Going above and beyond the call

Sometimes as employees we have to go above and beyond the call of duty. For example, believe it or not my job description when I hired on required me to be able to lift 75 Lbs (monitors and small servers, basically). I have lifted 100 lbs. Now that is going above and beyond the call of duty :)

We have all gone above-and-beyond the call of duty. What have \*you\* done to go above and beyond the call of duty?

Here is a more recent "relevant" example for me. I lent out a couple of Sun Rays to one of my Starbucks companions (a past-and-hopefully-returning Sun customer). This person is not my "area of responsibility" professionally speaking and "flying below the radar" for Sun. I have built up a good relationship with this person over the past 6 months and there is mutual trust. In digging around for my identity hardware I ran across a couple of Sun Rays in a box from one of our road shows and this individual was wanting to get his hands on some Sun Rays. He has been bidding on Sun Rays on eBay but hasn't hit the target yet. No sense leaving them boxed up when they could get put to good use. The good news is that he has already gotten the Sun Ray Server Software 3.0 up and running on Linux (the next day!). Cool. He even went to Fry's and bought more RAM for his server and a monitor for the 2nd Sun Ray. Cooler (commitment). This morning I was scrounging around the lab again for an Ultra 10 with 512MB RAM so he can try the Solaris SPARC version (a request he made). Cool, got one from the lab stash (not this stash). Hey, one of my proof-of-concepts has 6 desktops running off of a 500Mhz UltraSPARC II (albeit only running 3270 and rdesktop) and could handle more. You can tell our lab has the top-of-the line in equipment: Ultra 10's, Sun Blade 100's and 2 4-year-old Sun Rays (which are the same model we have on our desks - zero desktop upgrades in 4 years).

Why does this individual want to test out Sun Rays and why am I accomodating him? First of all, because he works in different locations and wants to try out WAN access (over the internet) and desktop mobility. Second, there is potentially a much larger "opportunity" lurking behind this for Sun. Sorry, can't give out details :) Third, I get to see a Linux installation of the Sun Ray Server Software and leverage his experience. I just haven't had the cycles to do this :( Win-win-win (customer-me-Sun).


My greatest problem with your question is defining what is going beyond. If I don't do it, my colegue will. If he doesn't do it, our competitors will and our company will not have money to pay us.

It's now 20:30 and I'm installing Solaris in 3 machines that are due tomorrow because my colegue that usually does O.S. instalations had to leave due to a personal problem. All in a day's work.

I guess that my biggest "above and beyond" was in 24/Dec/1999. The biggest ISP in Portugal had the mail system Down (No, it wasn't Messaging Server) and, it was up to me to go there only to leave on the next dawn. Spending Christmas in a Datacenter is really cool.

Posted by Jaime Cardoso on October 25, 2004 at 05:45 AM PDT #

Your job-description is a set of guidelines that specify the <em>bare minimum</em> requirements rather than the exact requirements. So going above and beyond the call of duty is implied in every job position.

I draw a cartoon about university life and the very first cartoon was exactly on the topic of job-descriptions: <img src="http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/reeality/tn/ree01.jpg"></img>

On the topic of old hardware, I was using a 170MHz SPARC5 as my desktop machine until last year, so whining about <em>ONLY</em> having an U10 does not endear sympathy, at least from me. U10s are kick-ass machines for doing general computing and even with a Creator 3D card they do kick-ass video. (I've played with a Blade2K and yes, they're a magnificient work of art but unless you're doing 3D imaging with huge datasets, or EDA chip-design, they're a waste of resources.)

Posted by luis fernandes on October 26, 2004 at 12:10 AM PDT #

John, Nice work. If you ever need another SunRay, I have an extra one in my file cabinet I'd be willing to part with. I've been keeping it as a spare in case one of the office machines break down, but in 4+ years, while I have often walked in to find a mouse, keyboard, or monitor missing, never have I encountered a broken SunRay. Next time I find a missing monitor, I think I will lug over that 24" CRT sitting in the office lab and drop that on the desk. Lets see someone take that :) BTW, congrats on passing JS, does he know yet?

Posted by Marc Hamilton on October 26, 2004 at 04:45 AM PDT #

Marc, I am sure he does. The good news is that, to him, every hit is good for all of Sun Microsystems.

Marc, lifting that 24" CRT would definitely be going above-and-beyond the call of duty! I'll keep the spare sun ray in mind. I think I am fine for now.

Luis, I just returned a S5 from home last year so I know exactly how you feel! The Sun Blade 1500 is a good entry-level desktop. Or you can go for the w1100z in the opteron area and put Solaris Express on it :)

Posted by John Clingan on October 26, 2004 at 08:05 AM PDT #

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