We found out we can put out a paper without office internet
Maybe, just maybe, I should have held off writing about the “good ol’ days” of journalism last week.That’s because the technology that we rely on so much for our day-to-day operations here at the Tribune rose up and slapped us across the collective face.It started on Wednesday, a little after noon.“Hey, I think we lost the internet,” I heard someone say, and I quickly checked my own computer.Yep, we were internet-less.No big deal, we all thought; after all, it happens from time to time.A few hours later, though, we were getting nervous, made the call to our internet provider and got the “due-to-the-large-volume” voice recording before finally tracking down a real person.We had been “ticketed” to receive service on Dec. 17. Obviously, for a business like ours, that wasn’t going to work.Thus began a strange odyssey of customer service that bordered on the unreal. It will be Thursday afternoon. It will be Friday morning. It will be Dec. 19. Our tech is on vacation and won’t be back until Monday.I’m writing this Monday morning. The technician still has not arrived. Maybe, the vacation lasted longer than expected?We improvised, and I thank God our general manager, Kim Bucknell, is on the “techy” side.Fortunately, we have a “backdoor” into our email accounts so that we can access them from home, which means a couple of times a day, we have headed to my house to check emails, take photos off the internet and get information — wrestling and basketball results, for example — we need for the paper and to send our pages to our printer.God only knows how much of my home data I’ve used in the last week, but I do know I now have the answer to the I-wonder-what-it-would-be-like-to-work-from-home question? In short, I’m not quite ready for it.So as we head into this week, we’re patiently awaiting for our technician and we’re asking for your patience as well.If we’ve missed something, give us a call and we’ll do our best to get it into the paper. And sooner or later — although the way this is going, it will be later — you can email us again.•••••If there was any consolation, we weren’t alone, although it feels like the Tribune is the last business standing, if you will.A number of other businesses also were without internet on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, including our next-door neighbor, Bennett’s Pharmacy.I can’t imagine how our friends there handled it. Think about it, how many times do we actually take a paper prescription to the pharmacy anymore?Meanwhile, the New Hampton Public Library was without service until Monday morning, and when I talked to Director Carrie Becker, she rightly used words like “ridiculous” to describe the situation.•••••In the end, it was a learning experience for a lot of us.And what we learned is that this thing called the internet that was like the coolest thing we had ever seen in the 1990s is an absolute necessity today.Life did go on without the internet, and we’ve produced two papers since we returned to the “dark ages.” We’ve used “hot spots” off our cell phones in a pinch, and we’ve utilized the Tribune South office, aka, my house, which has given me a renewed vigor to keep it clean.In short, we found out we could survive — although not thrive — without a tool that, in today’s world, we take so much for granted.So this year, Santa, we at the Tribune are wondering if you could come a little earlier? All we really want for Christmas is the internet.