October 22 03:22 PM

Technical glitches & computer genies

June 30, 2010
It's 10:30 and the world seems to be coming awake. My computer is down, so I came to the library right after 9:00 to type. I read the sign which assured me that the hours begin at 9:00, but the doors were still locked. I began rummaging through reasons that the schedule might have changed. Could they be celebrating the 4th of July weekend early? I didn't think so, but the big fireworks on the water connecting Detroit with Canada had already happened—maybe other people celebrated early also. Or perhaps the librarians were more casual than I had thought about punctuality? Heading back to the car I noticed another patron getting out of his car. Hoping to save him a few steps, I clued him in. "Unless you have the key, we can't get in. The sign says 9:00, but no one is here."

Good thing he didn't take my word for it, but came on over to read the sign for himself. "It says 10:00. The sign also gives the Attica branch's hours. That must be what you read."

Aha! An epiphany moment! Just yesterday I had arrived a half hour early for a meeting. Better, I suppose, than the other way around. Sure that I had read that on the calendar, I looked when I got back home. It DID say (0:00 to 11:30. However, right below that time it said (0:30-11:00). As I thought back, I remembered writing myself that little note to myself, meaning "DOUBLE-CHECK on THIS!"

But I hadn't. Yesterday had been pretty consequence free. I could have, instead, missed half the meeting. Today had given me time to browse the new Goodwill facility. As I thought about it, though, I wondered how many other little glitches like that had gone undetected (by me, anyway.)

I thought of the e-mail from Catherine—the one asking where I'd been and was I alright, saying they missed me at the paper and maybe I had just needed a break and she could surely understand that and anytime I wanted to come back I would be welcome (Of course, she had used appropriate punctuation and all, but my brain did a quick-fire assimilation, as though it were just one long welcome sentence.)

Let me explain. I had known there was a disconnect there somewhere, but I had myself convinced that it was on the other end. It had begun with that week that none of the e-mails went through. Figuring my column was obsolete by the next press time, I had sent another, but it didn't get in. I don't remember the whole scenario from my perspective, but it seemed to me that I was getting the royal brush-off, even though in response to an e-mail exchange, Catherine assured me that if I sent things in she generally ran them. However, I'm thinking now that maybe all of the e-mails weren't getting through, thanks to the genie who lives in my computer; and I came to the conclusion that perhaps the time had come. After a couple more columns didn't appear, I thought, "Well, I can take a hint. I really don't have time to do this anyway, and it's pretty hard to come up with something every week."

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I had messed up somewhere along the way then too—like forgot to hit "send" or some other minor detail. Who knows? Anyway, here's to new beginnings!

Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.
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