It’s some time in the early hours of the morning. I know that because it’s actually dark outside – a rare occurrence during these summer months. Even when the weather is miserable like it is right now, with the wind howling and constant spurts of rain beating against the window. The noise of an excessively loud phone is echoing around the room. I reach for it automatically as my consciousness struggles to rise to a reasonable level of awareness for dealing with this intrusion into my sleep. I curse whoever has sent me a text message so late. As my brain starts to catch up with my body, I come to the belated realisation that the sound that woke me so abruptly is not, in fact, my own phone after all. I switch to enthusiastically cursing my pager as I stumble out the door in the general direction of the room where my laptop awaits my presence.
Five minutes later my laptop has grumbled its way out of hibernate and new emails start filtering into various folders on the screen. Having located the correct folder, I blink blearily at the culprit email containing details of why I’ve just been paged and can’t seem to make much sense of it. Maybe I’m still not quite awake. I repeatedly re-read all the data entered waiting for inspiration to strike. But I’m still at a loss as to what I’m supposed to do to fix this particular issue. Sure looks like a hardware issue to me. I’m definitely not the right person to diagnose the innards of a machine that won’t boot up correctly. I’ve been having enough trouble diagnosing problems in the software I’m supposed to be supporting without throwing hardware issues into the mix.
A few minutes later and my diagnosis still hasn’t changed. “Nothing to do with me”. Someone has totally misdirected this problem to one of the few people that’s not actually in their timezone. Nice. This has also apparently dawned on them as while I start trying to track a more appropriate home for this issue, it gets bounced on to someone in a location where it’s actually daytime now. My ‘work’ here is done. I find myself gazing out the window as dark clouds scud past the backdrop of a sun beginning to make its weary appearance. I track its progress for a while as I wait for my adrenaline levels to return back to something approaching normal. Then I amble back to bed for a few hours in the vague hope of eventually getting a little more sleep before I have to face the new day again.