The internet is as essential a component in our lives as are the power lines that bring electricity to our houses and the roads that deliver products to our doors. Before branding that statement as hyperbole, let’s look at precedent. A century ago, electricity was a luxury. Now, can we image living without it? Indoor plumbing did not become standard until four score years ago. Anyone want an outhouse in his backyard? There are people — not very old people either — who are reading this who remember when getting a phone was a big thing.
Technologies evolve. Like it or not, we become dependent.
I reside on the web; communicating with vendors, providing services to clients, even looking up restaurants for our anniversary. (Be warned however, I do NOT play Farmville; your invitation shall be rebuffed.) The triple-W is about as important to my livelihood as PG&E is to delivering the juice that runs my computer. I could survive without it, sure, but it would — by no small amount — upend the quality of my life.
So I should have foreseen the turn of events that would transpire when I decided to “upgrade” my phone service. But, what can I say? I’m an optimist. Dreams die hard…
The crew that came out was friendly and efficient. Yet, within 24 hours, my internet service devolved into hit-and-miss connections; so much so that I could no longer hold phone conversations nor work on the web.
Not having only one contact in the loop, I call the phone provider; explaining the issue (over a series of clicks and clacks). They flip switches and read dials, (predictably) arriving at the conclusion the hitch is due to my cable company, not them.
“No so fast!” says cable technical support; informing me everything checks out on their end. “Replace your router,” is his solution. The equipment manufacturer explains that their apparatus is A-OK, redirecting me to service provider number one, somehow providing a twisted sense of Zen to this now completed loop.
Yet I remain in the lurch, cyber-lonely, career faltering; web-less.
“Start by educating yourself!” says my inner voice.
So, I research 802.11ac backwards-compatible routers; high speed ultra-broadband cable modems incorporating the DOCSIS 2 (or 3) standard; interference between blue-tooth enabled 2.5 GHz wireless telephones and Wi-Fi. Now fully-informed, I plunge headlong into the rat’s nest of blue cables, gray wires, and white cords that reside in the darks spaces under my desk. I repair, replace, recycle, reconnect, and eventually reset.
Fighting a pain in my lower back from crawling into small places where 58-year-old men were not meant to be, I slowly stand erect and wipe the dust bunnies from my trousers. Hope rides high as each piece of equipment in turn buzzes and beeps back to being. LEDs are emitting, fans are whooshing, monitors are moniting. All appears as it should; at least until I try again to access the web. Na-da. Nothing. Spinning beach ball of death.
Exhaling in exasperation (and throwing out a few choice expletives), under the desk I submerge yet again. More connections. Additional cables. (Lots of vacuuming.) From my topsy-turvy, very dusty world, what do I spy? A miniscule 99¢ connector is loose; wiggling when touched. Could this tiny, insignificant, miniature fragment of cheap plastic be the source of my problems? Seems too good to be true.
I re-route the cables and re-cable the router. Voila! Before you can say “broadband 15-megabyte download,” I am tweeting, posting, and pinging to my heart’s delight!
Real life lesson:
When communications don’t seem to be working correctly, it’s worth starting with the small stuff to making sure you’ve got the right connection.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a motivational productivity expert and weight loss speaker. He will be co-producing an event in Humboldt County on October 12 best described as “a cross between a creativity workshop and productivity training – with a bit of life balance thrown in for good measure.” If you are a solo-entrepreneur, business manager, or artisan, find out how to save 33% at http://bit.ly/PlorkHumboldt
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