Thursday, August 14, 2003

Well....I cried all the way home from work. And then I cried again trying to explain why I was crying in the first place to Catherine. So, something is definitely about to break open here, and I've got to do something about it before something really bad happens.

The short term fix is changing my plans for next week. I was going to go to Virginia to do some research for a paper I'm supposed to be writing. I'm still going out of town, I'm just not going anywhere to work. I'm not sure which direction the car will be headed when it leaves our driveway, but it will definitely be headed AWAY. I need to put a break between this job, which ends tomorrow, and school, which starts the 25th.

Last Friday afternoon, work was so stressful I had to leave the office four times to walk around the building and try to calm down. I actually thought I might throw up. The server was apparently running slow, and my boss simply walked into the server room and turned off the power switch--no warning to anyone who was working in the office that day. Turning off the server crashed everyone's applications, and a bunch of people lost a bunch of data. And everyone was calling my name, trying to get me to fix it, and there was nothing I could do. Who the hell just turns off a file/application/authentication server with no warning in the middle of a work day? I've had a lot of IT jobs, and no one I have ever worked with would have pulled such a stunt, particulary when there was no rush, people could have saved their data, closed their applications, and been just fine. Thank god it was Friday afternoon, thank god half the office is out on fire. Otherwise I really would have thrown up.

And I came home and told Catherine what had happened and said, "Well, at least I've lived through the worst now." Ha.

This week's virus took down the entire Forest Service system. Not just on the Hoosier, but the entire system, nationwide (except my system because I ignored everyone above me and installed my own security patch first thing in the morning--what are they going to do, fire me?). It is so fucking stupid--why didn't the WO push out the security patch a long time ago? It's been available since July 16--almost a whole month, and yet no FS systems have been patched. And to make it worse, all the systems needed to have Service Pack 2 or higher to be patched, but the WO hasn't even pushed that out yet, and Microsoft is all the way to Service Pack 4! I feel like I've been running for two days solid, and everything we do to fix the problem is just making it worse because of this stupid Service Pack 2 issue. I'm pissed at Microsoft for their lame-ass OS, I'm pissed at the WO for not keeping up on the security updates, and I'm pissed at the idiot who wrote the stupid virus.

Because it's not just a matter of time and money. We have 130 people stuck in the system who need to be out on fire, but they can't go anywhere because every single fucking Forest Service computer had to be unplugged from the network all day yesterday and a good chunk of today. Some idiot is apparently running around starting fires on the Flathead National Forest, and the people who are supposed to be fighting the fires can't move because no one can get their information through the dispatch system. It is mighty damn stressful to be standing in an office full of people who are supposed to dispatching firefighters, and not be able to do anything to help them because our hands are tied by the WO and none of our own solutions are working.

So, tomorrow's my last day, and I'm mad because I won't be able to fix any of this mess before I leave. I have to leave with all these systems in disarray, and it just isn't right. I hate not being able to finish up. On the other hand, I haven't exactly been very effective and solved the virus problem, so it's not like they need me here to help.

Anyway, I need to go, because I'm starting to get attached to people, and that sucks. I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to the people I like when they go out on fire, because I think of Storm King and wonder if they're ever going to come back. Clark rode back up from Tell City with us today, so he could meet Daron and Dave to drive an engine truck out to the Flathead. When we got back to the office, Daron was washing up the truck, and I realized that I really didn't want him to go out on fire because I really liked him and what if there's a blowup and he can't deploy his fire shield?

I really need a vacation.

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