Crisis Management

This weekend was eventful, but not the good kind of eventful.  Upon leaving work Friday I’d planned on spending a quiet few days at home.  But it didn’t take long for something to go wrong.  I won’t get into the specifics, but there was a technical glitch at work which prevented the library’s patrons from accessing many of our subscription databases.  I ended up spending much of Friday night and Saturday morning dealing with it and then had to catch up on house work and grocery shopping yesterday afternoon followed by some exercising and cooking.  So far Sunday has been blissfully quiet although I’ve only been out of bed a few hours. 

One of the lessons I’ve learned is to never do major updates on a Friday if at all possible.  Customer service departments tend to close and may not be open weekends.  Likewise, employees typically leave work expecting to be able to relax.  So it’s easy for a relatively minor issue to snowball, which is in fact what happened.  Much of Friday evening was spent trying to get in touch with people who knew more about the problem and could further troubleshoot it. Ultimately, uploading  a single file to a server (for which I am not the administrator) restored access to the databases.  During working hours it would have been much easier to get in touch with the relevant parties. 

However the fact that Cleveland is a small town may have made things a little easier.  While standard working hours end at 5, it was still possible to contact most people at home.  No one was out at the club, or getting drunk, or heading out of town for the weekend.  It also helps that everyone knows everyone else (or so I’m told – 13,000 people is a lot of folks to know but I digress).   Thus there is a degree of closeness between people across departments and differing levels of administration that might not be present elsewhere. 

And the Southern pace of life wasn’t even a factor.  In earlier posts I’ve touched on how life generally moves slower down here.  But when things go wrong I found that people set aside what they were doing to solve the issue.  Perhaps it helped that I was on top of things.  But one would stereotypically expect folks to be going to bed early or turning off their cell phones.  That didn’t really happen.  Professionalism and the good of the University tends to rank higher than free time.

For now it’s off to do other things.  I have a love/hate relationship with sleeping late on Sundays.  It feels good, but leaves less time in the day for doing anything (such as blogging).  Going to bed the same time everyday would be more efficient.  But this works for now.    

Article by Mike

Mike is the Head of Discovery Services for the Delta State University Library. He has lived in Cleveland since May 2013.

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