I have been without steady internet at my job for a little over two weeks now. For context, I work at a school and if you ever wondered if we were maybe too technology dependent, visit a school. I’ve also had a computer at home that’s decided that this would be a good week to keep freezing. Internet withdrawal is real.
The irony of posting this on a blog is not lost on me. Here’s what you can do when you have no internet at work, as based on my current work status.
Clean your desk.
This is a good thing since you haven’t washed that novelty mug in a few weeks and the coffee stains are starting to concern your coworkers. You also have no idea why you have a collection of slightly used, unlabeled empty file folders in a pile on your desk but they’re probably not important anymore, if they were ever.
Discuss the internet issues.
Yes, I’m aware the internet is still down. No, I don’t know when the issue will be resolved. I think it’s an area outage. Yes, I feel terrible for our IT person as well. No, I don’t know where they are and even if I knew I wouldn’t tell you.
Try to use your phone as a hotspot.
You will send exactly three emails and make one minor change (more like a comment because you don’t want to upset someone who outranks you and it’s a school so everyone is passive aggressively polite) to a shared Google Doc about end of year testing before the guilt about data usage overwhelms you. You work in a school; you can’t afford overage charges.
Send emails from your phone.
See above. Try writing anything longer than a paragraph on your phone. If you don’t lose your mind from autocorrect retyping everything you type, then you’re a stronger person than I am.
Start projects and stop the second you realize the answer is on a Google Doc.
Where’s my calendar? Online. Where’s my list of tasks? On a Google Doc. Where’s our staff directory? On a Google Doc. Does anyone use paper directories anymore? No.
Wander around to other offices to see if they need help.
They will need “help” entertaining themselves because they are tired of talking to each other and new faces are a game changer.
Embark on wild new adventures in moving furniture.
Can’t use any of your files? Good news, you’re probably moving offices anyway, so start throwing all the things you can’t use into boxes, like your computer and your aspiration. Compartmentalize everything, emotionally and physically.
Get to know your coworkers really well.
I know a lot about birth now; enough to know that the phrase “your nipples will never be the same” can never be unheard.
Take a two hour lunch.
Who cares? No one’s accountable because no one’s on gchat anymore. You can’t find anyone, and those people you can find will look at you with cold empty eyes praying for the sweet green glow next to their colleagues’ names on gchat. I’m pretty sure that’s what the Great Gatsby was about.
I’m now going to continue frantically checking my work email and responding with “Sorry for the delay! Our internet has been down.”