Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's the Word I'm Looking For?

It's that person that observes human behavior and writes books about how stupid we're becoming thanks to technology.  That person could have had a wonderfully enlightening time watching me this morning.

We had a monsoon-caused power outage at my office building last night.  The power - transmitted through 40+ year-old infrastructures - came back on, went off, came back on, went off, etc. enough to cause our server to just throw up its "hands" and sit sulking until someone with sense could tell it it was okay to come back to life.

When our IT gal at work cajoled it back on this morning, we found one casualty:  Outlook.  The normal backup failed due to the yo-yo effect and we were told that Tuesday's emails were toast.  The IT "guru" worked most of the morning remotely restoring from the last backup.

Here's where the entertainment came in.  My normal pattern at work is to check my email and create a "To Do" list first thing every morning.  I can usually finish most of my list before the end of the work day with just a few projects carrying over.  (This is slowly changing, but for now: status quo.)  With the email down, I could NOT focus on anything!  I wandered here, there, chatted with co-workers and surely drove them nuts.  The IT gal finally asked me - in a very nice way - if I didn't have anything better to do than what I was doing/not doing.

(One thing to note: a few of my co-workers discovered that the Outlook on their smart phones didn't work when our server was down.  I keep a paper planner and was unbearably smug.  I think they forgave me.)

Eventually, I was able to sit down and work my way back into focus.  The great news is that as far as I know, only one email was missing and I was able to get it resent.  People trying to send emails to us were getting a "message delayed" and phoning instead.  I was able to talk to people I'd only emailed with before.  What a treat!

Anyway, we're back up and running.  The season of monsoon continues as well.