A little Chinese Wisdom

Usually the fortunes I get from fortune cookies are pretty cheesy. However, I got this one a few weeks ago, and I’ve been carrying it around in my Palm ever since. With Computers in Libraries 2006 right around the corner, I figured my fortune would be relevant to share:

Chinese Fortune

This fortune came true for a little while this week. Our cable went out at home on Sunday morning around 7, and it was not restored until around 7 Monday evening. I realize that 36 hours is not a huge amount of time to sacrifice, and it was probably even a little healthy for us, but it was terribly inconvenient. Not only did we lose television access, but our internet service was out as well. We were homebound all weekend and Monday, as my son was ill, and not being able to give a 20 month old access to Disney, Barney, Bob The Builder, and the Wiggles is a very bad thing. We called our provider several times to check on the status of the repair, and they kept telling us that there was not an outage reported for our area. They initially told us that it would be Friday (today) before they could have someone out to our house to look at the problem. Fortunately, a repair truck pulled into the yard on Monday evening, and the repairman said the whole section of my neighborhood was out. Apparently the customer service reps weren’t reading the same memos as the repair dispatchers.

Teaching children to share is one of the most important things in parenting, and my son was nice enough to share his cold with me. I’m convinced that the germs mutated inside his body into some awesomely powerful plague before he passed them to me. I’ve been home since Tuesday as a result. While missing 3.5 days of work is never a good thing, it could have been a lot worse with the “lack of computer” or if my cable had not been restored. Because of the ability to stay connected, I’ve been able to at least keep my head above water while I recuperated. When I wasn’t wheezing, coughing, sneezing, or sleeping, I was actually able to get a little work done. I’ve read countless emails, sent or responded to about 20 emails, worked on a conference presentation, did some web maintenance, IMed a couple of colleagues, read some RSS feeds, and even ordered a few books—all without infecting any of my coworkers.

I know that my absence this week has been inconvenient for my colleagues, as they’ve had to pick up my missed reference desk/IM/chat shifts and two classes. I am very lucky to work with some really great people, and it’s a great relief to know that they have been pitching in and dividing up those duties. I think the fear of inconveniencing others when you’re absent can add considerable stress when you’re already sick. Add to that how far behind you get when you miss work, and there’s no question why people go to work sick and Americans don’t take very much vacation time. Fortunately, with the help of my home computer and a broadband connection, I’ve been able make a valiant attempt to keep up. Now I know some will say that you shouldn’t be working from home when you’re sick and that work will still be there when you return. This may be true, but I can tell you if my cable was still out, I would have worried myself sick not being able to keep current with what’s going on at work. Perhaps this means that my head cold is not the only thing that’s wrong with my head?? šŸ˜‰