How It Is

The Details of Your Life

Your pain doesn’t really make anything go any faster.

Becuase it’s my son’s birthday this week, can you please do X faster?

I get emails like that a lot. It has to do with the nature of my volunteer work. It doesn’t really matter what the actual, technical, request is. Pretend it’s a request to reboot a server.

I don’t need to know that your partner left you, took your dog and your truck, and so it’s really the worst day in the universe for your site to be down.

The truth of the matter is I really don’t care. No one in support (dev or tech or any) actually cares about the country song that is your life. This doesn’t mean we don’t emphasize with you and feel sorry that you’re having a crappy day. It means the crappiness of your day doesn’t magically make us be able to do things faster.

That server reboot? All the sob-story in the world will just not make your server reboot faster. Got a security issue? Ranting about how life is unfair doesn’t get it fixed and reviewed faster.

We do get it. You’re having a shitty day and this one thing, this item that appears to be at the arbitrary whim of some relative stranger, is holding up your ability to feel better. Except we’re not. We’re following process and procedure for a reason. The world is bigger than just you, and we have to consider all of it when we do a thing.

If rebooting your server impacts more people than you, say 500 other people, then we can’t just reboot on demand. We have to ensure we won’t break them either. If the security fix isn’t complete, or worse, we find more insecure things, we can’t wave our hands at it. We know what hackers look for and we want people to be safe.

When you’re having the worst day of your life, when your server is down or your plugin is closed or your account is locked out, stop making it worse. Take a deep breath. Remember that the world is a big place. Ask politely and trust that the people are doing things to the best of their ability and speed and safety for you and everyone else.

3 replies on “The Details of Your Life”

I love the ones that start with “Hi, I’m X’ followed by three paragraphs of autobiography, as though that’s somehow relevant to the one-sentence technical questions deeply hidden in paragraph eight.

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