Kim and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Several of my clients’ Web sites were supposed to be moved to a new server Saturday night. The server they were on kept crashing, and my host’s tech support thought it might be because of a particular very high-volume site they shared my sites shared the server with. So the idea was to move the sites to a new server and see what happened. Most of the sites in question had dynamic IPs and moving them would result in just a few minutes of downtime, but one has a static IP and moving that one was going to result in several hours of downtime. That was why Saturday late night was selected for the move.

Sunday morning, I got up and everything was running along swimmingly. All the sites were up and running and there were no problems at all that needed fixing. I know enough about technology to be suspicious of such a miracle, but I shoved that deep down and tried to pretend it was all good.

As it turns out, the reason the sites were all running along swimmingly was that the switch didn’t happen Saturday night. It happened last night. And when I got up this morning, one site was not running along swimmingly at all. It had a zillion things wrong that needed fixing. However, I took it all in stride and with the support of a simply outstanding tech support guy, we got everything fixed and working and it was good. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about Nate, who dealt with all of this mishegas and was patient and thorough and a pleasure to work with.

Then, I got email from a client whose site had nothing to do with this mess saying her customers were getting weird security errors on her site when trying to checkout. It turned out that the shared SSL certificate her site used had expired, so I notified my hosting company and asked them to renew it. The reply I got back – not from the aforementioned Nate, I should say – said, in not quite so many words:

“Oh, yeah. We broke your sites 4 days ago without warning, but we’ll be glad to let you pay us for the privilege of getting them working again.”

They decided to discontinue shared SSL, you see, and so they let the shared SSL certificate expire. This would have all been well and good. I’ve no problem with talking this particular client into her own SSL certificate. She’s been in business for a long time and it’s a good step for her. The problem is, they did this with no warning whatsoever. Instead of telling me with 6 or 3 or even 1 month notice, they told me 4 days after the fact when I found out the site was broken.

And now it’s going to stay broken until we can get a the site owner her own SSL certificate, which can take a few days with all the paperwork involved. And not only will her checkout process be broken in that time, but guess who’s going to eat the cost of the first year for the certificate? Yeah. Me. Because I give my clients better customer service than my host is currently giving me.

As I’m dealing with this mess, stressing out that this is going to take a few days of dealing with to get straightened out and knowing that I’m not going to be in my office for the next two days as we spend 12 hours on the road to and from Pittsburgh to see my sick mother-in-law, Scott calls to tell me that his mother has been re-intubated and put into a medically-induced coma, because she couldn’t breathe on her own anymore. The coma is because she kept fighting the tube – and really, who can blame her? – so they had to knock her out so she wouldn’t pull it out. The result of this is that when we got there tomorrow, she wouldn’t even know we were there.

The doctors say they can leave her intubated for 4 more days. Her living will says she doesn’t want to go on like that, so on Friday they take out the tube and see if she can breathe on her own. ┬áThis left Scott, and me, in a wash of confusion, trying to figure out what the hell we should do. Do we still go to Pittsburgh tomorrow and have her not know we’re even there, then have her wake up Friday after we’re gone and say, “Where’s Scott?” Or worse, have hew not wake up on Friday and have Scott not be there?

In the end, we decided to postpone the trip until Friday morning. This way, whatever happens, Scott will be there when they pull out the tube. He sounded a lot more peaceful after that decision was made, so I know it’s the right one.

Today has been the most godsawful day from the moment I opened my eyes, going from bad to much worse. Grown up stuff really sucks.


2 Responses

  1. Brian, thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m sorry for not replying sooner. I can’t even imagine how painful it must be to have your mother at home, just waiting. You’re in my thoughts.