March 31st — Yesterday was a Cat in the Hat rainy weather day. Perfect for a Monday. It started like this:
Me: “Alexa, what’s the weather today?”
Alexa: “I’m sorry but I can’t connect to the internet right now…”
Yesterday we experienced abject fear.
In the grand scheme of things, where the health and safety of humanity are the ultimate goals, it truly seems petty, I know. I’m fully aware of that saying of “1st world problems”…
But when you realize that everyone’s offices now are in Zoom and on the internet, technology is a must. It’s not a luxury. Face-to-face meetings can only happen in video chat now, and let’s be honest, phone conversations are just not the same sometimes. And if you haven’t tested out keeping up with distant family over FaceTime and Zoom yet, it is so much fun and facilitates that imperative connection…it’s absolutely essential right now.
As my husband said, “To shelter in place with working, reliable internet: no big deal. Easy peasy. But shelter in place with failing, dicey technology?!? Watch the heads start spinning in complete circles. NOT AN OPTION” We have businesses to keep afloat, keeping ourselves and our employees who trust us also afloat and not panicking. You can’t do that without the ability to be on the internet reliably.
Personally, I’m way more old-school than anyone in my family in that I will still watch tv or a movie and not also be on my phone. I sometimes sit and eat without my phone. (Crazy, huh?) I love to sit outside and look at the sky tech-free. I even talk to people on elevators and in line…I know!
But you take away my internet at home during shelter-in-place, and we have a PROBLEM. This extrovert needs her ZOOM time both for business and social. This ADD mind needs focus. Her kids become super irritable, which cuts into everyone’s flow. Basically, everything tends to come a screaming, chaotic halt.
It was a real mess.
We spent literally all day (and some of the previous day Sunday) in some form of troubleshooting, waiting on hold with Spectrum (oh the joys), entertaining workmen, and my favorite: testily asking each other, “OMG what are we gonna do?? Who do we call? And some barking, too: “Get someone over here to fix this!! Go buy another router, go buy SOMETHING from Best Buy to FIX THIS NOW.”
Good times, right? But hey, burn through the hotspots. We gotta work!
If you read my blog from a few days ago about “other peoples’ ZOGs,” here’s some evidence to back that up.
Luckily, we got Michael Bennett of Bennett Technologies to come over and peel us off the ceiling and FIX all our issues. His ZOG. NOT ours. A real godsend!
Let me just say that my whole family is quite tech-savvy and they do all kinds of stuff tech-related that makes my head spin, but when you have the dreaded STRESS GOGGLES on, all bets are off. One literally cannot think straight.
So, after all the drama of the energy-draining day of panic and stress and burning our phones’ hot spots, we are good. We even got our Spectrum plan lowered in the process: go figure! So there was actually a bright spot from having had to endure a 1 hour and 11 minute phone call with 3 different Spectrum representatives (crazy googly-eyed face here).
What’s the lesson? It can be best relayed in a favorite saying here in Texas:
If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute!
PATIENCE, y’all. Persistence, and patience. (breathing helps, too)
I make no false promises of that being easy, but you can’t force it. Calmly, methodically approach a situation and identify the next, best step.
Instead of calling Spectrum back not ONE HOUR after the worker left and all ceased working, we realized we should call that awesome network drop guy we have used in the past and see if he could possibly come fix or at least identify the problem.
Consult someone else’s ZOG. It’s a win every time. (and we supported a local small business!!! Win-win!!)
Not 20 minutes after all the wifi was back up and humming, my amazing sister-in-law popped in with a video call to the Google Home and we had the greatest catch up full of chuckles, stories and shared frustrations with raising teens (especially right now).
No wonder I feel so good today. I’ll take it.
I might even seek out a Dr Suess book in the house and read it, soaking in all those warm fuzzies.