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Thursday, March 29, 2012

A rant

I haven't run in a couple of weeks, so you'll have to excuse my testiness. After this post, you'll probably feel a lot more empathy for my man. He has to put up with it all the time.

Yesterday, we here in South Mississippi who use a certain cell carrier were treated to a rare day of silence when someone cut a fiber optic cable which apparently is the cable that runs the world. Now, you may think my rant will be directed at the cell phone company who dared to take away our service for an afternoon. You would be wrong.

As I traveled around doing my afternoon errands, everywhere I went, people were raving and baring their collective teeth that we have no cell service. A lot of these people were working at jobs where I know they have a land line, so any cell phone usage was strictly personal. When I dared to make the comment that all would eventually right itself, I was practically booed out of line. I stood my ground, though. One man informed me that he uses his phone for business. I calmly told him that I do, as well, and that I knew my clients would be understanding of their inability to contact me for a few hours. Everyone seemed to believe we were going to be out of service indefinitely with no way to communicate, and even more dire, no way to post about it on Facebook! I did not observe it myself, but I'm told that the cell phone office was filled to overflowing with irate and loud customers, yelling at the sales people who have no ability whatsoever to fix the problem and were probably just as put out as their customers were.

When did we become so dependent on technology that we can't survive an afternoon without it? Now, I realize many of us (including my family) have gone to cell service entirely and don't have a land line at all, which certainly leaves us susceptible in emergencies. But, if I'm not mistaken, I made it all the way to adulthood without the convenience of a cell phone, and I certainly had my share of emergencies. "Back in the day" we used common sense to figure out what to do when we needed something. I fear common sense has left the building. Or, it has shriveled and died from lack of use.

In all fairness, I saw some pretty ingenious use of technology yesterday as folks overcame minor emergencies and business issues. One guy I know was able to access his Facebook page and asked any of his friends who could call his wife to tell her to check her email and messages because he was locked out of his house and was late for a business appointment. The message trickled down the line, and soon she was on her way. Now, that was the way to handle a crisis. Rather than blowing up and screaming in frustration, he calmly assessed and figured out the best way to remedy his dilemma.

I guess my rant can be boiled down to this. There are real emergencies in the world. Real crises. Not just outside our little neighborhood, but right here where we live. People who are in need for basics, like food and rent money. An afternoon without cell service is not a crisis. Inconvenient and frustrating, yes. Not an occasion to ruin someone's day who is just trying to make a living.
My advice to everyone who lost their minds yesterday is this: Get a land line or learn to appreciate the occasional lapses of silence that cell service will inevitably have.

I don't often rant in the blogosphere. I do, unfortunately, rant to my family on occasion. Now you know how they feel, and I know you'll join them in celebrating that Dr.. Rouse just cleared me to run!

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