Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Curse of "Being the IT Guy/Gal"

This is a truth that my fellow "IT Guys/Gals" can most likely identify with:

Whether you spend all day neck deep in desktops, servers, viruses, programming code, networking equipment or have your head "in the cloud", it doesn't really matter - when you get home at night (assuming you get to be at home at night, and are not working the night shift), you really don't want to mess with your own personal IT stuff.

It's a pain.  A delightful pain that I want to enjoy, but a pain nonetheless.  You spend all day doing one type of thing (or 1,000 similar types of things) and get home and get to do it... some more.  For that matter, we often have to do it, just to keep up our skills and keep learning!  It's a whole kind of pleasure/pain kind of deal and I don't like where this line of thought is heading!! o_O

I find it especially true for folks like me whose hobby became their job.  Hey, I'm grateful I have a job.. and damn lucky my hobby fit the bill - don't get me wrong.  That said, if you happen to be the local IT hero or MacGyver programmer of your office, where your day is spent doing anything from fixing printers, to writing shell scripts in Linux, to supporting legacy code, answering that support call (or 100s of them) or writing reams of new code - you know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's kind of like the doctor who doesn't (and often shouldn't) see his/her family members as patients.  While he could (and often does), there are moral, ethical and practical reasons why family members of a physician might need to have their own doctor, and not the one(s) that happen to live under the same roof.  And the saying "physician heal thyself" didn't come about for no reason!

Remember the saying "No, I will not fix your computer" - it may save your life, although it may not win you friends nor influence.  Even though I know, when your significant other or your mom/dad/brother/cousin's uncle's best friend's dog asks, you're going to feel guilty, and probably help them fix it/upgrade it/configure it anyway.  

Maybe better said, even if you love technology and want to mess with it 24/7, eventually, it will mess with you and when you feel that intense need to take a break and do something else - DO IT!

After all, if you don't, the machines win.  And we can't have that happen, can we?  It didn't go too well for John Connor.

Actually... envisioning my router with glowing blue LEDs as a T2... oh brother.. we're already there.  Haha, pulled the power cable - die T2 die!!  Oh crap, maybe I should plug that backbone connection back in.  I felt the power and now I feel the pain!

Heed the call fellow IT warriors, for constant IT work at home and on the job is a surefire path to burnout!  Remember to have some fun once in a while!

Now to try to take my own advice, and put down the keyboard and mouse for you know, ten minutes.  At least until the next server alert or upgrade or status bar appears.