Today is the 15th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day (Sysadmin Day). Many reading this are probably hearing about it for the first time. Its ironic though that as of writing this, the official Sysadmin Day website is offline with the error message “Error establishing a database connection”. This is most likely because they needed to increase MySQL’s (the database) “max_connections”. It also means that the website is receiving more traffic today than expected. Nice!
“Sysadmins have a thankless job”
Ben Lucier, accurately said: “Sysadmins have a thankless job”. He created a System Administrator Certificate of Appreciation. But that was 4 years ago and yet not a single comment has been left to his post. Wait, brb! … ok, so now there’s one comment. :)
We Sysadmins are often used and then discarded until the next emergency. The better our work is, means the less chance of clients “needing” to contact us. The upside is, that it puts us on the top of their shortlist. I guess creating silence is a Sysadmin’s benchmark of quality. So maybe we have only ourselves to blame for being taken for granted?
I’d like to leave everyone with this email sent to me from a client who I did some work for back in 2012. Since then, I’ve proactively monitored her servers and there’s only been a hand full of times that I’ve had to resolve issues or most recently response to an outage. Here’s the email from a month ago, which carried the simple subject of “Thanks”:
Hi Hayden,What a crazy day yesterday. I’m glad everything is back online.I just want to let you know how much I appreciate knowing that you are monitoring the servers and working to see things get set straight when there is a problem. The minute my sites are down, I check my email because I know that you will have sent out a notice, and will keep me apprised of the situation.Yes, it’s a total hassle to be down. But it is even worse when I don’t know what’s going on and have to talk to customer service agents who don’t know and don’t care. I’ve experienced that plenty of times with [hosting company removed] , and it’s frustrating.Thanks for taking such good care of your clients.Best,*****
You know, that message touched me so much that I shared it with my wife over the phone. I’m pretty confident that is the way most of our clients feel. So take a few mins, send your Sysadmin an email, a tweet or some small token of appreciation. Happy Sysadmin Day to everyone!