IYA 2009 – So glad I am not being called

Posted in IYA2009 at 21:07 by Kathleen

Today I had a dinner party at a friend’s and colleague’s place. Before dinner, he received a call: it was the summit calling.

Many people at Gemini, engineers and science staff alike, are on-call 24/7. My friend is one of those. He ended up on the phone for about 20 minutes while I was chatting with his wife and the other guests. Fortunately, it was still early in the evening. But still, it was Saturday.

Several nights per week someone gets woken up in the middle of the night. The nighttime is so valuable, if something does not work and it prevents the collection of data, it has to be troubleshooted and hopefully fixed right away.

One the systems my team supports is one of the those critical systems. If it fails, they have my phone number. I might be jinxing it right now, but I still have not been called at night. And I have been the person on call for that system for three years. The system has had fault. But we have a backup system the observer can switch to, and we have workaround procedures.

I am lucky.

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