Saturday, May 23, 2015

Work and Dreams

This weekend, Memorial Day holiday weekend for those who may not be aware, I have to work. Not just garden work or yard work, not even writing work -- job work. We're doing an ERP upgrade starting late Saturday night, running through to Sunday afternoon. My team's part should be done by early Sunday morning. Then the applications group and some business users will begin their testing. Me and my team will be on call for the next few hours of testing, possibly longer if we run into any problems.

Monday, we have 2 sites outside the US that will be working, so once again we will be on call. Basically I need to stay around the apartment, near my laptop, for the duration of the holiday weekend.

The good news is that there has been months of preparation beforehand, well before I even started this job. And while we've had some pointed discussions and debates in the past days over whether we were really ready to go live or not, as of a few days ago I finally became confident that we were ready to go. And I am likewise confident that aside from working a very long day today (Saturday into Sunday), I think we will have a quiet holiday weekend and things will go fine.

I say all this because I have a funny story to tell. Thursday night I had a very restless night's sleep, filled with strange and vivid dreams, one of which I still remember...

I had been chosen to fill the lead role in a new musical play at some local theater, and was looking forward to the first practice as it sounded like it would be a lot of fun. But when I arrived at the theater, I discovered that it wasn't for the first practice -- this was opening night. I had not yet seen the script, I hadn't even met my fellow players or seen the costumes or done any preparation at all. This made me understandably nervous, since I was to play the lead role. However I was assured that everything would be fine, the rest of the group knew what to do and all I had to do was improvise.

I proceeded to run around the theater looking for someone who could help me to quickly get up to speed on the play, help me learn my lines and stage movements. Alas, my efforts were for naught and the play proceeded on schedule. I stood around with no clue what to do, doing my best to improvise but basically making a fool of myself.

I was convinced the play was a failure, but I was later told that it was a success and the audience really liked it.

... and that was the dream. I woke up both perplexed and relieved, then realized it was a dream and laughed to myself as I immediately recognized the real-world application.

For the record, I do think the team is quite well prepared for this. While my own knowledge of the system is still very much at the beginner stage, the guys working for me have been on the system for a long time and are leaps ahead of me. So I may not know the script, but the others in the team do, and will be able to carry me along just fine.

Also for the record, I am not as ill-prepared as I was in the dream. I do in fact know my lines, and thankfully I am not playing the lead role, so my lines are limited and were fairly easy to learn. The folks in the lead roles (this upgrade is really more of an ensemble show) know their stuff and are well-prepared.

So, as the director said... "Action!"

[Quick update: the cutover was successful. Yay!]