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Anybody out there?

Yesterday in the office we had a reminder of how fragile our modern technology and the work systems that are based on them are.

In a community a dozen or so miles west of here a cable was inadvertently cut and our telephone and Internet connections were eliminated.

In one way, it was a delightful afternoon for me after the noontime mishap. I took precisely one phone call. How that got through, I don’t know. I appreciated the quietness. My desk isn’t like a Wall Street trading desk, but some days it seems that way.

The lack of an Internet connection would occasionally intrude on my thoughts when I would think that I should check on this or that, or look something up.

I had plenty to do. There were stories to assign, write and edit. There were photographs to process. There were pages in the gift guide to check. They leave for the printer, electronically of course, later today. My work flow went along.

The ad staff was hit much harder. How do you sell an ad if you cannot talk to an advertiser? How can you e-mail files? Their ability to do anything productive runs down more quickly than mine.

For the Standard Catalog staff, it was even worse. The database is Internet based. They were cut off.

As long as my mind is working, I have work. I can even write a story by candlelight if it comes to that. It is not very efficient, but it can get the job done in a pinch.

If you are reading this, the crisis obviously has passed. The disconnection is a reminder, though, that not everything works perfectly. Only the weather was perfect yesterday. Today it will be as well. Then the cold moves in to remind me that it isn’t so bad working indoors even with an occasional problem of the kind we experienced yesterday.

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