The internet went down today and our school ground to a halt. A connected school, naturally, we build our classes around online content and store things to the shared network, so we were all left staring into space.
No internet, how do we procrastinate?
It became obvious within minutes that not only could we not do any productive work, but we couldn’t do all those things we normally do to waste time. No shopping online, no reading the news, checking blogs, booking holidays, oh and looking for information or images – you know the list.
I was busy answering the phone as each teacher phoned for the IT team in the next office, except they didn’t know the IT guys phone number, as they have only been in their library workroom since the beginning of the year and so no one knew the number for the IT workroom. Solution? Phone the library and ask Flamingo Dancer for the number.
Now, I knew the cause of the issue and I could have just told the teacher, or walked the three paces from my office to the IT workroom and handed over my handset, but just as one has to train a pet, one must train one’s colleagues and so I repeated the extension number over and over again, so that they could dial it and perhaps put it somewhere in their long term memory. I am not holding out for that of course; I have said already once this week, I am a wise woman, but one must maintain hope while there is life, or no internet.
So, Librarian and IT team were occupied answering phones. Luckily (?) the issue was external to the school; otherwise the poor IT guys would not have had a chance of fixing anything, as the phone didn’t stop for the first half hour. (Obviously, I would have been Library Heroine then and just womaned all queries, which would have been extremely taxing for me as we all know I don’t do nice for long).
Back to the big issue: what do you do when the internet/intranet/servers go down? Coffee? Pretend that you really, really wanted to work on that project that was due last month/year/decade, but alas and alack NO INTERNET? Thank The Big Whatever, that you now have an excuse for not having the project due tomorrow, signed, sealed and able to be delivered? File your nails? Make your Christmas wish list? Write a blog post for later uploading (not something I would do, oh no, never…)
You can’t exactly leave the building, as life could return to as we knew it, at any time, so unless it was only twenty minutes to lunch and therefore legitimise an early break, you are bound to the general office.
No one makes paper clip chains anymore (do they?), as we all have those snazzy paper clip containers that hold them all behind a magnet until needed; bought from some office supply store and given to us as the piece de resistance by Great Aunt Nell at Christmas. (And damn it, I had to use a hard copy dictionary to make sure piece de resistance was actually spelt, piece de resistance! It is.)
Remember the old days when we had perfected the art of staring out of the window for hours on end? I spent one entire summer vacation doing very much that once. I had the wistful face pretty much down pat. The sighs were dramatically pathetic, but sadly they did not alter my mother’s view on giving me a baby sister just because my BFF’s mother was doing just that.
What about those long driving holidays in the back seat with nothing to but pinch and punch your sibling; nights before hair dryers and curling tongs when it could take all evening for you to dry your hair? Friday nights when you knew all your friends had dates and you didn’t? Perfect wasted time to hone your procrastination skills.
Now of course we are dependent on all sorts of IT gadgets to fill our days and panic when we have to turn gadgets off for the few minutes it takes for a the plane takes off and lands. Our students can’t walk from class to class without whipping out their phones.
It was well over four hours without the internet, and our collective suffering only ceased with the last bell of the day. The hordes were off minutes later, hopefully home to range on the internet. Long may we be wired, or rather Wified.
[Wi-fied is not in the dictionary, though of course Wi-Fi is. If they can make up Wi-Fi, I can take the liberty to make us wified.]
“Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.”
― Ellen DeGeneres