Load Night

Load Night

The sun is only hinting across the 5am sky. The world is pretty peaceful on a Sunday. I’ve been up since, oh, 2:30am.

It’s load night. Three times a year, my corporation shuts everything down and loads a new release. Thirty times over my career here, I’ve been up to work it. Years ago, we’d actually go down to the ops center and watch the data flow in (like water into freshly cut irrigation canals). Now its all done from our desks.

And of course, it’s for free. I don’t get a dime.

It used to be (back in the tech-happy 2000’s) that there would be pizza and candy and cokes. And comp time. And recognition. Now that things have tightened, corporations know they have a nice firm grip on our nuts. No more pretending about equity and corporate community – the recession has shifted everything back to feudalism.

But enough of my socialist rants. I’m here in my seat, blogging off the minutes until the 6am call.

Funny thing is to listen to the conference calls. Every person speaking must include (in the nature of ‘Simon Says’) either a reference to how long they’ve been there or the usefulness they have imparted. Even at 5am, the conference call sounds like the commercial break for an all-night movie station. We’re not high-tech execs. We’re corporate shills. What next – Sally Struthers begging for money? Flies crawling across the faces of malnourished children?

When does this broadcast day end? When do I get to hear the anthem, see the waving flag, the flying jets? Then the Indian-profile test pattern?

It’s 5:35am. My coffee is cooling, the sky is brightening, and the system is still dead.