Thursday, November 20, 2008

No, I Can't Fix It; I'm a Writer

I make a very real effort every day to be a modern guy, to get with the digital revolution, to remember to turn on my cell phone, to post a daily blog entry, to write advice for business people for Anne Clelland's Handshake 2.0 ( even when I don't know what I'm talking about, to sit at my laptop in public places and look important.

Some days though, I fail. Yesterday was a failure day. It was a failure of the technology, of the spirit, of the courage to face this evolution on steroids for one minute past 5 o'clock.

I've been wading through a construction site every day this week at work because a job that was scheduled to be finished (our Valley Business FRONT office) in September has taken longer than anticipated. We got a commode Tuesday and a lavatory Wednesday. A door was put on the bathroom late Wednesday afternoon, relieving the feeling of peeing against a tree. There's noise and dust and guys with pot bellies and paint spattered clothing going in and out the front door for smoke breaks and to select another tool. It's been 20 degrees outside and I sit in the draft ... quietly, most of the time.

That was all fine because at least I was in the office.

Then the technology started to fail me ... or I it. The printer had worked perfectly after my pal Alicia Nash installed it and all my other electronic equipment Monday. Wednesday, it didn't want to print documents. It was more than willing to print photos, to fax, to scan, to take out the garbage. But print a story assignment for a writer waiting in my office for it? N0000000000. I told her I'd e-mail it. Big mistake. The e-mail went down shortly after she left, smiling because she was getting her first Valley Business FRONT assignment (nice woman from Memphis with a great resume). Alicia swears it's the server ("Let me tell you about those guys ...").

Then I lost my entire wireless digital signal, the one Alicia had gone to so much trouble to connect, secure and teach me about. Gone. Just gone. I checked the connectors, turned everything off, then on again. Nothing. "Alicia," I said on my trusty--sometimes--cell phone, "I don't know how to tell you this ..." She was sympathetic, then told me she was going out of town for five days.

So I called my brother, who was on his way to Roanoke from Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he lives. He's giving a talk to a bunch of managers at Carilion Health System (which he does for a living) Friday. I wanted some sympathy. I got him on his cell and the signal wasn't good. Then I lost him. Must have hit a dead zone. I'm starting to freak.

Oh, hell, I thought. I'm going home. I've lost this one and maybe I can start over in the morning. So I packed up everything, lugged it to the front door, put in the key, turned it and ... It wouldn't turn. I stood there with that 1,000-yard stare for a long minute. Then our construction supervisor, Steve, shows up at just the right minute. "You look like a desperate character," he said, taking the key from me and turning it. "Go home and sit down." I did.

No comments:

Post a Comment