Anyway, this is one of those posts where I unload about the blunter points of my existence, and in particular, my day today. The saga begins last night...
My son has been ill for a bit over a week with some virus or other that has had him coughing like a crazy person, particularly at night. Well, I've caught it. And last night, we were both coughing like crazy people into the wee small hours of the morning.
Feeling generally ill, and like my brain was about to explode thanks to all the coughing, I commented to my wife that maybe I'd call in sick to work today. Spend a day in bed destressing and healing. My doctor tells me I'm over stressed, and that's what is causing some of my recent physical ills.
Anyway, when I woke up this morning, I contemplated for a while and decided that the extra push of the snooze button I'd just finished enjoying meant I was now able-bodied enough to join the rest of the rat race in resuming normal employment for the week.
The next thing that happened was that the phone rang. It was my boss, letting me know that I should probably work from home today. Power was out at his house, and living in close proximity to our workplace, he assumed that the office would be the same. After organising to move an appointment I'd organised this morning, I mused on the wonderful fortune that had just befallen me - I now had an hour before I needed to start working, and I didn't need to commute home either! Overlooking sickness, this might turn out to be a reasonable day.
However, this was not to be. As I began working, the first thing I discovered is that neither of my two computers was able to connect to the office network. Figuring this must be the power, I shrugged and kept on working. However, as the hours wore on, and people from work began popping up on IM, I realised that this was not the case.
During the course of coming to this realisation, the phone rang. It was a client, who I couldn't help due to the fact I was not connected to the office. Then the phone rang again. And again. And each time, it was the same story. I sensed the unspoken frustration of my boss and coleagues as I had to hand off every single call to someone else.
I started trying to fix my problem with connecting to the work network as the phone thankfully took a rest from it's relentless ringing. I was feeling decidedly stressed because I'd fielded several support calls, and actually helped none of them. As I tried to resolve the issue, I got more and more bermused by the lack of logic apparent in the problem's continuing existance. It was at this point that one of my workmates, whom I was talking with via IM, suggested that perhaps it was an issue with the telephone exchange due to the recent blackouts.
Aha, I thought, that could well be it! However, we never lost power, and the phone works fine! I picked it up to check my supposed tautolegy, and was greeted by deathly silence. I hung up, and tried again. Again, the phone screamed silently in my ear. By this point I was getting increadibly stressed and frustrated about the lack of things that function and also exist in my vicinity. I rang our phone from my mobile, and without even ringing the phone beeped loudly in my ear, and displayed "Connection Error" on the screen. I tried calling the phone from Skype, and was connected to a constant beep, which didn't sound at all like the kind of language my phone would normally use.
Great, I thought, no phone, no VPN. My boss will never let me work from home again.
It was at this point that my wife, who had recently returned home from shopping, emerged from having put our son in bed for his afternoon sleep, and commented: "Is that my mobile ringing?" It was, and in my wife's answering it my day got profoundly more crazy. It was a friend of my wife's who has been going through some pretty full-on personal stuff, and for reasons I won't disclose, needed urgently for someone to drive her to Wollongong. Faced with the prospect of trying to keep Jake amused while working while being sick and very tired, I decided it was time to fall back to Plan A, and take the rest of the day as sick leave. So I messaged my boss, and he responded that it was OK. I had previously mentioned to him that if I couldn't sort out my connectivity issues, I may need to do this, so at least he was prepared. Only problem is that my boss is very non-readable in these situations, so he may be wildly frustrated at me to the point of near dismissal, or he may be completely fine with the whole arrangement; I just don't know.
So, I desperately try to sort out handing off the phone messages that had accumulated unnoticed while the phone wasn't working, and my wife starts hunting down directions to an unknown location in Wollongong. I then tried to call the phone company from my mobile, and after several layers of push-button phone menus, followed by several layers of those annoying "I can understand what you say!" voice menus that never actually can understand what you say, I finally arrived at my destination: a young woman by the name of Bree from AAPT. After asking me to confirm the same information the "speak to me!" menus had just asked me for, I described to her the situation, to which she replied that I should do an equiptment isolation test so that I can be sure its not my problem, because if it is, they'll charge me a bunch of money for a service call. Remembering previous dealings with Telstra, I ask if she can test the line. Yes she can, but I'll need to disconnect my ADSL modem. I do. My wife frowns at me disapprovingly as her Whereis search times out.
"Oh I'm sorry," Bree says flattly, "I can't seem to test it. I'll need to call Telstra and get them to do it. Do you mind holding?"
"Sure" I reply, "But I'm on my mobile, so I might run out of credit."
"If it does, I'll call you back." she replies swiftly, and without waiting for a response places me on hold.
DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE A PROBLEM HERE?!?!?
We seem to have neglected the multi-digit key required to jack me into your intellegence-deficient matrix.
Sure enough, within a couple of minutes of annoying electronified Bach, my phone beeps rudely at me, signalling that I have an inhumanly short quantity of time left to wrap up my conversation. Seeing as how the only conversation I'm engaged in at this time is the one with my inner psycho killer, itching wildly to get out and modify the popular venacular from "going Postal" to "going Justin", I sit in silent stupor until my phone promptly beeps again, notifying me my call and my sanity are now at an end. My inner psycho killer promptly gives up and caps himself, restoring me to a state of defeatest apathy. However, there's still the issue of not having a phone...
Thankfully, through some twist of fate, my ADSL connection continues to work. So I jump on Skype (who's creators are my official "Heros of the Day") and give AAPT a call back on their "13-" number, which should mean it's charged like a local call. Well, I was paying 32 cents a minute, and it took me two and a half minutes to navigate through the previously mentioned menu system, even though I was interrupting the annoying "you can talk to me!" woman at every chance I had. Finally, I end up speaking to some guy whose name I now completely don't care about, who once again reconfirms all the information I've just provided.
Yes yes, he can see that I was speaking to Bree, blah blah... Oh wow, there's a fault. Really?? No way! Who would of thought? Technician will be dispatched, etc... expected resolution is close of business tomorrow.
That's right boys and girls, I am officially without a phone for a day and a half for no good reason I can see. It was working, and then it wasn't. And now it won't be for another day and a half. The worst part is that I was working from home today and tomorrow, and now, I'll be driving to the office tomorrow. Not only that, but I'm pretty convinced my boss doesn't like me working from home anymore, but doesn't feel like he can now withdraw the offer. Well - the truth is that he can't. Thanks to rising petrol prices, we only have enough money to pay for the petrol for me to commute the 3 days in 5 I now do, and there's no public transport. If my boss were to change his mind, I'd be forced to find a new job.
So that brings us to now. Having dispatched my wife to Wollongong with the only working phone that still has credit, and being home sick with my sick son who really should be asleep but is right now coughing like a crazy person, I'm now about to reformat my perfectly good computer because I didn't believe the Vista upgrade advisor when it said "these things will cause you untold trouble!", and proceeded to upgrade anyway.
I guess I still have a lot to work on...
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
- John 16:33 (NIV)
EDIT (much later that evening): As it turns out, I'd also forgotten for the third time that I promised a client that today, I'd upload some system updates I'd done for them. So at twenty to ten on a Monday night when I'd called in sick to work, I'm working. I think I'm going insane.