The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

A fellow reader ♬ Is the very model of an ICT professional ♬

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On-Call Easter Special Why look at that, it’s 07:00 GMT Friday, the slot when The Register usually runs “On-Call”, our tales of tech support woes.

But this Friday is Good Friday, so much of the Reg-reading world has the day off.

We therefore decided to deviate a little from the On-Call template with this contribution from reader “Patrick”, who is clearly an admirer of British comic opera geniuses W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. The pair’s 1879 work The Pirates of Penzance famously includes a song titled “I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major-General”.

For those unfamiliar with the work, here’s a vid.

Youtube Video

Got it? Now here’s Patrick’s take on it, for sysadmins! Take it away, Patrick!

I am the very model of an ICT professional
My duties range from technical to all things managerial
Alas, in spite of all of this I'm viewed as superficial
My protestations swept aside and branded artificial
And yet I'm not disheartened to discover I'm so trivial
I go about my business in a manner quite convivial
Though many would describe my role as simply immaterial
And treat me as they would a piece of effluent posterial

I'm very well acquainted with the parallel and serial
I diagnose all problems from the cable to ethereal
In short, in matters technical through all things managerial
I am the very model of an ICT professional
I know that those above me will attempt their machinations
I resist them but, alas, it may well lead to my castration

Though when it's not coming from above I'll feel it from below instead
Whichever way I turn I'm sure I'll face another knucklehead
I guarantee our work will draw the criticism of the proles
Although they couldn't grasp the messages we leave in pigeon-holes

Despite our greatest efforts we'll do poorly in opinion polls
Frustrating when respondents have the intellect of sausage rolls

Yet always must I stay within the bounds of the congenial
When managing a team whose purpose is to be remedial
In short, in matters technical through all things managerial
I am the very model of an ICT professional

I deal too with users on a daily basis, questioning
Decisions I have made, some of the comments don't bear mentioning
I'd love to help you out but I must fix the air conditioning
For if it's got a plug it's left to us to get it functioning
At times I am confronted with the sheerest of banality
Unfailing in my duty to avert the next calamity
Importantly I must maintain a sense of joviality
Or join official stats for jobs with high rates of mortality

Yet with clouds on the horizon I may shortly be vestigial
My services discarded in a manner uncollegial
But still, in matters technical through all things managerial
I am the very model of an ICT professional

Well played, Patrick, well played.

If you’ve written some tech-centric lyrics for a classic, or can point us in the direction of vids or audio streams that have done likewise, write to On-Call and we may share some more songs in a future special edition. ®


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