10 ways to celebrate Sysadmin Day

Ideas to illuminate and enlighten on the greatest of days on the Sysadmin’s calendar.

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Sysadmin Day – last Friday of July, first Friday in our hearts

Yes, Sysadmin day is just around the corner again, as we prepare to recognize business IT’s foot soldiers in the war against downtime and general stuff-not-working-right-ness. Here are 10 ways to celebrate these great and deserving people. (MORE: Our 2015 look at Sysadmin Day)

Get your karaoke on

Get your karaoke on

Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the winds, get up in front of a load of people and embarrass yourself by singing. It’s a very liberating experience, or so we’re told. Here’s a particularly apropos song for the occasion.

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WikipediaPublic Domain

Blatantly abuse your power

We get it – keeping a big IT infrastructure going would be hard enough, but you’ve got to deal with actual users, too. You feel like you should just walk around wearing a big sandwich board that says “make sure Capslock is off, turn it off and then on again, that’s a third-party app that we don’t support.” So on Sysadmin Day, why not irritate them the way they irritate you? Tell them the email server is down because of Icelandic elves, or that the CMS won’t work unless you shout your password at the screen.

Slack off like a boss

Slack off like a boss

It’s your day – seems like a silly time to work too hard. Instead, you could play video games, or catch up on Game of Thrones, or, given that it’s July 2016 we’re talking about here, play the hell out of some Pokemon Go. Heck, even if you are working hard, you’re probably going to be moving around the building anyway. I heard there’s a Vaporeon down in the data center.

Eat all those Swedish Fish

Eat all those Swedish Fish

Never heard of the Swedish Fish Theory? The basic idea is that anything you send back to a tech support facility or RMA is more likely to return quickly and smoothly if you stick some candy in there for the technicians and administrators at the other end. It came, like many other strangely compelling internet thingies, from Reddit, and remains an under-the-radar nerd phenomenon. So, since we know you’ve got them lying around, have a Swedish Fish or three on Sysadmin day.

Marvel at users solving their own problems WITHOUT breaking anything
Twentieth-Century Fox

Marvel at users solving their own problems WITHOUT breaking anything

We swear, it happens. Whether it’s somebody figuring out that the packing tab is still on the printer cartridge, correcting their settings so that the email works, or sending you that lovely email that says “false alarm, got it working” after they couldn’t connect to the company domain, it couldn’t hurt to give a little love to the good users out there.

Drink coffee
Wikimedia/Thinkstock

Drink coffee

Duh. As everybody knows, coffee is the lifeblood of the dedicated sysadmin. Thrill to its caffeinated siren song, as it sings to you of the mighty technological deeds that you will perform this day. Go forth, mighty hero! Go forth and conquer the dread monster that is the Windows 10 update!

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Drink other stuff

Hey, it’s a holiday, so why not Irish up the legally mandated coffee? (Obviously, this recommendation is subject to your own requirements of professional decorum in the workplace, as well as your ability to accurately diagnose computer problems with a mild buzz on.)

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WikipediaPublic Domain

Collect plaudits from admiring users

We know, we know – there are plenty of users out there who think of you as the janitor, but for computers. But there are also at least as many who owe their careers to you, or have at least missed out on a tongue-lashing from the boss because you fixed something right when it needed to be fixed. We recommend parading through the office in a chariot made from unneeded server racks, waving in kindly benediction at the admiring users.

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Remind yourself that this is actually a pretty good gig, all things considered

For a lot of people, sufficiently advanced technology really is indistinguishable from magic, which makes you a magician. You’re the person holding the technological underpinnings of human civilization together on the front lines, making sure stuff just works. It’s fulfilling work that you’re good at. And even though it’s easy to get hung up on the random jerks out there, most of us appreciate the heck out of what you do. Thanks a million, sysadmins.