Category Archives: work-related

Madness the day before going on PTO

It was a crazy day for me today. First, it is the last day at work before going on a 2 week PTO, or Personal Time Off. It’s a fancy word for vacation. I was amazed at how many people didn’t know that acronym. I thought everyone knew that, but I guess that’s what’s popular in the faceless, cold corporate world.

Over the weekend, we had a problem with one of our services that we provide to customers. Without going into any detail, the problem was related to DNS resolution. In fact, I got a voicemail on Saturday (I couldn’t hear my phone ring because I was on the way back from Marshall Wall). I guess sometimes being the go to guy can suck, can’t it? Anyways, I got a call from one of our developers this morning, and they were wondering how did the incident over the weekend get resolved. Well, it just got resolved, but we didn’t know what happened … we didn’t get a root cause analysis.
Now part of the assinine IT policy is that any ticket filed that is a P1 needs to be validated by a manager. So even if the world is crumbling, customers are down for 6 hours (as was the case today), the ticket will still be left as a P3. The developer, who opened the ticket, didn’t know about this rule, so this issue was left collecting dust, to be handled as a P3. Afternoon came, and there was still no movement. I decided to call the helpdesk, with ticket number at hand, and damn it … I needed manager approval for P1. So instead, I just called the guy who was handling it, and finally got some movement on it. Just checked, and DNS is now working, and the issue at hand is now resolved.
In addition, it is April Fool’s Eve, or the eve that the conficker.c worm will launch. As you can imagine, this saw a lot of activity with knowledge base, security response teams, and many customer calls inquiring about this. What was frustrating was explaining to some people how anti-viruses and intrusion detection and prevention systems are different. Had to explain how the architecture is different, and there is no way the general customer would understand that. But I had to go through that laborious exercise … oh well. Just another security red alert type of exercise.
Then, I had all my cases that I had to transition to other Engineers. So that was a big time dump, explaining what the status was with my boss, even though I had it all documented in a nicely crafted email. I should have just bypassed the whole email process, and just explained it to him in a room. But then again, he would want it in email … doh!
Oh, and then I had to post two software releases today. As luck would have it, the web team had some meta-data issues with the server. Whaddaya know … posting the release is not gonna happen today. Now, I had to scramble and let all my backups now what is going on, and the day where I was supposed to get off at 3 PM, I was still working on stuff till 6:30 PM.
It always seems to happen this way … the day before going on PTO, is the busiest. If anything could go wrong, it will go wrong. Well, at least I didn’t lock myself out of my house (which I did one morning … that was more embarrassing than anything else, especially since it was 6 am, before most people are awake).
Ok, now time to figure out what the heck I am going to do for the next couple of weeks. One week will definitely be in LA, visiting dad. Maybe hook up with ME for a few rides, and maybe hook up with some LAUSD teachers, who have spring break off that week. Only drawback is my friend Mary (no, not ME, my other friend Mary), doesn’t have the week off till the week I go back. Oh well. C’est la vie!

Wacky PTO’s

Normally, requesting for PTO’s aren’t a big deal, right? All you do is go onto your company’s Intranet site, and request certain number of hours for PTO, and your balance would be deducted, right?

Well, with the state of the economy, the way it is, the company I work for is trying to cut cost in whichever way possible. One way is to not have people come into the office, so they decided the company will shut down the office for a week near Memorial Day, and a week near 4th of July. One problem though … we support customers, 24×7. Customer Service simply can’t shut down, because other companies are not.

So they have decided that everyone is forced … that’s right … forced to take 17 PTO days between March 1st and December 31st … of which 10 of them needs to be between March 1st and September 30th. So for those 10 days, no formal PTO form is filled out. What??? Well, HR will automatically take 10 days off of everyone, at end of September, regardless of if you took it off or not. So how will the individual keep track? I guess it’s up to the department to figure out. Good grief!

So what if you don’t have 10 or 17 days of PTO available … too bad. You will have negative PTO days. I guess this is one way they are saving money … by not paying people for PTO time. Surely they could have thought of some better way, but I guess not.

My boss has always been on my ass about taking PTO time, as I will lose it if I don’t take it. Well, I guess this is one way that he won’t have to worry about it. I’ve got a lot piled up, so it’s not such a big deal for me. Maybe I’ll sell some of my time, and make a little more money on the side?