Saturday, April 19, 2008

An Internet Crisis

As some of you may know I am currently employed at a large local University here in Western MA. What you may not know is that for the past week there has been absolutely no Internet access at parts of the campus including the Health Service which is where I am stationed.
No Internet means that scheduling of students for appointments on my division has slowed to a crawl and reduced documentation to a bare minimum. The administration is working round the clock to rectify and correct the problem while the fellows in OIT are in full crisis management mode. Some of the computer staff are taxed to the limit trying to locate the problem and then replacing multiple hard drives. You can only imagine how many computers require this individual attention.
As for me not having my connection to my usual resources has been frustrating at times I have noticed how the absence of the computer dimension changes the energy around the work place. Initially computers were designed I thought to create less work but instead seems to have created more. Now without the machines people are personally communicating more, sitting in each others offices and actually chatting, not sending emails, directives, attachments and IM's. A refreshing break, sort of a time machine trip back to an era before the invasion of the Internet to the workplace.

Apropos the boys at South Park had this episode on Comedy Central which typifies the initial reaction staff had when we first experienced our failing connections to the 21st century.

Eventually adjustments were made in work practices but as the screens slowly begin illuminating again we should reflect on how different this past work week has been at our jobs on this campus.

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