Isn’t technology great? Yeah, until it fails, then you’re left scrambling.
Take this week for instance. Monday was especially bad for me. Let’s just say before the night was over I was afraid to touch my microwave and DVD player.
First, my cell phone took a dive into just enough water to get inside of it and put it out of commission. OK. I can handle that... or so I thought. I figured I’d just contact the pertinent people on the VIP list and let them know that my phone was temporarily out of commission and give alternate contact information.
Easier said than done. First, I realized that a great many of those elite few were stored— you guessed it — in my water logged phone (which by the way was never completely submerged in the water, but got just enough in the flip and edge of the back to wreak havoc). And since that’s the “bat phone” with some numbers you don’t want written down at work for everyone to pilfer (not that the folks I work with are like that; I work with some awesome hard working folks) I obviously didn’t have them within easy access to call. And, some of them are “in case of emergency break glass” numbers so off course I can’t remember them off the top of my head. Add to that the fact that the cell phone is the way 10-year-old knows to contact me while he’s spending the month at his dad’s on the east coast, and he’s using a number different than any I had previously.
At that point I really began to realize just how reliant I was on my phone. So, of course I pulled it apart to air out and try to dry it out. (Friends told me to take a hair dryer to it. But, since not only do we not have one at work but I don’t own one, that wasn’t very helpful.) Never knew how much water could hide on the surfaces of something so small as a flip phone and battery 'til Monday. Lots of paper towels used!
Then I went to my desk phone to email my son’s dad to let him know the phone was out and to have our soon-to-be-fifth grader call the landline for his twice weekly chats with mom until I could get the other phone working.
After that, I picked up the office phone by my desk to start the calls I could make and continue with the day’s work. Yeah, easier said than done. Not only did the phone not have a dial tone, I soon discovered that the display showed no signs of life. I checked the connections to make sure all was still hooked up appropriately, then checked with other folks in the news room to see if their phones were working. Of course, they were. So I headed back to talk to our check guy and super smart computer and electrics guru to see if maybe he’d done some upgrades or tests or something that would put the phone out of commission. I mean after all, we do have two lines that every time it rains get staticky. And it was moist out so.... But no, there’s no reason the phone should be dead. So, since I have the pleasure of talking to dozens of individuals on the phone daily, he told me to take his phone and trade. (He later got that phone to work for him).
I plugged it in and it worked, flashed off then back on. Made sure the connection was good. Deep breath. It continued to work, so it was back to work.
OK, chalk it up to Monday and my penchant for having really weird often inexplicable things happen to the electronics and technology I’m working on.
Should have known curse of Monday and my luck (no luck if not bad my dad always says) weren’t over. After all “these come in threes” like everything else right.
Left work later than planned, took laptop provided by work home with intention to catch up on some e-reading I’d fallen behind on and get a bit ahead for Tuesday. Got things printed, and opened the program to start work but it wasn’t to be.
Menu bar showed power was down so got out the power cord and plugged it in. Almost immediately see these lines flash down the screen and the track pad freezes up. Not sure bout the flashing thing but it went away (almost like the spark you see sometimes when plugging in a cord to a fixture in the dark) but generally can just restart computer or plug in a mouse and keep going. It all froze up. Restarted. Came back up but soon crashed. Oh, this was so not good! Tried again. Held the power button got what I call the “windows powering up” sound at some points and could here things moving inside but didn’t come back up. Plug it back in only and it tried but died. Held the on button and it made a sound I wasn’t familiar with. To me it was a whistling sound. Let it set. Tried it a while later. Sat overnight. Tried in morning. Same result.
It was getting late and I figured I’d better eat. But I was out of bread, didn’t feel like braving the blue store and and was afraid to touch the microwave. Was bored stiff and the TV wasn’t on yet but was afraid to turn it on, esp. the DVD player to finish the movie I’d started the night before. I’m tellin’ ya, the way my luck was going I figured I’d short out the washing machine or something. There was a lot more drama with all of the above but I’ll spare ya all that craziness and whining.
Back to the tech tale. When Tuesday arrived, I put the laptop on our tech wizard’s desk and waited, sent him an email and waited for him to come in to pour out my story. He listened, said the foreign sound I’d heard wasn’t a whistle but a “chime” that generally sounds to signal it’s in “program” mode. He tried a few things to try to jump start up disk to get me through my morning reports. He was hopeful — until he starting checking it out. Even his magic wasn’t enough to revive my ailing computer. (Thanks for trying Davy. You're the best!) He told me it committed suicide.
So, Tuesday I did morning rounds with the old standards, a pencil and Big Chief tablet. OK, it was actually a pen and reporter’s notebook, but you get the picture. I wrote it out then had to come back and type it. Cutting out the longhand stage and typing it in the downloading at work generally cuts anywhere from an hour to three hours off prep time.
Came in today and still no laptop. Techie managed to get the old ‘puter that kept crashing on me and eating stuff up. Not sure what he did to it, but so far it’s functioning if not perfect. That’s my old one that was replaced by the suicidal ibook because it finally wore out. So I get to use the old dinosaur until a more permanent solution is found. Course, I still don’t have access to all the handy things and files that were on the ibook, but it worked today so not gonna nock it.
Just keep your fingers crossed for me please; this laptop used to eat and corrupt the middle of really important files and I’m hoping it won’t remember how to do that anymore. Senior citizen of laptops remember-let’s hope it has a touch of old timers forgetfulness as far as crashing and really screwing stuff up is concerned.
So anyway, that’s my manic Monday and tech disaster. Hard to do work when your technology doesn’t. I felt like I was living in Renee’s shoes in Twilight movie: “Technology repels me now.”
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