Keep in mind that this situation is highly hypothetical. I’m totally making it up. I think. At the very least, I don’t work in this field, so it couldn’t possibly have actually happened, right?
Step one: Be smart. Be really, really smart and go to a good college and major in IT stuff. Do well at it.
Step two: Get a job at a large company working in technical services. Help fix computers, do software development, and ensure the network works properly. I’m sure there’s lots more to it, but I’m so not technical, which means I unfortunately can’t provide any more specifics.
Step three: Ensure you’re assigned to a project that involves deploying software to the entire company. This means you get to choose, test and then deploy the software. You make sure that it doesn’t conflict with any other software out there and then push it out. To tens and tends of thousands of computers across the country.
Step four: Do your testing. But only do it half-heartedly. Or maybe forget to test. Or maybe forget to update something from the test region. Or maybe somehow corrupt the file before deploying it.
Step five: Deploy the software. To tens and tens of thousands of people.
Step six: Step into a giant ugly, ugly mess as you see that tens and tens of thousands of people start to have issues. Some are kicked off the network. Some are forced to reboot in an endless loop, over and over again. Some have error messages pop up non-stop.
Step seven: Realize that there is not an easy fix. Realize that you have managed to shut down offices throughout the country. Thankfully, somehow there are people who have miraculously been spared, but they are by far in the minority.
Step eight: On day two of this issue, see for the first time what it looks like to see thousands of laptops piled up in one place, with Post-Its placed on them identifying who each belongs to. Feel a huge lump in the pit of your stomach as you hope and pray that the laptops can be fixed soon. Like really soon. And that when they’re repaired, that the Post-It note stays on the right computer each time.
Step nine: Realize that there is not an easy fix. Start taking angry calls from thousands and thousands of people who are unable to work for a second day. Tell them that you don’t have an ETA of when their computers will be fixed. Hope that they can find an unused desktop that they can at least access some information to be able to work.
Step nine: On day three, start giving an ETA for the complete fix of laptops of three business days from now. Remind people that this isn’t a promise but just an estimate. Start ignoring your phone. Decide to forward your phone to voicemail. Decide to just unplug your phone altogether.
Step ten: Keep apologizing to all your colleagues, within and outside the technology group. Realize how many people had to be sent home without being able to get any work done and start calculating the cost of this mistake.
Step eleven: Hide. Start looking through the classifieds for another job in Timbuktu where no one has heard of you.
I am so glad that I’m not in technology services right now. And I’m really glad that if this situation were to happen, that my computer would somehow be spared so that I would be able to continue working were this unfortunate situation to somehow manifest itself.