It was 4:43 PM. As I headed out the door, someone asked, “Leaving early?” No malice, no judgment, just a bit of surprise. The office was still full, keyboards clicking and the drone of technical conversation dully throbbing. “I’m entitled to it, I just worked an incident for 3 days straight,” I shot back.
Was I entitled to bail early? Probably, but that wasn’t the right way to say it. I needed to leave. Despite handling the incident deftly, I still felt fucking awful, and in a dark, looming, nonspecific way. I needed to run from the firehose of problems, lack of solutions, apathy and anxiety. The incident in question was a days-long spam attack. It wasn’t my first rodeo with hackers, but this mitigation required bringing several groups together, which is always a challenge at a large organization. To add to that, there was a pronounced lack of resources from my own team. This attack came at a time when we were gearing up to launch a new product, and the team was completely focused on it. Even I had been intensely involved with ensuring the stability of a new, shaky platform. Being pulled away just added to my frustration.
I had already spoken with my manager that afternoon, told him I was tired. He kindly ordered me to go home, and take a vacation. I took the next two days off, calling in sick. This was the second time in a month I’d unexpectedly needed time off. At home, I crashed, played video games, watched a bunch of shitty movies my girlfriend normally wouldn’t palate, and generally just tried to avoid the real world. Physically, I wasn’t all that tired, considering I had only slept 9 hours or so over the past 3 days. But my mind and nerves were totally shot, and worse, I felt like I didn’t care, which I hated myself for.
In short, I burned out. Hard.Go for it