I can usually measure how well my day is going by the amount of Diet Pepsi I have left at the end of the day. Things started off rough. I thought I might have to get a morning refill. I had to drive into the suburbs. TomTom told me it would take a little over an hour. I gave myself an hour and a half. The drive actually took over two. However, I had prepared the client for that possibility and phoned ahead that I would be late. I ended up only taking a few sips on the drive in.
Things didn’t look too good when I arrived at the client. We had already delayed the project for a week while they got their technical house in order. Emergencies had taken priority (as emergencies often do) and nothing much had been done since we spoke on the phone. Still, I am nothing if not professional. I got set up and started going through my typical process: audit and figure out where to go from there. Their original system was installed around 9/11 and showing its age. I would have to update it through two intermediate steps. Mercifully, it was okay to move off the old hardware into something a bit more modern. It was going to take time, but I had planned ahead for that too. Actually it worked out well; by the time I was ready to migrate the data over to the new server – something that would take about an hour – it was time for lunch.
Their data had some corruption, but – again – I was prepared for it. I had a set of tools and a system of “sanity checks” that I ran through to confirm everything was still okay after every update step. I kept my Diet Pepsi on a table reserved for meetings in the middle of the room. It was far away from the equipment and I only paused for a moment here and there to partake. I’d like to credit how smooth it went to my skills as a consultant, but I was also a little lucky. Their new server was pretty peppy and their IT staff was too busy putting out fires to ask me a lot of questions.
In the end, I actually finished up the day ahead of schedule. I had hoped to get through the first phase of updates. I ended up getting through both updates and started the data cleanup. I was tired, but feeling pretty good about the way things had gone. I have to admit I felt a bit of pride with the way I managed to get through the day with my plastic cup of Diet Pepsi still half full… until I walked out to the parking lot. As I opened the door to get into my truck, the cup lid fell off and 22 ounces of Diet Pepsi poured down my leg and into my shoe for the ride home.