Louis Davidson wrote:
Tragedies are very much part of IT ... occasionally, you, as a DBA, will face one of those decisions that really matter, and which has the possibility to greatly affect your future ...
Absolutely true, and not only for DBAs, but for developers as well. I try very hard to follow some basic rules to avoid tragedy (which I've experienced at least once in my own career):
1. Always 'go the extra mile'. If a problem crops up five minutes before you're due to walk out the door for a long holiday, solve the problem first, even if it chews into your time off a bit.
2. 'Good enough' isn't. Sometimes in the crush of work, it's tempting to leave out an error trap or to omit some testing, which later turns out to be a critical mistake. Although perfection is something to which we might only aspire, quality workmanship is wholly achievable.
3. Teamwork counts. Bring in the people around you to help solve the problem, if your lack the time and/or expertise to do so on your own. There is nothing heroic about letting one's ego get in the way of a good solution.
The analogy between the drama found in opera and that encountered in IT is a good one, but it only goes so far. Unlike 'rescue operas' like Beethoven's Fidelio and Schumann's Genoveva - in which a hero swoops in from the outside to set matters to rights - we must solve our IT problems amongst ourselves; else tragedy may well swallow us up.