Feature Request: Revisiting Negative Override (5 years later)

Hi all.
I’d like to revisit the feature request of having an ability to create a blank override space on a schedule(s).

Currently, creating override requires a user to be selected. The idea is to have an option to simply insert ‘empty time’ as an overriding entity into any schedule so that the schedule behaves as if nobody is oncall in that schedule.

This could be immensely useful for us during holidays or other non-regular closures.

Before anyone asks, we have 100s of multi-layered escalation policies so doing any sort of mass removal and addition of schedules at that scale is too risky and failure-prone. It’s MUCH simpler to have some of the layers behave as if nobody is oncall while emergency escalation layers are still viable.

This has been proposed in the past in this topic: https://community.pagerduty.com/forum/t/negative-override/1792

Thanks, @gene.nazarov. That’s an oldie but a goodie.

I don’t know if this will get implemented, though I’m hoping something gets put in for services that rely completely on automation. We don’t know what that will look like.

In the meantime, if you have a spare license in your account, you could just create a (crash test) dummy user to patch these holes. The account only has to have an email address as a notification, but those emails can go right to the trash. Assign all your overrides to the dummy and no humans have to get involved. :robot:

Inelegant, but might get you there. Our internal dummy users are all over the place in shadow, automation, and test escalation policies, so we know there’s a use case here.


@mandi.walls thanks!

We do dummy users already. The gotcha with dummy users, is they are affected by layer rules in multilayer EPs. So an alert will languish around for however long the layer timeout is before its escalated to higher priority responder layers vs skipping along immediately.

That is true. We’re definitely doing more dump-or-override than short-circuit with the dummy accounts. It sounds like you’d like something like a skip-style or ignore-style placeholder to use for some overrides. :thinking:

The dummy users are useful for many situations as temporary overrides, but detrimental for a ‘pretend-nobody-is-currently-there’ sort of logic.

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