I for one feel absolutely lost when I don’t have access to it! This morning, we have no email and the file server seems to be a little worse for wear. Surprisely, it has been going relatively well here at the College. Not too many upset people. However, how long will that last?
I have found that when we’ve had various outages in the past, we are usually good for about 1/2 a day. After that, people start to get anxious. So much of what we do every day here is completely reliant on the technology we have. For half a day, we can find other things to do. After that, it depends on what technology is missing.
If email is missing – that lasts for about 1/2 a day – people can make calls or use personal email accounts to communicate. The biggest issue for the first 1/2 of the day is the fact that some people don’t have access to their calendars! That’s hard to figure out which meeting you have!
If voicemail or phones are missing – that can be down for a few days – seems not many people care about the phones. There’s always a cell phone around if you really need to call someone! And if people can’t find you by phone, there’s always email!
If the access to files is down – that is the worst – that is only good for about 5 minutes! This is the day to day work that we all do. If we have enough warning and can grab the files we need, that’s ok – we can work with that. However, if there is a sudden outage (or a “hiccup” as I like to call it) then we have calls and people coming in to the office in a bit of a panic. Understandably – this is the work we are doing every day.
However, as I keep reminding people (including myself) – let’s get our priorities straight here. Yes, there is inconvenience and stress when these things happen. Data loss even can seem like a HUGE deal – and no doubt – to the person it happens to – it IS a HUGE deal. This has happened to everyone in some way or another – sometimes in our control (eg. a mistake we’ve made) or out of our control (eg. a server going down).
But…put this in perspective. No one is going to die or get hurt because of this technological problem. We are not in that kind of an industry where that could happen. At most, it is time (and possibly some $$) lost. But no loss of life or limb. That is the perspective we need.