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I'm on a Priority 1 escalation call to resolve a cascading failure with a series of database nodes. The chatter in my ear-bud is reminiscent of NASA launch control with technical references to node numbers, software wiring and critical infrastructure architecture while the warm Fall breeze rustles the trees overhead against a brilliant blue sky as I walk to the local sushi food cart.
I should explain... I started the call on my laptop with the big screen plugged in to show what the Ops guys are doing in their Linux shells. All I can really do for them is provide some background info about my client and listen so I can later explain the process. So I got on the call with my cell phone, and took the chatter along with me.
It reminded me of those low-budget, sci-fi movies in the 70s where the astronaut is having some kind of breakdown after returning to Earth. I was walking through the bucolic neighborhood but all I could hear was Mission Control. All I needed was an Apollo era space suit, but then that would have pointed out to everyone else that I was out of sync with reality.
I'm not sure if this little juxtaposition of work and life is a good thing or a bad thing. In one sense, it's really nice to know that I can get up and get some lunch during a global emergency. In another sense, I can't help but think that this wandering around with distant chatter in my ears is hard on the psyche. It's just one step away from hearing voices. Well... it is hearing voices. It makes me have a disassociated glaze as I switch back and forth between the voices in my ear and the guy I'm ordering sushi from.
Or maybe it's more like that Firesign Theater albumn, How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All. Because I'm not really giving the GOC (Global Operations Center) my full attention, and I'm not really giving the sushi guy my full attention, yet I'm in both places.
No matter what, it falls into First World Problems -- a little disassociation while getting lunch may be a little surreal, but I am getting lunch and a pleasant walk through the neighborhood on a Fall day even as I'm getting paid to listen to hard core technical problem solving.