I haven’t had to much spare time this week because I’ve been on call. Until this point in my career, I did not need to be on call. My team replaced an old team in my division a few months ago. On the new team I am on call 2 months out of the year. Each employee has to take shifts in rotations of one week about eight times a year. On top of handling all the issues that come in every day, the engineer on call is also responsible for a variety of other tasks as well as deploying the latest version of the software DAILY.
The service my team runs has tens of millions of users, and any outages that happen need to be rectified asap to avoid loss of profits, unintentional leaks, and to maintain security of our systems. The previous team that our team replaced did a terrible job building the existing software. As a result, it has many fault points where it breaks. We have to support the old team’s software while we try to rebuild it’s entire infrastructure, so it’s difficult to make progress.
Occasionally, we create bugs in the code because the original team did not comment or document ANYTHING. The code is convoluted, and every day we find new problems left by the old team that can sometimes require weeks or even months to fix properly.
The past week’s experience has been a great motivator for wanting to escape the 9-5. I thought the hours I had to work (usually around 50) were toxic enough. I’ve been putting in 12 hour days every day, and at the end of the week I will of worked nearly 80 hours!!!! My salary is only for 40 hours!!!! I should at least be getting paid to match the excessive hours needed of me this week. And the same for all the other engineers I work with.
What’s I think is most unfair… is that I’ve barley had time to think to myself.
As a basic right of being a human being, you should be entitled to free thought. But when working for someone else, you have to spend all of your time and stress worrying about other peoples problems and making sure other people are making money. In a high stress software production environment, the job follows you home and it will keep you up at night.
When your on call, it’s like that on steroids. You become personally responsible for every issue in the software.
I don’t want to be chained to my desk on sunny days anymore. I don’t want to spend all this time working my ass off to find that my life has passed me by and I am on my death bed, never experiencing my dreams.
If I wasn’t motivated to escape the rat race before, I sure as hell am now. I probably wont have time to post anything more this weekend. I’ve been lucky enough to have the half hour to write this post. I think I am going to take some time tonight to try and meditate and relax. Hopefully I won’t have anymore calls today.