Technology: How It Hurt Me and then How It Rescued Me..

Posted: March 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

The other day, I was out on the road, in client meetings.

I had a late night GoToMeeting set up with a US company, where I was to interact with a few of their team members together. This had been planned long back, and I had diligently recorded the same in my phone calendar, with a proper reminder set up as well, to alert me sometime prior to the meeting time.

Here’s what happened.

The call was to happen at 10 pm. The call had been planned several days back, and it was not fresh in my mind through the day, except that I was secure in having put it on my calendar, and which would provide me with the reminder, when I needed it.

At around 8 pm, I was heading to a coffee shop, for one last meeting, in Mumbai, before I headed back home. Around that time, after the day long toll on it, the cell phone battery decided to die. Zilch.

I have a car charger, so I plugged that in, even as I sat on the back seat, while my driver drove me to the coffee shop.

When I reached the coffee shop, and removed my phone from the charger in the front of the car, I saw that the phone had not got charged at all. Damn. For some reason, maybe the connection was a little loose or something. So still no phone.

I had a regular charger, and I carried that with me, inside the coffee shop. Before I started my meeting, I plugged the charger and the phone into the wall socket. And relaxed to have a good meeting.

As bad luck would have it, by the time the meeting ended, and I picked the phone up, I realized that AGAIN, the phone had NOT got charged at all. I had no clue why that happened. With the car charger, I have had the experience of the cigarette lighter socket in the car, not being the perfect one, and causing such hiccups in the past too. So I had not thought much about the phone not having got charged in the car.

In the coffee shop however, I had taken for granted that the phone is charging. So it came as a shock that the phone still did not charge at all, by the time the meeting got over.

And due to the phone being off, the calendar was off too. And I got no reminder for my call at night!!

And it was already almost 10 pm, when the meeting ended. Not having any warning on the next agenda, I had let the meeting continue, without much stress to wind it up.

As I got into the car though, I switched my laptop on, and I did have the Photon Wi-fi unit, and that battery was doing fine! As soon as I went live on the laptop, there was a message right there, from the folks in the US, who were waiting for me. It was already 5 min into the con-call time. And then I remembered the call that was scheduled! It was a shock, as I had otherwise, completely missed it.

Thankfully, it was only 5 min into the call time, and I decided to quickly get on to it. It was a GoToMeeting, and often, I have known these to enable audio, via the PC mic and speakers. Usually there is an option to use the PC audio set up, or to dial in for audio. I had not noticed, when the GoToMeeting invitation had come, that this was a dial-in only audio meeting. There was NO option to use the PC audio.

And remember, my phone was discharged! Heck.. now what?!

Having joined the meeting late, with 5 others already waiting there, and wanting to talk to me, and now I needed to tell them, that I could not speak to them, as I did not have  a way to call them?! This was turning out to be really bad..

When I conveyed that I seemed to have an audio issue for dialing in, they offered if they could dial out to a number and get me into the call. It was a great thought. BUT MY PHONE WAS DOWN, and I was in a car!

What do I do?

Luckily, I remembered that the driver had a phone too. Of course, not with ISD calling features. But since the opposite party had offered to call in, I asked for my driver’s cell, and got them to call me on that number. And the call happened.

All of this anxiety and solution took about 10 minutes, but not more, and we were into the call, about 15 minutes too late. But the call did happen.

Its another thing that the call lasted long. And it continued even as I reached my home. So I continued sitting inside the car, in my building, for a good 30 minutes, after reaching home, and continued to do the call.

There were the night walking neighbors of the building who walked by my car few times, and they might have wondered, why did I not come out of the car, and why did I have the laptop open and was working inside the car?! 🙂

Ahh.. we are slaves to technology and yet, it is technology that enables. How else would I have managed to talk to these 5 persons, together, for an hour or so, if not for this tech!!

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