No one ever said being a CIO was easy. And over the past few years, it rarely has been. But at least it hasn't been dull.In this series, "What It's Like To...," IT leaders share their stories from the front lines\u2014CIO to CIO, in their own words, from the gut, without vendor spin or PR meddling, without fear or favor. We've identified situations\u2014both common and sui generis\u2014that other CIOs can relate to or experience vicariously. And what we've found is that the CIO experience is nothing if not multidimensional. It is, at turns, rewarding and disappointing. Maddening and moving. Mundane and, occasionally, extraordinary.In these sometimes painfully candid, first-person stories, CIOs talk about what it's really like to lay off loyal employees, or get fired themselves. How it feels to bet the farm on a new technology and come out on top, or pull the plug on a multimillion-dollar project and take the heat. To be the winner in a merger, or the loser. To deliver more with less. To handle logistics in Iraq, survive a hurricane, or simply walk a mile in your customers' shoes. You may already know what it's like to work for a 24\/7 boss. You may even know what it's like to take a real vacation. But do you know how it feels to save a life, or risk your own?So what is it really like to be a CIO in the 21st century?What It's Like To...Achieve 100% UptimeSend People into DangerSurvive CharleyTake Your Application Source Code Out of EscrowBear Witness To IT HistoryWalk In Your Customers' ShoesWork For A 24\/7 EntrepreneurBe The Last Man StandingBond On Mt. FujiBe An Early AdopterLose Your JobSave Four LivesPull The Plug On A Multimillion-Dollar ProjectBrief The PresidentTestify Before CongressBe The First CIO Of The U.S. SenateWalk Into An IT DisasterGet The JobNot Get The JobBuild The World's Most Powerful SupercomputerBe The Fall GuyLive In A Two-CIO FamilyMove To A New IndustrySurvive The Pentagon AttackTake A Real VacationBe Treated Like A Rock StarBe An American AbroadCatch A KillerBe DifferentWork In IraqBe A Man In A Woman's WorldBe Hired By The FBIStart Your Own CompanySave $55,000Fire Half Your StaffDownshift Your LifeGo From CIO To CEOStories We Couldn't Get: There were some subjects that CIOs absolutely, positively would not (or could not) address.