This is just a funny story about how sometimes you can’t plan for things to go wrong when you work from home. This has to do with the Dutch situation but I have heard from British friends with similar problems.
I had wanted to start the new year differently. But started out to be a very stressful couple of weeks.
Sometimes I think internet providers are stuck in the 20th century and do not realize how many people work from home. My internet was giving me problems, not being fast enough. So I did a lot of research and finally decided to go from broadband to cable internet. And I was going to do so during my annual Christmas break. I had done the research, so what could possibly go wrong?
I had signed the documents with the new provider at the end of November, but somehow they only sent me my information and modem on December 28th. Before that I could not phone the installation people. My workroom is in an attic and getting things connected has always been tricky. To my big shock they could not provide anyone for the next two weeks.
Being a problem solver I decided to ask my usual computer guy to help me out. I use a company that employs IT students to help out at a lower rate than other companies. I thought I had the problem solved then.
When my guy came round he could not get a signal at all. And he called the internet provider company. Amazingly someone came round the same day. And to my shock I then found out that they had put in new cables in the street a few years before and that our house was not connected to that cable.
Right, not good news on the 30th of December. Several phonecalls later I knew that the company that connects the cable would still be on holiday till the 10th of January. I was so not going to get internet on the 4th.
The best they could do was an appointment on the 12th. And then a mechanic to connect the internet on the 14th. That would be 10 days later than planned.
I have been surviving with a mobile hotspot that was just strong enough to check email. Thankfully I had planned to take it easy for a little longer and had no meetings planned online during these weeks. But still it did not help my stress level.
The good thing that came out of it. I got some reading and writing jobs done that had been on my to do list for a long time.
But still, this was not a good experience. It should be possible to get somebody to help you within say 48 hours without paying an arm and a leg. In the street where I live I know a lot of people who work from home. And I know it is being promoted. Providers should move into the 21st century and work with small business owners.
And it is good to have an emergency plan when something like this happens.
- I had friends I could go for in case I had online meetings.
- The library here offers free WiFi
- I had a mobile hotspot
- And I had rescheduled most of my online meetings just in case
We depend on technology and it can let us down.