Happy New Year’s Eve! And no, I’m not looking for a kiss.
Are you working today? I usually did. I’ve been in IT for over a decade, and I worked most holidays (not to mention most weekends). It was the best time to get outage windows to do a lot of things that would help my systems stay online. Before that, I was in hospitality – hotels and restaurants. You’d better believe I worked every single holiday. Every. Single. One.
I worked holidays and weekends because that was what my job duty required. I wanted to be really good at my job, and that meant being around when my customers and my systems needed me the most. I wanted to make sure I took good care of everything.
I might have grumbled a little, but truth be told, I was proud of myself. Every time I pulled into an empty office parking lot after dark and waved my badge to get in, I knew I was going the extra mile. I didn’t do it for other people – I did it for myself. It was the right thing to do, and that itself was a reward.
Meet the Fukushima 50
In 2011, a major earthquake struck off the coast of Japan. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a series of catastrophic failures that went from bad to worse to unbelievably horrific. The reactor leaked radiation that started killing employees onsite.
You can’t just walk away from a failing nuclear reactor. It doesn’t shut itself down gracefully. Trained professionals have to make decisions about mitigating risk, and then they have to do dangerous things to save others.
Fortunately for all of us, the Fukushima 50 were passionate about doing the right thing. These employees stayed at the plant while others were evacuated. They put their lives on the line to stop the radiation leaks and save lives. They were prepared to die to carry out their duties.
Thankfully, we IT professionals are rarely faced with real life-or-death choices. I hope 2013 doesn’t bring a challenge like that to you, but knowing how many admins work weekends and holidays by choice, I bet you’d do the right thing.