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On-call Onboarding: The Ugly

On-call Onboarding: The Ugly
Woman with an "oh geez" facial expression with one hand covering forehead exasperatedly and the other hand palm up as if to say "pls no"

ah, the final installment of on-call onboarding has arrived. previously I covered the good (pt1) and the bad (pt2) here's a brief sample of the ugly I've seen myself or heard anecdatally from folks

A happy cartoon dumpster fire is swimming along a flood zone passing a sign that asks "What is even happening"

Finding out you're on-call (and what on-call is) by getting surprise paged into an active incident by your boss

  • No runbooks || all runbooks are dead links
  • No training or pairing with the observability tool(s)
  • Owning way too many services || no ownership
  • Inheriting services without a handover or documentation
  • That orphaned service that no one really owns (aka by default ops will have to maintain it)
  • Getting back to back to back paged while at a symphony and not being able to quiet my phone because I gave PD an override for silent mode and also was trying to not fall in my fancy dress as I stepped over tons of people as I dashed out #HugOpsToMe
  • implicit 24/7 perma on-call

Pls share your tales of woe with me over on twitter or mastodon


Princelet Norman lording over the remote and backup charger while lounging on the couch. His face says "I cannot be bought for less than 10 fish treats"