I don't have desire to join Black Friday shopping in early morning anymore, not in last 7 years, not a little bit. Things I bought from 2004 Black Friday are still in sealed boxes. This Thanksgiving, my biggest hope is to stay at home, completely forget about work, and take a long 4 days break with satisfying sleeps. Really want to do it this time.
Reality emerges in unfortunate way. At 3AM, my IPhone jumped up indicating a text message was received. There can be so many reasons for a text message on 3AM, sales promotion,wrong number, payment due, or I'm paged. I kept fingers crossed in dream and hoped it was not the last one. A few seconds later pager beeped. Instead of any of the other reasons, it really was because someone paged me. Finger crossing continue to prove in vain.
Walking to computer in pajama, I opened two red eyes and read, "blah blah blah... to draw someone's attention, I escalated this ticket". No English words I learned could describe my mood at this point. The author of ticket decided to wake me up on 3AM Black Friday morning. not because system is in trouble, not because release is blocked, but to "draw attention". In a different fine day I would reply with a bunch of links to condition of ticket escalation and cc every manager. However now everything was pointless, I was already awake.
Ticket was nothing but a question of a well known issue, which should never, never be escalated, except that my foreign colleagues believe paging people is an effective way of communication as they live in a different timezone.
Done with work, I ran into sleep trouble again. The moment eyes are closed, all worries come to my mind. What if people recognize technical debt more seriously and decided to deal with problem earlier, what if I work for a different project, or a different company without on call, what if I'm a movie director instead of programmer, what if, what if... Brain spins so fast like Turbo key is pressed.
4:30 AM, just about the time I went over most of "what if" questions, wife called. "Honey I got this sweet deal we always wanted and you should go to Sam's Club in Seattle and get one as well". Indeed it is the deal I always want. My wife spent Thank Giving with her family this year and I'm left alone in Seattle. She brought the entire platoon to shop, which is total reasonable. With family, Black Friday shopping can be a lot of fun. The only gotcha is, she is in Indiana under Eastern timezone. "That's sweet." I murmured, "But it's really early and I prefer to sleep, so I'll skip".
5:00 AM, wife called again. "Great news, I can get one for you here in Indiana. Just tell me the SimCard number. You can take out SimCard with a needle...". So a project started. A project involving sweep of entire 3 bedroom condo to look for a needle, some handcraft, picture taking and emailing started at 5AM. Once I'm done with that, sky started showing light.
It's about 5:20 AM. I've never seen Seattle at 5AM, I don't even know the existence of 5AM in Seattle. It is stunning. After a series of crazy events which completely destroyed my hope for sleep, why not another crazy event, like going out and take photos.
Yet again, after 7 years I got up early in Black Friday morning. Plan is kaput, eyes are sore. Family is thousands mines away, and refrigerator is empty. However bad things pass and good things stay. Looking at these pictures, I am happy in the morning of Black Friday.