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Reg readers tell us what they wanted for SysAdmin Appreciation Day

Chateau Lafite? Unexpected day off? Unplugging users phones?

System Administrator Appreciation Day is here – so what lovely gifts did your employer lavish you with today? Did you arrive at work to a guard of honor? A case of Château Lafite Rothschild? A free holiday?

Last week we previewed the special day, which is always celebrated on the last Friday in July, 24 hours in which sysadmins – the unsung heroes of our time – are treated like royalty, or should be.

As XKCD's Randall Munroe puts it: "The weird sense of duty really good sysadmins have can border on the sociopathic, but it's nice to know that it stands between the forces of darkness and your cat blog's servers."

So what did our readers hanker after the most for SAAD? Our own head of the tech shed didn't get back to The Reg's editorial team with a list of wishes so he got just kind words, which seems to be what some of you want anyway.

@My-Handle said: "A handshake and a heartfelt thank-you. It's not much, but it's a good start."

Also not big on expectations was Will Godfrey, who asked for Aspirin, which he described as a "practical gift." James Dore, meanwhile, was hoping for "A goddamn RAISE."

And for obvious reasons, an Anonymous Coward riffed off the gift suggestion on the SAAD website to buy sysadmins punch or pie. "Punch the most obnoxious [among the user base] and pie the rest?"

The request from TeeCee was "obvious."

"Some nice, shiny bit of kit to install. Ideally something that requires extensive assembly and which will not work without surgery and extensive reconfiguration. That sort of thing could keep me happy for days on end. Bonus fun points if the provided manual is in error in a couple of key places, as sorting that out always got me a warm, smug feeling of godhood."

Miken101 called for something that many of us wish for… and perhaps not just for SAAD. "The Internet... turn it off and on again. For a 24 hour period. Then people might just appreciate what we do. And it would also give us something to do for the following year!"

In solidarity was fellow Reg reader Gene Cash: "HEARTILY second this notion. Turn the net off for a day, and see how people get along. I mean EVERYTHING. All the internet-of-twits devices, gas station pumps, light bulbs, thermostats, phones, ATMs, in the whole world lose connectivity for a 24 hour period. NO exceptions. If your bank/restaurant/hospital can't run without internet, you need to fix it. Probably more fatalities than Thanos snapping his fingers…"

Chipping in was Usually 1027309, who added: "We turned the internet off for a day, that'll learn you ya bastards! 'Hi I'm from HR, unfortunately the economic shock from the internet outage, yesterday, means we have to reduce opex. We are therefore placing 80 percent of sysadmins at risk of redundancy'."

Expectedly – sysadmins are renowned misanthropes – several readers took their cue from legendary Reg columnist Simon Travaglia's dark tales of the BOFH. Doctor Syntax said they wanted a "new roll of carpet, a year's supply of quicklime, a new spade and a screwdriver set for loosening window frames. Sysadmins deserve to be supported in their hobbies.

"On second thoughts people like to stick with their old familiar implements so just a new blade or handle for the spade, depending on what's worn out or broken this year. The serrated blade should make it easier in the more favored woodland - getting through tree roots. And dismemberment…"

Always on call even when they're not, Colin Pa asked who would look after the users today if sysadmins of the world were "collecting their awards and attending the thank you party? Do phones have to be left at the door?"

Perhaps the feelings of the community were best expressed by Throatwarbler Mangrove, a former sysadmin that is on "permanent recovery", who quoted a developer that once stated.

"Most people don't know what sysadmins do, but if they all took lunch at the same time, you would run out of bullets defending your shopping cart full of canned goods from radioactive mutants before they had even gotten around to ordering."

Throatwarbler Mangrove added: "I'm on permanent recovery (god willing) from being a sysadmin, but props to my former brethren and sistren!"

We hope you get some downtime today – no, not that sort – and we also hope those pesky users refrain from calling the helldesk too often.

Enjoyed the morning? Great. Now get back to work. ®

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