Beauty and the Sys-Ad.

Posted by - Rohit

So let me give you some gyaan as to what my profession is all about. I currently work with Directi as a System Administrator (If you really liked my picture alongside you would have known this by now). I had a brief stint of say 2 years as a PHP and Perl developer but something happened and I got infatuated with servers and Linux primarily. Plus knowledge of PHP and Perl would have added to my arsenal of Dedh Shaanagiri (roughly means over smartness) and there I was, a System Administrator at Directi.

So I never exactly knew what was the distinction between a Developer and a System Administrator. The day I got my offer letter my brother in law asked me -
"Did you ask the interviewers any questions?"
I said "Yes, I did".
"Was food really free here?"

Being a System Administrator has sought a different experience as compared to what I previously had. There is constant pressure to get things done. There are constant 11th hour requirements. You basically need to be on your toes. Multitasking,  patience, diplomacy, pressure handling and firefighting is what you get to learn from this profession. I firmly believe that this experience would help me manage fights between my potential wife and my mom, I probably won't faint if my wife has a fling with someone else as I'll be good at 'multitasking' by then.

Well, somewhere within I always wanted be a System Admin because I was accustomed to the word UNIX at a very young age, because my Dad too was a System Admin. Yes I'm a second generation System Administrator.

Cool...aren't I? (Before)

 Plus I thought we really had a good abbreviation for System Admininstrators, Sys-Ads. Cool, isn't it? But this interpretation was totally battered and bruised, misinterpreted, misread. When I was about to leave for home through a drop arranged by office. The driver asked me -
"Sir, which deparment [sic]?"
I said "Sys-Ad". Cooly.
The driver chuckled, "hehe...Susaat". That's a goddamned Marathi slang.

Hindrances like these were not even hindrances in altering my perception of my job's coolness. We used to fight hackers and attackers at times, but there were times we would just move files from one disk to the other. But even then I thought we were cool and so were my fellow sysads.
Every time and again my colleague and now a very close friend Abhinav Sethi (now married...not to me) would constantly tell me (before marriage and after too) - "Dude our work is cool, we do the cool stuff, we've got matrix like screens, we are pretty awesome on the keyboard, we use cool jargons, but girls just don't seem to like it. They like - the Devs (Developers)".
And I would go, " kidding me? We are 'techies' boss. We are good". Abhinav would most of the time end the conversation with a smirk, as if conveying "You'll know".

So this is one incident that really made Abhinav's smirk a whole hearted laugh...for him of course.

So I was still reeling under my new found coolness and was leaving from work, with my Sennheisers and a trendy side bag for my Kindle. I had just left the gate when a girl from office waved me from an auto-rickshaw -
"Are you going to the Station?"
I said - "Yes..."
"I'm on my way there too, hop in."
"Ohh...thanks a ton"
And in my thoughts I said - "Get a life Sethi".
My confidence was at an all time high as the girl was cute and it's not always that a girl acts so courteously.
We introduced ourselves -
"I'm Rohit"
"I'm (girl's name withheld just so that I don't get smacked on my face later on)".

The next thing she asked me -
"Are you a Dev?"
"'m a Sys-Ad"
"A..a System Administrator..."
"Ohh...Sys Ad."

And then we walked towards our common platform and finally bid each other good bye before I let some stupid gender specific compartmentalization seperate us.
Well some more days I couldn't see her around and then one fine day I finally did when she turned her sight right away from me before I could even say 'hi'. I thought maybe she didn't recognize me. And then it happened again, she looked away. I was nearly shattered and I still told myself it's just not because you are a Sys-Ad. Maybe she genuinely must not have recognized me.
And then one day she was waving vigorously at me. I knew this was my misconception all the while, what has my being a sysad got to do with anything. So I waved her back, just when she said -
"Oh no no...Clifford Clifford".
She wasn't waving at me, she was waving at Clifford standing right behind me, who is not even a Developer.

Well I don't carry my Kindle these days to work, I just don't think it's really that cool. I seldom carry my sidebag now.
I vividly remember that I, back then, for all the right reasons was sulking, whereas my good old friend Abhinav was walking tall with his smirk as if to convey, "I knew it and I told you."

Am I still cool? (After...whatever)

So as far as my job is concerned, do I still find it cool? Well...uh...yes ofcourse I do. What if some girl doesn't? It's still the coolest. What you don't believe me? Come on it's really cool. Trust me, it's a cool job...ahhh forget it.

P.S: I don't remember if it was Clifford behind me, but he fits in properly :)
P.P.S: Directi is by far one of the finest places to work (and this is just not the Diplomacy I learned from my profession...or is it...ahh.)

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  1. awesome stuff.. ur ability to extract rib-tickling humour from everyday situations is phenomenal.. keep it up :-)

  2. who paid for the auto??
    will die with laughter if it was u .. :D:D

  3. Lol ... u finally wrote something abt sysad .... well out of curiosity is dat gurl d one who i think she is or someone else .... we surely take this offline my friend :)

  4. Nice blogs bro... Keep it up.... Looking forward to read some more...:-)

  5. aaaaaaaaahahahahha.... Nair... you gonna get ***** for this one... all the best meeting the lovely goons buddy... :)

    Good job ... :)

  6. with due respect to Linux and the sys admin community ... I am glad I opted out of it ... :D

  7. Well Rohit... One of the coolest article man.. Girls would never know how cool are we as they just see the outer side n then all damn perceptions... Keep felling gr8 about out work dude.. I am a proud sysad with same scars are yours.. :-)

  8. Well seems google has my nick as a smiley ":-)"

    Its Keyur here...

    - Keyur Makwana

    1. haha...super Keyur. But then we are cooler no matter what :D

  9. Sad part is, we dont know it well beforehand... and we just start our miserably cool career.. just to realize it at some point in time that.. there is no U turn.. (in most cases if not always)

    1. Live with hope my boy. There is more coolness waiting for us.

  10. There would be a day, when they realize the coolness in us, bro. May be its in the name sy(sad)s. But wots in a name ? Have faith !

    - Karthik

  11. wait a second... did you pay for the rickshaw ride?

  12. It will just be a week since I started following Rohit's blog, but damn I like the everyday incidents portrayed in such a gr8 manner.. that I always wish I shud have been there....
    Anyways, gr8 post again... recently since I moved onto Linux I was fascinated by it and was thinking of becoming a Susaat... Ahhh.... forget it...
    But frankly speaking even being Devs doesn't let any girl come closer... sachhi... believe me...

  13. What do you mean to say? HIRE MORE GIRLS IN SYS-ADS :-P

  14. nice write once again..

    and sysad definitely sounds cooler than dev...!

    by the way girls are surely losing all interest from the dev community also.. :(

  15. Next time wen she leaves u can borrow my bike n ask her do u need a drop till the station ? Hope on ..!! let me drop u :p

  16. hey dude, have enabled s5-web-2 back on the lb.......

  17. Woh dude you jorney is nice from Reader to writer....
    I don't know why girl's have fear of sysad ,I thought they are thinking like sysad=sucide becoz getting call at any time.. :)

  18. not a beginners luck, nevertheless people continue Live with hope....but reember my frnd ..
    Life Is An Echo What you send out - comes back.
    (Abhinav would react on it) :)