, and he finds it deeply moving to catch a glimpse of yours.
  • When Patrick sends you an email marked as "Highly Important" or "Action Required", delete it at once. He's probably just testing some new-fangled email software.
  • When Patrick's eating lunch at his desk or in the lunchroom, walk right in, grab a few of his fries, then spill your guts and expect him to respond immediately. Patrick lives to serve, and he's always ready to think about fixing computers, especially yours.
  • When Patrick's at the water cooler or outside taking a breath of fresh air, find him and ask him a computer question. The only reason he takes breaks at all is to ferret out all those employees who don't have email or a telephone.
  • Send urgent email ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
  • When the photocopier doesn't work, call Patrick. There's electronics in it, so it should be right up his alley.
  • When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message at your home computer, call Patrick. He enjoys fixing telephone problems from remote locations. Especially on weekends.
  • When something goes wrong with your home PC, dump it on Patrick's chair the next morning with no name, no phone number, and no description of the problem. Patrick just loves a good mystery.
  • When you have Patrick on the phone walking you through changing a setting on your PC, read the newspaper. Patrick doesn't actually mean for you to DO anything. He just loves to hear himself talk.
  • When your company offers training on an upcoming OS upgrade, don't bother to sign up. Patrick will be there to hold your hand when the time comes.
  • When the printer won't print, re-send the job 20 times in rapid succession. That should do the trick.
  • When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all the printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.
  • Don't use online help. Online help is for wimps.
  • Don't read the operator's manual. Manuals are for wussies.
  • If you're taking night classes in computer science, feel free to demonstrate your fledgling expertise by updating the network drivers for you and all your co-workers. Patrick will be grateful for the overtime when he has to stay until 2:30am fixing all of them.
  • When Patrick's fixing your computer at a quarter past one, eat your Whopper with cheese in his face. He functions better when he's slightly dizzy from hunger.
  • When Patrick asks you whether you've installed any new software on your computer, LIE. It's no one else's business what you've got on your computer.
  • If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the monitor and stuff the cable under it. Those skinny Mouse cables were designed to have 55 lbs. of computer monitor crushing them.
  • If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame Patrick for not upgrading it sooner. Hell, it's not your fault there's a half pound of pizza crust crumbs, nail clippings, and big sticky drops of Mountain Dew under the keys.
  • When you get the message saying "Are you sure?", click the "Yes" button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it, would you?
  • Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that boneheaded computer crap." It never bothers Patrick to hear his area of professional expertise referred to as boneheaded crap.
  • Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. God forbid somebody else should sneak a one-page job in between your 500-page Word document.
  • When you send that 500-page document to the printer, don't bother to check if the printer has enough paper. That's Patrick's job.
  • When Patrick calls you 30 minutes later and tells you that the printer printed 24 pages of your 500-page document before it ran out of paper, and there are now nine other jobs in the queue behind yours, ask him why he didn't bother to add more paper.
  • When you receive a 130 MB movie file, send it to everyone as a high-priority mail attachment. Patrick's provided plenty of disk space and processor capacity on the new mail server for just those kinds of important things.
  • When you bump into Patrick in the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon, ask him computer questions. He works 24/7, and is always thinking about computers, even when he's at super-market buying toilet paper and doggie treats.
  • If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. Patrick will be there for you when your son's illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes the Access database keel over and die.
  • When you bring Patrick your own "no-name" brand PC to repair for free at the office, tell him how urgently he needs to fix it so you can get back to playing EverQuest. He'll get on it right away, because everyone knows he doesn't do anything all day except surf the Internet.
  • Don't ever thank Patrick. He loves fixing everything AND getting paid for it!
Shamelessly stolen from

Make your callous snub to me up by voting for me to be System Administrator of the Year - 2006!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I thought co-workers were supposed to cater to the system administrator, so problems were fixed faster ?!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blur, you are looking as pasteeeee as ever! I hope your beirut skills have sharpened in the bitter cold!

7:32 AM  
Blogger mcBlogger said...

I cannot see the pictures, video or anything else on your blog except for the text, thanks to the uber firewall here at work. I have no internet at home. I refuse to be at a pc after spending an entire day at one. I'd rather waste valuable time here at work blogging, so thank you so much for blogging an almost entirely text blog today. I enjoyed it. I also say "hats off to you" I do not envy your job. I work with computers so many people assume I know about them and frequently ask me to fix there problems for them. On the flip side, I have caused my own system admin guy here a considerable amount of grief. Never personal stuff though, but usually stupid.

So, thanks to you, and many others like you, for keeping the computing industry from falling apart around itself.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So.... is this a bad time to let you know my 3.5 drive hasn't been working for a while?

2:13 PM  
Blogger Blur said...

Anon #1 - At the Pole IT is not as popular as you would think. Now cooks are beloved becaus the happier the cook, the better the food. I have to make the network stay up one way or another.

Anon#2 (Tim? Chris? Nikki?) - I can't get anyone to play Beruit but I would rule, you don't lose skills like mine. A bunch of lightweights here...

McBlogger - Sorry your firewall is so restrictive. My blog must suck 90% of the time because all I do is put up our short films. In the real world I only have dial up on my ancient celeron computer so I can relate.

Anon#3 (Jeanette) - I suppose you want me to fix that computer in Denver remotely? I think it is time to buy something newer. The fact it has a 3.5" drive means it is old. Maybe you'll get something for your birthday.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blur, "Anon 2" is I . . . Los. Got your info from Tim. Good to see your stylin' and profilin' ways have no boundaries!

8:12 AM  
Blogger Blur said...

Los... I was wondering who was looking at my blog from the department of justice. Nothing like seeing USDOJ.GOV in history files.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

effing hot.

8:52 AM  

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