September 5, 2016
Why the internet doesn't work quite so good on Labor Day
I've spent a lot of my life relying on computers. And that has taught me that they're really only as good as the people who support them. That is, the best companies that I've worked for have not only invested in great computers, they've invested in great computer support staff. And the better these people do their jobs, the less obvious is their importance. Things just work. The computers turn on, software functions, printers work, networks function. So it can be difficult to see exactly what these hard-working people are being paid for.
Luckily, there's Labor Day. And any holiday. And that's when you start to really see what happens when these hard-working people take some much-deserved time of. Little things start to go wrong. Usually nothing major, but for someone like me who notices stuff, I can see it. And this isn't a dis on the hard-working people who have to work on the holidays! They're doing the best they can - but they aren't as good as the regular support staff.
Of course, if things start to really go wrong, the holiday-working people can call the regular people. And think it would be a pretty safe bet that there are people trying to enjoy their day off right now but regularly checking their phones for some kind of emergency message.
I never did computer support work, but in my younger days I often would volunteer to work during the holidays. I was a young bachelor, it wasn't a big deal for me, and I know that it was greatly appreciated by people. But I wasn't as near as good as the regular crew, and I knew it. Small things would go wrong, and I was glad to have the "varsity team" back after the holidays!
By the way, thank you to the people right now at Google who are keeping this up and running, on the morning of Labor Day. If you do your job well, no one will even know you're there. If little things go wrong, no big deal, no one will really notice.
Posted by Brad Hall