CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Save the (festival?) World

You all know the scenario, right?

Intense action/adventure movie. Dashing hero who is constantly playing down his heroics. He saves the world -- but the catch is that nobody knows.

And, yeah, our hero likes it that way. Hell, our hero even prefers that no one know what he's done.

If you've ever been annoyed by that, let me tell you right now that I actually get it. Yes, guys, I really do!

My story?

Well, yesterday I discover that our wonderful (no irony intended) Host for the festival website has been emailing us since February -- to inform us our domain is about to be migrated (to a new server). But I never got those emails. So the news was going into a black hole -- and I was going along my merry way, doing my webmaster thing.

Okay, that may not seem like a big deal to you, but let me spell it out. We're talking about approximately two weeks worth of work (some 100+ hours) -- of web coding and FTPing. All ending up lost. Gone. Zip.

Yeah, yeah, it's not really equivalent to saving the world (grin), but having your website screwed up in a huge way can be a pretty big deal. (Just ask any Staff person who is unhappy when they discover one typo glaring up at them from an otherwise perfect webpage...)

Keep in mind that we're in our festival season, with court members being selected (and going up each day), loads of current news to share and so on.

We don't just change the website on a daily basis -- often we're doing so on an hourly basis. (No, I'm not exaggerating! I should know, considering all the constant FTPing I do.)

Back to our story! We've got the current Live website -- which appears to have all the updates. (Not much good to me, considering it's only live right now -- and soon the migrated site will replace it.)

Then there's the Test migration website -- which I can see has none of the updates. (And as I said, this site will soon go live.)

I can no longer FTP the Live website, because I'm supposed to have stopped doing that two weeks back! (Thanks emails I never got.)

I can now FTP the Test migrated website, but it's so outdated there'd be no point in bothering.

What do I do?

Well, I can't even really even compare the two sites -- trust me, I tried. So I make a phone call to our Host and talk to a rep. there. Unfortunately, nothing seems resolved. I'm waiting to get a call back to discuss things so we can figure out what to do!

I can't work on the website, because there's no way to even test pages. Because we use SSIs -- Server Side Includes -- pages only display properly after they've been parsed by the server. Our Style sheet doesn't display properly either. All of which probably doesn't make sense to you, but let's just say previewing pages (a very necessary thing) doesn't cut it at all, because it's NOT going to look like the preview.

So basically I'm sitting waiting for that phone call that never comes. You can compare it to the ticking bomb in that action/adventure movie, I guess -- counting down and down. Yeah, totally annoying. (By the way, our Host is actually hosting two domains/websites for us -- so there's a second site I'm also worried about -- just to add to the fun!)

At this point I've told Marilyn mistressmarilyn what's up (of course). And I've told Carol, as she manages the second website.

But I decided I really didn't want to tell anyone else -- figuring we'd end up with people in a panic. Marilyn agreed, regardless of what happened. We both wanted to keep it quiet for as long as possible.

How heroic of us! Or something. (heh)

Look, I've done my job -- I've contacted the Host and explained our problem. I could just let leave it be (for a change) -- and wait until I hear back.

But not me. Hell no! I'm sitting around all antsy, dying to fix the problem!

So I take another contact route (using a Live Support Chat -- which is a beta for them) -- and start going back and forth explaining things.

Happily, I can type fast and I have all the account info at my fingertips, ready to gack and paste, as needed.

You know that part -- the hero has the proper weapons and knows how to use 'em!

(Okay, okay -- I realize it's ridiculous to call me a 'hero' in any way, shape or form -- but just get past my 'head trip' and try to stick with the story, please. Cool? Cool.)

Like I said, I'm going back and forth on the Support Chat. I'm glib and funny and managing to clearly convey the situation -- all in good hero form. The guy loved that, by the way. So he's all over helping me out -- and now it's like a mission for both of us.

He doesn't type nearly as fast, so that slows things down a bit. Plus I suspect he's checking facts on his end as we go, so it's not the quick experience you might be imagining. But he follows the situation and understands how immediate my needs are.

By the end he's assured me that the migration will be done over again, starting with the currently live pages for both websites.

I'm ready to do cartwheels and he seems pretty cheery, too. Now we need to wait on the process, which takes hours, of course.

This morning I have emails confirming the process, but I still seem to have FTPing issues -- so I use the Support Chat again. I get the same guy (he's a good dude) and we check it all out. It's working great!

We've saved the world. Okay, a tiny part of the festival world, anyway.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not going to bother telling anyone, except Lauren, who tracks the website for us. I figure she needs to know what the hell I've been doing for the past two days! (She never got back to me yesterday, and took a vacation day today, which is the only reason she wasn't brought into the loop in the first place...)

Will we tell Jeff? I'm not sure. Maybe.

The weird thing is that I don't really care if anyone knows or not. It was another very intense thing that I'm proud I was able to take care of -- and in a very timely fashion. But I think I get the whole thing where the hero doesn't really want the world to know. Like I said above! Once it's done, it just doesn't seem like a very big deal, for one thing.

Yeah, I'd have told you a different tale yesterday. Or if several days had gone by with continued lack of access, and no answer that would solve things. Final migration wasn't due to happen until March 31 -- and that's AGES when you're doing the stuff I've been doing this month.

But, again, it's over now and seems petty in some ways...

Who'd have guessed I'd end up feeling like that? Not me.

On a similar note, I solved two IT-related issues for two different employees today -- one of them being Marilyn. The first wasn't easy, but wasn't too hard. Marilyn's issue was quite a can of worms, though!

And when I finally solved it, I told her, "I'm a genius. I can fix anything."

She said, "Welcome to my world. Nobody is going to give you credit for any of this stuff. First off their expectation is that you to know how to do it. Then they feel you're not fast enough doing it. If you don't know how, they're disappointed, because their expectation is that you automatically know it."

Yeah, I totally get that -- and told her so. But I know it's a huge stretch for me to have worked it out -- so that's good enough for ME!

Which goes right back to my thing about being a hero and saving the world. We're all doing that all the time in some small, totally unappreciated way. And it doesn't matter if the world (other people) know what we've done -- it only matters that WE know.

After all, it's our responsibility to do our part, whatever that might be. Maybe you remembered a special recipe -- or found it hidden away -- and fixed food your family (or friends) love. Maybe you sat in a sick room and held someone's hand, or straightened out their bed for them. Maybe you did a sink full of dishes, a pile of laundry or put away a stack of books and magazines -- a clutter free world is certainly a better one! Or maybe you just smiled at a stranger on the street or in a store.

Sure, it's great if someone sees what you did and is glad, but that's just gravy. The meat of the thing is tackling some job and getting it done -- especially if we do it well. Or even better if we do something we didn't think we were capable of doing!

My point is that you've all been heroes, too -- trust me on that one!

You probably take it for granted -- the way the rest of the world does. But that doesn't mean you're not out there 'saving the world' with what you do! So let's cheer for us, shall we?

Go, US!!!

Pat yourself on the back for your actions -- and take a minute or two to feel pleased about it. It's not hubris to feel proud, now and then. You can move on as soon as that moment of pleasure is over, so what the hell.

You know, maybe one of the reasons we love our action/adventure heroes so much is because we actually RELATE to them! Imagine that! John McClane, Ethan Hunt, John Rambo -- you guys have nothing on us! (grin)

Come on by for a beer, guys -- and we'll exchange stories...

Tags: 2008, festival, festival-website, hero, it-manager, it-related, march-2008, marilyn, save-the-world, work

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