Friday, March 12, 2010

Technical obstacle course

The day started with a maintenance team arriving on the doorstep to fit new halogen lamps to security lights the Vicarage doesn't have. Un-noticed, further down on their worksheet was the real reason for their visit - the annual gas safety inspection, which the guys hadn't noticed.

Once the job was done, I went over to St German's by bike, to pick up my missing rucksack, before going into St John's, earlier than usual. Another work was in progress there - a technician from BT attempting to sort out the problems with our noisy phone line and erratic broadband link. It turned out, as we suspected, that the problem was in the street outside, and due to a flooded conduit. The work was completed right on midday as I was about to start the Eucharist and Lent meditation. I was unsure if the work had been effective as I walk in, and played my part in a most distracted way.

Sure enough, after the visit we had better quality audio on the phone line, but no broadband. The usual connection difficulties persisted, and this meant that I couldn't retrieve the Annual Report documents needed for printing and copying from email. I went next door to the new City Centre management office on the top floor of the old library, to borrow a computer link, but their security system wouldn't allow me access to Google Mail, so I went down to the new library. I never established whether I could access Google Mail or not, because their computer hardware doesn't include a Memory Stick card reader. I had intended to download documents on to the spare chip I always carry in my wallet, but the Library computers are only equipped to take USB flash drives, so I had to ride home and acquire files for printing there. Annoyingly, the one day I didn't have a spare USB flash drive in one or other of my pockets, was when I needed one most.

Four hours after the telephone job was done, our broadband link was restored. That little exercise in futility, plus production of the documents needed for distribution on Sunday took me the rest of the working day. Making it possible for the church office to function for the demands of our time in a relevant and effective way remains a frustrating resolved problem, which may or may not matter to my successor. It won't bother me when I'm retired. Whether my home broadband works or not, I'll have time to visit the library (supplied with USB key) and while away the hours surfing in a fair and convivial place, whenever I want, with no more deadlines to fret about. Glory be!

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