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How bad is your on-call?

RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
What's your on-call rotation like? How often are you on/off and how many people are in the rotation? Do you get called a ton or seldom ever called? What are you supporting after hours? Any horror stories?

Just curious after some on-call annoyance myself :)

Current position (<3 months):
Industry: health provider
Company size: 6500 employees
Size of IT Dept: ~650
On-Call: One week on, 4 weeks off
Rotation members: 5
Supporting: ~500 servers
How terrible: This is my first go-around of on-call. So far I am a few days in and have been called once for something pretty trivial. It also means I get dumped with after-hours support and undesirable changes, so I've already got a 5AM scheduled change Sunday morning. I was also just given 10 hrs notice (surprise!) that I'll be supporting a 6-hour change TONIGHT. So much for my plans :)

Last position:
Industry: Casino/Resort
Company size: 5000 employees
Size of IT Dept: 100
On-Call: Two weeks on, two weeks off
Rotation members: 2
Supporting: 65 production servers, including the revenue generating core of the business
How terrible: Called maybe 5 times in 1.5 years. Never anything crazy and often issues that could wait overnight or over the weekend.

First job:
Industry: Aerospace/defense
Company size: 250,000 employees
Size of IT Dept: massive.
On-call: 1 week on, 5 weeks off
Rotation members: 6
Supporting: 400 servers
How terrible: Expected to be called multiple times every on-call. Global organization so people are still on "business hours" while you're sleeping. Several 8+ hours conference calls to address issues. Really really not worth it.

Comments

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    Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My last job was 3rd level desktop support and was on call every 2nd/3rd week. In the space of 14 months I probably had 2 calls - 1st took approximately 10 minutes, the other took 3 evenings to get sorted. I came out on top in terms of money earned for on call.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
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    TrifidwTrifidw Member Posts: 281
    Officially not oncall but expected to answer my phone if I'm required which I share that responsibility with 1 other for the network/voip side of IT. We don't have a rotor and I'd prefer to keep it this way then be oncall every other week for less then a handful of times I'd be needed. The business is 24/7/365.
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    Rocket ImpossibleRocket Impossible Member Posts: 104
    On call every third week. I support a retail chain of about 30 locations as well as other duties. If it's a sale weekend I can expect to sit down and take dozens of consecutive calls. If not, I might just get a few that week. I am paid 5 hours overtime each week I am on call. Some weeks I come out ahead, some weeks I don't.
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    IristheangelIristheangel Mod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    I was on call every three weeks at my last job. We had about 50 sites and a couple datacenters. There were 20+ switches per site, VoIP, 100+ APs per site, 100+ CCTV cameras, and multiple routers and circuits per a site. It was nothing less than crazy whenever I was on call because something was ALWAYS going down. There wasn't much of a work/life balance there sadly.

    I left the enterprise world far behind after about 2 years of that insanity.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Worked at a MSP for 4 years and was on call 24/7/365.
    Sometimes was a simple "Did you turn it off and on again"
    Other times it was as Iris said. Something was ALWAYS down and to whatever site it belonged to it was always critical to them.

    Job after that was one week on three weeks off. Got a call usually once every other day and even then wasn't bad.

    Now on call at my current job is technically always and I have yet to be called in the past 6 months.
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Had a 3 man shop so each worker had the on call duties once every 3rd week. Of course, sometimes something went wrong and two people had to come in or someone else had to come in to help a shortcoming. I'd get a call in probably once a quarter.

    The most memorable one I can recall was being called in after having a drink before bed, paying $30 round trip for a taxi (the BAC was .04 in Japan so I didn't want to chance it), and having the fix action taking a minute (all that was required was a reboot). I could've suggested that over the phone but the other end was being hush hush about the situation.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    tom_dubtom_dub Member Posts: 59 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I work for one of the biggest digital media companies in America as a support analyst.

    On call rotation is 1 week primary followed by 1 week secondary on call, usually once every 8-10 weeks depending on how many analysts we have staffed.

    We have overnight guys working so we usually never get called when our rotation comes up, however, they like to get "sick" sometimes so we may get called. If I'm the on call on a night with no overnight coverage, I'd get anywhere from 1-2 calls typically, sometimes none.
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    NOLAJNOLAJ Member Posts: 490
    Now: On call every 6 weeks. We use after hour call center, which resolves 99.9% of issues. Been with the firm (legal) for just over a year, and have received 1 call that was escalated from the after hour center. Took about 15 mins to resolve, rdp issue.

    Before: On call every other week. Would receive calls all hours of the night, not every night, but that would not have been out of the realm of possibility. Once received a call at 4 am on a Sunday morning asking how to change a printer! icon_twisted.gif

    Times have certainly changed! icon_thumright.gif
    WGU - MBA: I.T. Management --> Graduated!!

    WGU -
    B.S. Information Technology—Network Administration --> Graduated!!


