I can deal with a lot but DO NOT turn off the Internet

December 14th, 2005 at 10:20 pm by james

Michelle’s quite ill so I’ve been working from home since Friday – it turns out that doing a full day’s work while looking after the Three makes for a long day. I’ve learned to use the mute button on my mobile to good effect:
“blah blah blah massive infrastructure project blah blah blah”
[toddler approaches, let conversation move on and hit mute]
“James, want to talk to your friend.”
“Ah. Well, I’m talking to my friends at the moment, darling, could you wait a bit?”
[toddler sits beside me or pulls over an upturned bucket and stands on it beside me precisely at hands-free height … unmute with some trepidation to maintain flow of conversation]
My turn now, James?”

Some of my more longsuffering colleagues have actually experienced the joy of conversation with Josie. But that’s nothing compared to the conversations she’s had with that wonderful woman at Orange who is guardian of my voicemail. Josie will chat happily to her about her day, Father Christmas, presents, or anything else topical while being told to press 2 to send a message or 3 to change her mailbox settings.

My daily working arrangement has the two girls with their toys and tele in the sitting room while I work, standing, next door in the kitchen (thanks to wireless) with a serving-hatch-view of them if I turn around. Michelle sleeps upstairs. I’d done a couple of hours of this yesterday morning and was just preparing for my first teleconference of the day when somebody turned off the Internet. Just like that. It was unbelievable.

I could ping my access points and switch and router, so it was obviously The Internet that was at fault. The prospect of two and a half hours of discussion of current issues without access to any current information was a little daunting, so I said hello, stuck the phone on mute and went and played with the girls. Well, not really, but I did spend some time jabbering away on the handsfree while crawling through storage spaces inspecting connections and equipment. It didn’t take long to find that our router had departed to the happy router land over the sea where the sun probably shines and the condensation levels in winter are so much better for you.

I was in a bit of a pickle. I’d even loaned my 3G card to a colleague. I managed to find a replacement that wouldn’t take two days to ship at a corner computer store (did you know any of those had survived the commoditisation of the market?) and phoned my ISP to send my account details to my phone as I wouldn’t be able to recover settings from the dear departed router. £85 and a couple of hours later we were up and running again as though nothing had happened – except of course I’d missed lunch and any opportunity to capitalise on the girls’ midday naptime.

I think I’ve struck a pretty effective balance between work and my current care requirements, but take away the Internet and the balance is absolutely shot to hell. I mean, the whole work end of the scale disappears in an instant; how can I balance that?

One Response to “I can deal with a lot but DO NOT turn off the Internet”

  1. gill adlard Says:

    Sorry that Michelle’s is sick and yr having to look after them all yrself. Now if y’all lived in a sunny African climate I could look after the girls for you! How abaat that?

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