T-SQL Tuesday #009 – Beach Time

I almost missed this #Tsq2sday post, as I was on vacation last week, and am just catching up and digging out from my post-vacation pile. So this month’s topic “T-SQL Tuesday #009: Beach Time” is actually very timely! Honestly though, working in a small shop I need to bend the “turn off technology” rule just a little…. But really just a little….

I am actually able to get away. Based on the fact that I am digging out from the post-vacation pile you be the judge if I am successful at getting away without creating problems for myself later… but given the fact that I am taking a time-out from all that to write this post, I think I have managed.

There are several things that come to mind…. Things need to work while you are out, the company needs to function (you still need your job to pay for vacation when you get back) thus my need to bend the rule about no technology… if something really bad happens, somehow, some way, I still need to be accessible, and be able to react (maybe not as quick as if I am at work… but no contact is not generally great). For this I have my cell-phone, as well as a cellular wireless card for my netbook. In general, I have alerts, and monitors that call my phone (I want to know there are issues before someone calls me… vacation or not). If something bad happens to a server or database, I will know it…. if it comes back up clean, I will know it…. As for phone-calls, I will accept calls from my boss. He knows I am on vacation, and respects the need to get away, Other than that, I will not answer. As for the netbook, I try to check on my email once a day (maybe two days), I find it much more relaxing to come back to the office, and have all the system messages, etc already cleared from my inbox, and have some idea of the issues that are hot that need my immediate attention. Showing back up to the office with a hundreds of messages, and then having to sort to find the issues is far worse (in my view) than staying on top of it in the first place. Out of office is set…. I do not respond to meeting requests, questions, etc I am on vacation after all. If I have a message from my boss (the one that respects my need to get away), I will respond… the business needs to run, and if a simple email response can keep things on-track in my absence then OK.

So I guess that gets me to my personal rules.

  1. Set out of office notices on the phone, and email.
  2. Don’t answer calls
    1. Do check messages on the cell phone
    2. Do return a call if it really is necessary
  3. Don’t answer emails
    1. Meeting requests… they can wait (people don’t need to know your checking email)
    2. Questions…. They can wait (unless really necessary… in which case I provide enough info for my boss to answer the question)
  4. Turn OFF tweetdeck … I love you guys…. But when get away, I need to disconnect, and get away….
  5. Don’t tell people you are checking email, and can be reached… the person that needs to know… knows… everyone else, you are on vacation.

Now for the before I go…

I am a Data Warehouse Administrator…. So there are some DBA tasks, and some Load tasks etc.

  1. Space seems to be one of those battles I am always fighting…. Make sure there is enough!! The LAST thing you want is full data files while you are out, and load that don’t work for a perfectly preventable reason. Yes I have monitors for these sorts of things, by why mess with that while you are out.
  2. Ensure the index maintenance jobs are caught-up, and things are working the way they should from a performance perspective…. If something unfortunate should happen, and you miss index maintenance for a week… you will most likely be OK (assuming your index’s are in good shape before you go).
  3. Make sure backups are complete… and up-to-date. Nobody wants to miss backups, but at least be sure you are in good shape before you go.
  4. If there are manual daily tasks that must be performed, make sure the person who is going to be doing them for you know exactly what to do… and what to do with the results of those tasks.
  5. If at all possible… 4 days before vacation…. NOTHING new goes into production. You want to have some assurance that loads are stable, performance is working… the only thing worse than a change causing problems, is that last minute “make things better” change that shoots you in your own foot.

Hopefully you too can get time away from the office…. get the much needed re-charge you need, and still have a stable working environment upon your return!


3 Comments on “T-SQL Tuesday #009 – Beach Time”

  1. Jason Brimhall August 10, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Thanks Stef.
    I like the way you handle the contact v. no contact dilemma.


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