Saturday, June 03, 2006

False Start

So, Steve has booked time off work from Monday 5th June through to Friday 9th June inclusive. He doesn't work weekends, so we were pretty much in the mindset that when he finished work yesterday (Friday) evening, that would be it, woo, start of holiday!

Steve being one who actually Does Do Work, he usually stays at the office late. This last few days that I've been here here, he hasn't managed to get home before 8pm. This was also the case yesterday, while he was finishing stuff up ready for his holiday.

Managers being managers, they breezed out of the office at about 4pm.

At 4.30pm, Steve found out he'd been assigned to "on-call" for the night. This was not expected. He'd been on-call all week, but understood this to NOT include Friday night. Turned out the managers had decided that Steve could be able to cover things, "just" until 3.30am, and then on-call would be someone else's responsibility.

(At this point I should explain "on-call". Steve works for a shall-remain-nameless global IT company that provides web service for large corporations. These corporations pay a large amount of money to ensure that if there is a problem with any of their networks, public or internal, day or night, someone will jump to it and be sorting it out pronto. The on-call monkey cannot go more than a certain distance from the building, cannot turn off their phone, cannot get drunk, and so on. If they get a call or a text message, they are expected to drop *whatever* they're doing, contact the office, and quite probably then go haring in to fix it.)

You know where this is going already... about 10.30pm, Steve and I finished munching some unlucky fried chicken and were looking forward to our holiday when, lo and behold, someone in India is having problems. Steve tried to sort it out by phone but no, they needed him to go in.

I honestly can't remember seeing him look that upset and p*ssed off before. He kept apologising to me like somehow it was his fault or something and I just wanted to cuddle him and make it all better, but there was nothing I could really do. In the end, I told him that I'd come with him and wait in the car with my laptop, sleeping and playing the Sims2 - I have a 3-hour battery which is nice. :) I think it helped. He phoned me a couple of times from the office, just to let off a bit of steam. Apparently his conversations with the technicians at the office in India were going a bit like this:
"I ran the Test thing and it said it's working, but then when we try and use XYZ it's not actually working!"
"Okay, can you open up the Control Panel for me?"
"But I ran the Test thing and it..."
"Yes, but now I would like you to open the Control Panel, please."
"What's that got to do with anything? We did the Test thing and it said..."

It was 1.30am before he got out, and he was completely frazzled. I was okay, I'd just tipped back the seat of the car, which is quite comfy really, put my cushions around me and my fleece over me and gone snoozles. Poor Steve on the other hand, can drive the route home from work on auto-pilot, but once we were back asked me to please just give him very specific instructions because he couldn't think straight about anything except computers. I mean really, we were at a level of "Sit down and take your shoes off." (wait for this to be completed) "now, get a glass, put some water in it and follow me up the stairs" (I'm so glad I was able to crawl up the stairs without support).

I hate seeing him in this state. I mean, when I'm here I can take over easily enough - I can order a pizza to be delivered so that we're both fed, I can tell him to do things including assisting me so that we both get up to bed, and he's okay if he gets a decent amount of sleep in. But when I'm not here... he doesn't look after himself properly, and I worry about him.

I hope his managers had lovely evenings.

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