With a time change weekend now safely behind us, I'm reminded of a couple from earlier in my career.
In the late 1990s, I was a mainframe operator for one of the larger players in the IT industry. I'd been in operations for a few years and had quickly risen to No. 2 man on the totem pole.
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I was a little distressed over my manager worrying so much that our top dog (I'll call him Bob) would be out of town during the coming time change. We were responsible for 10 mainframe systems and had never run a time change weekend without at least two of our top operators on shift. I pointed out to him that I'd worked a couple time changes already and that I'd worked through plenty of maintenance weekends and major disasters without Bob there. While few people were as good as Bob, I told my manager that I'd certainly proven myself time and again and that he could feel confident with me leading the shift.
As it turned out, there was really nothing to worry about. The time change went off without a hitch. It went so well, in fact, that our datacenter manager sent out a glowing note of thanks to the team. But then he took the rare step of singling out a team member. He said that he was proud of everyone's efforts, but that one person in particular had outshone the rest and deserved an extra round of applause for his dedication and efforts over the weekend. I got goosebumps reading the note, right up until I realized he was talking about Bob -- even though Bob was 300 miles away and likely not even conscious during the time change.
Having dealt with somewhat oblivious managers before, I took it all in stride. My manager noticed what happened and told me he'd tell the datacenter manager about his mistake, although I never heard anything further on the matter. It did lead to some joking and ribbing from the other operators.
A few months later, as the next time change was quickly approaching, Bob was once again scheduled to be out of town. My manager was now completely at ease with me leading the time change. He asked me if we had enough manpower and mentioned he could assign Gary to the shift.
Gary was the newest operator on the team and couldn't handle even the most basic, routine tasks. He tended to spend more time on the Internet downloading pirated games and music, and introducing viruses into the local network than doing actual work. However, his dad was an upper-level manager, so those things were typically overlooked or blamed on "the team" rather than the guilty individual. I told my manager that we'd be fine without Gary.