Getting to know my sysadmin

ManageEngine | July 23, 2018 | 2 min read

A couple of weeks back, I was working on a presentation that had the potential to be groundbreaking in my career. Everything was going well until my laptop decided to call it quits. That’s when I was advised to raise my first IT ticket. It sounded easy—all I had to do was email someone called a sysadmin. But feeling impatient and more than a little frenzied, I decided to meet them in person.

In the far corner of the office, inside a tiny room filled with gadgets and wires, Mr. Sysadmin sat in a corner sipping his morning coffee. Upon entering the room, I frantically started complaining about my comatose laptop. Minutes after calmly asking me to hold my horses, he had my laptop up and running again.

Later that same evening, after finishing up with work, I stopped by his office to say thank you. He was sitting in his usual place, staring at his computer screen. It was past normal work hours, yet there he was, working through an endless string of incident and problem tickets. Intrigued, I struck up a conversation. Five minutes into it, he was telling me all about his work life, the funny tickets he comes across, and much more.

 The 3am calls: Many sysadmins get to see the sunrise on a regular basis. And no, it’s not because they’re all early risers—sysadmins are no strangers to working late or coming in early; for these IT professionals, it’s not unusual to stay until 3 or 4 in the morning working on unresolved tickets, or to get called in at 5am when a mail server goes down or the internet suddenly stops working.

The “do I have time for lunch?” days: On a normal work day, sysadmins get very little time for breaks, and that includes lunch. While other employees wonder, “What’s for lunch?” sysadmins often wonder, “Will I have time for lunch?” Most of the time they end up quickly scarfing down their meals at their desks to make time for our problems!

 The funny tickets: Sometimes, even sysadmins themselves are dumbstruck by some of the tickets that employees raise. From the conversation I had with my sysadmin, I got to hear a few funny ones.

  • Aren’t you the one who does tickets? There was one time when an employee approached the sysadmin and asked if he could cancel a train ticket that the employee had booked. The poor sysadmin was so flabbergasted, all he could manage to croak out was “All I know is IT!” Apparently, this employee misinterpreted the types of tickets sysadmins can help with.

  • The curious case of the missing coffee mug: There was another time when an employee raised a ticket to investigate a missing coffee mug. To quote the ticket, it was a “cute blue mug with stars, stolen in broad daylight.” Clearly, this employee loved their mug, but our sysadmins are busy enough without adding detective to their titles.

Looking back, I’ve realized that sysadmins have been there for us through thick and thin. Without them, we would be running around like a bunch of headless chickens.

So, this Sysadmin Day, let’s all take a moment and thank our sysadmins for always having our backs. Next time we need to raise an incident or problem ticket, let’s remember to thank them, maybe with a ticket to their favorite sporting event or a new movie—that’s a ticket any sysadmin would love!

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  1. Divya

    Really good perspective… Made me think of all the time I’ve raised tickets with small silly issues (for the sysadmins) bt life threatening to me lol… My respect has raised a notch towards them after reading this 🙂