Today is the 11th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. Make some time and go thank your system administrator. It will buy you 364 days of less BOFHiness and non-grumpy support. It will actually show to your system administrator that his unpaid overtime and weekends in the terminal room, are really worth the effort.
Not only is System Administration a thankless job, it is also considered an unneeded burden, a low profile and accordingly paid service. There are even people under the illusion that cloud computing will make system administration obsolete. For them I paraphrase what Bob Lucky wrote in May 1998: System Administration will be in danger of shrinking into a neutron star of infinite weight and importance, but invisible to the known universe. Do you really want to make a handful of us that important for you?
Who do you think is going to administer the Cloud? A system adminisrator. And, again to paraphrase Bob Lucky from the same article, that System Administrator will be extremely well paid, and his or her every demand will be immediately satisfied. That engineer will be the last keeper of the secret of the (cloud) universe: The Root Password.
To those who really do not see it, the Cloud does not make System Administration obsolete. It only changes the way it is practiced. There are Systems built on and into the Cloud that need administration. What the developers of those systems do not see, is themselves becoming the system administrators of the systems (with increasing complexity and dependencies that) they build.
Go and thank your system administrator today. Really do. He does provide you with at least an above the average service. For if he does not, you cannot even begin to do your job, no matter how important (or urgent) you think it is.