"When I'm having a seriously bad day, I think about my wife."

Jon Cowling 12-Feb-2016 15:30:30

“When I’m having a seriously bad day, I think about my wife.”

Our Microsoft Practise Head talks to us about the ups and downs of his work and how his inspirational Wife helps him through it...

"Working at dsp I am lucky enough to see a lot of interesting challenges on a daily basis. As a Microsoft SQL Server consultant and practice lead, these can range greatly from backup issues, to proposal writing to socialising with my clients. The work is very varied and I love it.

However there are bad days. Days when my perfect SQL architects have to cut a lot of corners because of budgets, working endless hours to get a proposal out, bad client meetings, bad customer feedback…

It is interesting working in technology and especially databases we are actually dealing with companies on a really personal level. Databases are the life blood of organisations. Everyone and everything consumes data, be it reporting, web transactions, CRM systems. Without database companies just grind to a standstill.

Put it another way, the pressure can be immense. A recent example, a client of mine was had moved one of their production databases off to another server a few month ago – without notifying us, a simple mistake. However, that database became corrupted in this new environment the day before a high profile event. I went and check this new environment only to find there was no backups in place, leaving me with no restore options and a corrupted database. The only way to fix it was to potentially break it completely.

Now this is a situation I have not been in often, but I totally dread. Not having a fall back option, a really stressed client at the end of the phone and no option but the “very high risk we lose everything”.

As I was busy trying to repair this database, I found myself thinking of my wife. My wife works as a Neurological Physiotherapist for the NHS, dealing with stroke rehabilitation. Very poorly people go to her on a daily basis to help put their lives back together from devastating injuries. From walking again, regaining speech and just being able to sit upright.

I caught myself thinking, how does she deal with that kind of pressure day in out. What does her bad day consist of if this is one of mine? I lose some transactions, she tells people they will never walk again?

Anyway, database repair was success, phew. Client extremely happy and I get to wear a cloak of a Database superhero for the day (while also setting proper backup routines).

As I go home that night, I regale to my wife how great I was that day and how managed to bring a client back from the brink. As we sit down for tea that evening I spy a bunch of flowers on the table and a card – addressed to my wife with a simple message:

“Thank you for helping my husband get back up onto his feet again; for your belief and tireless work with him. You and your team are amazing.”

While feeling slightly outshone that day, it was great to see us both having a good day. I asked her, if that’s a good day, what’s a bad day? She just replied
“There are no good days or bad days; you just do what you can do”

Since then, my wife has turned into a bit hero of mine. Her calm and poise under pressure is immense and I often think of her now when having a bad day and has made me realise that sometimes, just sometimes, there are bigger things than databases out there."