this week. Snow, followed by icy rain followed by more snow. Like hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians from Olympia to Bellingham my home and office were left without electrical power (yawn) and without internet access (GASP!). The storm was so bad it knocked out cell towers throughout the area, so even my mobile device was useless in keeping me current with all my peeps on the internet. I was seriously traumatized.
The Los Angeles Times and other news sources have slammed Seattlites for their ineptitude when the snow hits. The criticism is somewhat deserved, and yet, there is a reason we’re called the Evergreen State. We have an awful lot of tall Evergreens throughout the hills and mountains around here that make up our topography. When their branches get weighted down with snow and ice they often fall onto something and far too often its power lines. And for those not from here you’d be as amazed at all the hills and mountains around here that we regularly drive on, as I have always been amazed at how flat so much of the rest of the country is. Let me tell ya, it’s a lot more difficult to drive on a snowy, icy 30-degree hill than on one that is flat.
A generator I purchased for my family home during the last serious ice storm in 2005 enable me, my wife, and kids to slog through the past two days with virtually all the normal comforts of a nice middle class home. Our Direct TV dish meant there was no cable to lose. So we had tv. But Comcast, once again, couldn’t handle the outage and couldn’t deliver our internet service. And newscasts predicted that power would remain out until the weekend.
The first half of Thursday I was plenty busy trying to get the generator running and my family’s needs met for what we anticipated as being a long period of inconvenience. I tried making some business calls from my cell phone yesterday, but found those I was trying to reach unavailable, dealing with the same weather and problems I was. I woke this morning with no expectation that power would come back before tomorrow. So psychologically I had checked out for the day. I wasn’t prepared to conduct business without the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Since my company, Total Broadcasting Service, began offering video production for internet marketing two years ago so much of my time has been spent promoting it on the various social media sites I had literally forgotten there are other ways to conduct business. How soon we forget. I was a late comer to computers, and even later to conducting business on the internet. And yet I’d forgotten that up until 2005 I had managed a successful radio and then sales career never having used the internet at all. Can you imagine? Prior to that time all my internet usage between 1995 and 2005 had been strictly for personal “fun”.
My wits came back to me late this morning after 3-4 hours of prime Friday morning business time had been wasted. I went to my office picked up the phone and immediately began calling clients. It was hard because, as I’ve already said, I had already mentally checked-out for the day. Do you ever do that? Have you ever thought you had the day off or the rest of the day off and then had to suck it up and put in the time until the end of the day, like usual? It’s tough. But after a couple of hours I was back in the swing of it. I had several productive phone calls with several clients, scheduled a few call-backs, a few appointments and things were rolling like old times.
Then disaster struck…the power and internet service came back on. My first stop…my email…second? Facebook, followed by Twitter, then YouTube. I’m hopeless.
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