“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

I nominate the following for the sysadmin motto, as stated by God in the “Godfellas” episode of Futurama.

“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

It sure seems that way to me. Take, for instance, patching of machines, which is a thankless job because the customer often sees it as an unnecessary inconvenience. If you get hacked, though, it’s blame city. A good customer of mine asked me last Friday if all the downtime to patch is necessary. “Doesn’t it seem sort of reactionary?” he asked. Yes, it is quite reactionary, but I think all this news of Zotob.? and RBOT seems to justify it. I mailed him the link to the CNN article this afternoon. His response: “Thanks for insisting that we patch.” Hey, thanks for listening to me and letting me do my job.

That guy had a few Windows 2000 servers. He also has a firewall protecting him, but it just keeps the real bad guys out. I fear for all of those admins that have Windows 2000 laptops floating in and out of the networks behind the firewalls. Good luck, folks.

26 thoughts on ““When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.””

  1. I quite agree. That quote alone made that episode, in my opinion, the most profound of all Futurama episodes.

    This idea can also be applied on a moral level. In life one sometimes comes across an opportunity to help someone in a certain way that will go unnoticed. Morally the right way to handle the situation would be simply to help and the wrong thing to do would be to manipulate the situation so that it makes you come out as a hero even if what you did was truly helpful or not.

  2. I rarely watch Futurama…not that I don’t want to, it’s just I don’t know when it’s going to be on. When I do get to watch it though, it usually is just pointless humor. However, when I watched the “Godfellas” episode, it really made me think. As soon as I heard that quote at the end, I had to run and find a piece of paper to write it down. It made me want to start my own list of quotes to keep me going. So I did…and now that quote is on the very top. Quotes are one of my favorite things in the world. I try to write a new one every day.
    Thanks for reading.

    • heres one more
      everyday your either screwed
      or f**ked
      in one you, youve given consent
      and the other is forced

  3. No clue what a sysadmin is…but I agree about that episode and the quote. I find theres a deecent amount of Futurama episodes that aren’t pointless humor all the time, which is why I like them. Nowadays, Family Guy, South Park, other stuff, they’re funny. But pointless. Futurama sometimes has that profound or emotional or sumthin side to it. Like when Fry had a chance to get his dog back.But yea great quote, I had to google it to make sure I had it right

  4. i love this quote as well, i just used it in a paper for my english class, and i really hope my teacher is not a futurama fan! But yes this show is very excellent, and the episode when Fry thinks of his brother as a jerk, and later finds out in the end what he really was, is the best episode of any show i have ever seen.

  5. No kidding. I almost cried watching that ending. I guess thats the mark of a good show. It can make you laugh and cry. Or almost since Im too much of a man! 🙂

  6. Man I love this quote just saw it in a Futurama episode I watched for the second time. Straight after I googled it. It pretty much sumerises a sysadmins job. I am a SysAdmin, and people are so oblivious to the dedication and sheer expertise thatgoes into keeping their computers, servers, and networks running as they “expect” it should be. It is a thankless job. Apart from the stress I love it none the less. But my point is it’s a great and very relavent quote.

  7. the episode aired today wasn’t the first time i saw it but i just realised the quote this time, really good one, also if your into quoted look up carpe diem quotes… and that dog episode shoulda had a happier ending i think the dog woulda added alot to the cast

  8. I have to agree with, yeah, all of the posts. It’s a very sophisticated quote.
    I hope it’s not seen as spam, when I recommend one
    fine piece of electronic music: “Nugatti All Ova Me Butty” by Olav Brekke Mathisen.
    The first track “Hasjbox” contains the conversation between the “Godfellas” Bender & God in this Futurama episode and thereby this very quote.
    Knew the episode before and was surprised to get this with an album I wanted because of another track 🙂

  9. did futuramma originate this quote?! it just seems like it would come from some philosopher from the enlightenment, or perhaps from the bible itself. this surprises me and whoever came up with it needs to be credited, even though it technically goes against the principles of the quote itself lol. if one lives by this quote then you get to live your life as puppet master, a new level of selflessness. more human than human

  10. This is my all time favorite quote,it is so true.I love Futurama,its my favorite comedy show and it allways will be.to bad adultswim took it off!well ennyways its on comedy central.

  11. Its such a shame such a profound show was taken off the air. An even sadder shame that with the economy its all time low, the show launched dvds in oder to see if it would make it back on the air… but i heard its still doing surprisingly well with its movie dvd sales…

    So maybe a beautiful show like this, that as stated before, will come back on air. Lets hope cuz i do miss the tears, the profound thoughts this show luanhced you into and most of all the humor behind it.

    oh btw… I disagree with the user who said it would’ve have been better to bring the dog back. It wouldn’t have been as memorable and life is that sad sometimes. I think Fry also knew everything has an end to it, and instead of letting his dog suffer another fate like the one it suffered before (abandonment & re installation of life{which fry doesn’t know that the dog never did move on} ) he just let his old friend rest in peace. It was truly beautiful, and it had me crying like a little girl.

  12. I agree with Kevin on all points, Futurama is one of the best animated series ever created and gets better every time you watch it.

    Especially since they have still been making great full length movies. And by the way the dog has a recurring role in one of the movies.

  13. Oh yeah Jon! i remember fry happens to be there when the restaurant blows up lol. any who for those futurama freaks like me guess what everyone!!!!! WE DID IT!!!! WE GOT THE SHOW BACK ON THE AIR!!!!


    Expect it soon on Comedy Central Mid 2010!

  14. Matthew 6:1-4 (But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

  15. That was a powerful qute and the dog episode actually had me crying at the end he waited so long even tho fry wasent coming

  16. I love this quote. I live by it. I too am a sysadmin and the things I’m in charge of just work, like magic…no one realizes how much work goes on to keep the network flowing properly. I just get great satisfaction while doing my job and knowing how important it is even if the rest of the world is oblivious to it.

  17. That quote fits any IT related profession (specially the back-end stuff). I’m a programmer, and sometimes I feel I’ve been treated that way. Not in the game industry, though. In the game industry, a programmer is a rock-star!

    Has anybody mentioned on the same season, episode 6, The Luck of the Fryrish? It had very emotional ending…anyway, this is the best cartoon show I’ve ever seen.

  18. Like many comments posted here, I too heard the quote and rushed to right it down, then rushed to the computer and do a search on it. I am actually quite shocked that this is the only or the best search site I could find. I also thought surely it was from a famous quote.. While I am not sysadmin, I am in admin. I believe this quote may apply to many or even all fields. As an administrator assuming a new position, there are adjustments to be made by all. As the administrator sets efficiency into full and affective action, they then simply need to do minor adjustments to the self running system to keep it in line with the times, allowing the organization to take advantage of any current business opportunities available.

  19. OMG i no i cried at the end of the dog episode too. Anyway I often think of that quote….when i heard it i was just struck …it made me feel numb n it really made me think…every now and then i remember it and i have to think about it again but i recon its true…definately…When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all…

  20. hahaha, great minds think a like, huh? I happened to catch a Futurama rerun last night that I hadn’t seen. This quote was in that episode. As soon as I heard it, I knew that was going to be my MSN tagline at work. When I googled it today to be sure I had the wording right, I came across this blog. It’s sad that the quote is so true in the SysAdmin field because it makes getting a raise a chore! Sometimes I mess with the GPO right before I take a vacation just so they miss me… Kidding! I don’t get vacations 🙁

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