Posted by Josh | Posted in GTD, The Rookie DBA | Posted on 03-19-2010
Tags: GTD, rookie DBA, Stress
So as I previously wrote, the new gig is turning out to be a little bit more intense than I expected. And while I’d love to say that I have it all under control, that, in truth, would be a flat out lie.
The last few days I’ve done my best to keep track of how many interruptions I get on a given day; today I lost count at over ten. Ten in eight hours of work! That means I averaged more than one interruption per hour. Of all of them, only one was actually worthy of breaking my concentration. The rest were either simple questions or related to non-emergency work, such as ongoing testing or requests in queue.
I have to say, I’m at a loss how to put an end to these, or at the very least, reduce their volume. I’ve tried gently redirecting people to send the team an e-mail, forcefully redirecting them (which is usually met with a resentful glare or a “but it will only take 30 seconds”), even putting on my headphones and doing my damndest to ignore anyone who walks up to my desk. It’s gotten so bad that my senior DBA has called a SWAT meeting next month with all of my unit’s team leads to discuss how this situation can be rectified. Without something on the side of a drastic change, my team is going to have a really hard time getting things done.
Even trying to triage everything in queue is difficult, because inevitably, everyone argues valiantly (and rather stubbornly at times) that their issue is the most important and must be looked at first. And most have valid reasons: client impact, loss of functionality, etc. The problem is, there are so many to pick from at a given time that we simply cannot take “My problem has client impact so it must be looked at ASAP” at face value. Otherwise, we’d be constantly shifting in work and never able to focus on our larger goals. Here again, I’m really hoping next month’s meeting will help to clarify and ease this nasty task. At the very least, we need to have some kind of objective framework by which to determine the true priority of requests / issues, similar to the various trauma scales I learned years ago as an EMT.
Yes, I really did just compare my work to dealing with traffic accidents, gunshots, and various other forms of critical illness. The way things are around here, you’d think we were really dealing with life and death scenarios, instead of mere dollars and cents.