My Internet connection is down again today. It is now day 10.
On the first morning after the heavy rain storm when my connection wouldn’t, well, you know, connect, I didn’t think anything of it. I had a meeting out of town, packed my computer and my notes and headed to the car.
On day 3 of no connection, I called the cable company. Via my phone I toured many departments, visited India and back — and still no connection.
“We’ll have to send someone out, Ms. Brown. How is next Saturday between 2-4pm?” Seeing as Saturday is three days hence, it wasn’t my first choice but the show must go on.
I packed up and headed to the local library for their wireless. Connected. Ah, that sense of no longer being marooned. I retrieved email, wrote a blog post, did some research and responded to my email.
Gads – my email wouldn’t send!
I packed up and headed to the local coffee shop for their wireless connection. Comfortable seats, a connection that works both ways — receiving AND sending. Yet there was something not so right about taking without giving, so I bought a coffee. $4.25 later (because you can’t go into a coffee shop and just buy ordinary coffee — shouldn’t you experience something different?) I send my email. Then I smell the scones. Another $2.00 later I’ve gotten caught up and yet – no I haven’t because more email has come through and another blog comment to respond to and a request for a proposal and an hour turns into many hours and it’s dinner time.
I pack up to feed my family only to realize that I have a project due to a customer by morning and they are expecting it by email. Which I don’t have in my home office at the moment. So after dinner it’s back to the coffee house again.
This frustrating dance continues for three more days, packing up my office, starting at the free library, ending up at the coffee shop, wasting gas and drinking and eating into my profits.
Finally Saturday arrives. I have dropped my computer off at the “doctors” to make sure it isn’t my hardware and in the process of swinging by to pick it up — I miss the cable guy by seven minutes. SEVEN MINUTES.
I place an urgent call — he’ll be right back, Ms. Brown. I sit for five hours and 52 minutes until 8pm— the end of their shift. I call again — oh he’ll be out tomorrow for sure. Sometime between 8am and 8pm.
No work this weekend while I wait for the cable guy.
Sunday shines brightly and the Internet is once again connected in my home, thanks to the Sunday-working cable genius. I download email, check Bloglines for my RSS feeds … and BAM! The connection is gone again.
I turn to my son in total frustration.
“I have commitments I am unable to keep because of the Internet. What happened to us that we’ve become so totally dependent on the Internet?”
He says “Wow, that would make a great blog post. Too bad you can’t connect to the Internet to write it.”
Smart aleck. Remind me why I had kids.
Three more days I travel from hot spot to hot spot looking for connections to continue to run my business.
The final day finds me here in my car at 10pm outside the Caribou coffee shop answering email and praying the connection will reach my car in this empty parking lot. Eureka! Connection without cost. Can’t survive much more of this insanity.
They come tomorrow to lay new cable outdoors. Fingers crossed.
However, if it doesn’t work at least I now know I can conduct business from the parking lot outside the local coffee house. Now, if only my van had a bathroom ….
P.S., This was my life last month. The cable guy restored my cable the next day … and in the process, took out the neighbor’s cable television.
Has this happened to you? Here are two resources you might want to check out:
John Henshell offers some advice for those experiencing computer issues — what do to before you call the repair guy, in his guide to solving business computer problems.
Nathan Janos tells us how to connect to our computer from anywhere in his article of the same name.
And be sure to share your painful, silly stories in the comments below, about how you’ve had to adapt when computer issues have hit your business. We’ll laugh with you.