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    xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    Industry: Healthcare
    Company size: 3000 employees
    Size of IT Dept: ~60
    On-Call: One week on, 9 weeks off
    Rotation members: 10 (for infrastructure - separate on call for applications)
    Supporting: ~500 servers
    How terrible: We have a helpdesk that is manned by a single tech after hours, so they triage all the small stuff. I might get 2-3 calls during the week.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
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    deth1kdeth1k Member Posts: 312
    You guys over in US do get on call allowance as well as call out charge?
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    RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
    deth1k wrote: »
    You guys over in US do get on call allowance as well as call out charge?

    I never have...
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    FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My on-call week is roughly every 3 months. Being on-call really does suck, lack of a better term, work life balance is tough and it's even worse when you work in a network that houses thousands of devices.
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    RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my experience, its always worse for the Windows and networking guys... Windows guys get paged ALL THE TIME at my current and last employer... Every night, often 2, 3, 4 AM. Not cool. I wouldn't do that job.
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    RHEL wrote: »
    In my experience, its always worse for the Windows and networking guys... Windows guys get paged ALL THE TIME at my current and last employer... Every night, often 2, 3, 4 AM. Not cool. I wouldn't do that job.

    I agree with that. I had to help take care of some servers when I was at the MSP (despite I knew nothing about them) and I got called more about those than anything else.
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    FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    deth1k wrote: »
    You guys over in US do get on call allowance as well as call out charge?
    I am lucky enough to actually get paid OT for on-call even though I am a salaried employee. It makes the on-call a little more bearable.
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    --chris----chris-- Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
    deth1k wrote: »
    You guys over in US do get on call allowance as well as call out charge?

    No, straight time.

    I just got done with my first on call. My setup is similar to OP, Healthcare supporting about 3000 users. I worked 10 days straight, one of those Memorial day. Of those 10 I was on call 7. Of the 7 I had 3 calls in the middle of the night for trivial things that took less than 20 minutes to fix (workstation needed power cycled, EU was unable to log in past laptop encryption, dead mouse).

    We rotate every 5 weeks; 4 off 1 on. Because we are paid via documented time on task, there is no financial bonus to work on holidays or midnights unless you manage to work over 40 hours in their screwy paid periods. The pay periods shift depending on if you are on call or not on call....but thats a whole 'nother can of worms.
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    deth1kdeth1k Member Posts: 312
    What? No pay for on call? I hope your pay worth it through? Here in UK you do get on call allowance a fixed sum of money depending how often you are on call, in general it works out about 5k extra (to base salary) a year for just being on call. On top of that you get your hourly rate and if it's weekend 1.5x for Saturday 2x Sunday and bank holiday. You also get a day off if your on call falls on bank holiday.
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    SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Small government agency. I do simple tasks or answer emails a few times a month outside of my normal. Minimum of 15 minutes and I usually comp it and take the time off within a few days. Never "officially" on call thankfully.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
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    RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
    --chris-- wrote: »
    No, straight time.

    I just got done with my first on call. My setup is similar to OP, Healthcare supporting about 3000 users. I worked 10 days straight, one of those Memorial day. Of those 10 I was on call 7. Of the 7 I had 3 calls in the middle of the night for trivial things that took less than 20 minutes to fix (workstation needed power cycled, EU was unable to log in past laptop encryption, dead mouse).

    We rotate every 5 weeks; 4 off 1 on. Because we are paid via documented time on task, there is no financial bonus to work on holidays or midnights unless you manage to work over 40 hours in their screwy paid periods. The pay periods shift depending on if you are on call or not on call....but thats a whole 'nother can of worms.

    I always figured that on-call responsibilities were calculated into your salary, but this is not always the case... In my last job, I was on-call 50% of the entire year. I found that web designers, developers, security folks, etc who never had to be on call still made about the same as I did. Oh well.
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    coreyb80coreyb80 Member Posts: 647 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Currently work in desktop support and we rotate every week between the 5 of us. The calls are usually not crazy. We may get 1 or 2 calls during the week. I'm the one on call this week.
    WGU BS - Network Operations and Security
    Completion Date: May 2021
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    --chris----chris-- Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
    deth1k wrote: »
    What? No pay for on call? I hope your pay worth it through? Here in UK you do get on call allowance a fixed sum of money depending how often you are on call, in general it works out about 5k extra (to base salary) a year for just being on call. On top of that you get your hourly rate and if it's weekend 1.5x for Saturday 2x Sunday and bank holiday. You also get a day off if your on call falls on bank holiday.

    Its an entry level job, I cant complain. They gave me a shot when no one else would. In return they work me through government holidays and nights at straight time. If I were the complaining type I would make a Laundry list of things that are backwards here. But I am not, so I wont.

    It gave me 6 months of experience to put on my resume, which I used to land a better job with no on call :)

    @RHEL, from what I have seen that is one of the ways on call is compensated. Either its built in or you receive an hourly wage/per diem or you receive a bonus of sorts quarterly.

    We have some Ricoh people here that are paid 4 hours of OT if they are called in after hours or on a weekend. Even if it takes 20 minutes, they get 4 hours. Its just how they're contract is setup.
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