My Technology Pulls April Fools On Me

I guess that’s the best way to explain my comedy of issues today.

Issue One: Phone

I was driving from Boston to a meeting in Connecticut. While I hate to drive, I don’t mind it if I can return lots of calls during that time and schedule conference calls during that time. [My first lesson was that early morning in the East Coast is a hard time to call people in other time zones.] About halfway thru my drive, my phone gave me the equivalent of the blue screen of death. It just showed a spinning clock.

So, I pulled the battery out and tried to reset it…over and over again. Nothing. At this point, I’m missing a conference call and thinking about the fact that in today’s day and age no one is going to believe that I was totally off the grid on a day while I’m working. So, 25 minutes later, I pull off the highway to look for a pay phone. (Yes…I’m not even sure they still exist.) I found one and figured I could call someone to send out a message to 4 or 5 people and let them know that my phone was down.

Well, the pay phone didn’t work. So then I spot an AT&T store (which is not my provider). I go in and ask them about a pre-paid phone. They tell me $30 plus pennies per minute. I’m thinking that’s perfect. BUT, the phone comes with no battery life and it’s another $30 for a car charger. No need to be too needy. Fortunately, before I run over my phone with the car, it comes back to life.

Issue Two: Outlook

Even with the delay, I get to my meeting early and decide to stop at a Starbucks and send off a proposal that someone is waiting for. It seems like a great idea, but right after I sit down, I get a call asking where I am. Apparently, I’m still having an Outlook issue with Daylight Savings Time. While I think I’m an hour earlier, I’m actually late (by the time I get back from Starbucks to their office).

Issue Three: Outlook

Now, I get out of the meeting and have too many emails to answer. I scan for a few urgent ones and go to respond. Well, no big surprise…my e-mail is full. I can’t send any e-mails. So, I jump in the car and drive to the airport.

Issue Four: Power

As I look to jump on another conference call, I realize my Bluetooth headset and my phone are low on power. Not a big deal, I just need to find an exit off the highway with some store where I can squat and plug in. Ideally with a wireless network also. I have no idea where I stopped, but I found a Borders which worked. (I’m sure I looked funny with my Bluetooth headset plugged in and in use and trading plugs between my phone and my laptop.)

Issue Five: Wireless

Now, I finally have a chance to get online and save down enough files to send an e-mail. Great…but I can’t connect. Something is wrong with my wireless card (which worked the day before). [I must admit I’m starting to go a little crazy at this point.] So, I call our IT people, but I have to be on conference calls so I can’t take their call and can’t get e-mail. I get enough battery life to make it the rest of the trip and leave for the airport. Once there, I connect with the IT people and fix the wireless card.

Issue Six: Details

This one might simply be called stupidity, but in the rush to get my e-mail downloaded at the airport and find a plug, I looked at the departure time thinking it was the boarding time. So, after moving around some chairs to an abandoned gate with a plug, I hear “last call for George Van Antwerp”.

What a day! I’m glad the 90-minute client meeting was a good one. Now only one more hour before the last leg of my trip…a short flight home from Chicago.

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