Friday, November 10, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

When the Telecommunications Gods Decide To Hit Snooze

It's a Wednesday morning, triple deadline week – the kind where your schedule is so tight you can hear it creaking like an old rocking chair. The newspapers need to go to print, the printers are waiting, and the distribution clock is ticking. Plus, we're on the final stretch of getting Core Magazine ready for print, too.

And then, out of the blue, the telecommunication deities decide to hit the snooze button. An Australia-wide Optus outage? Really? It's like they've chosen the worst possible moment to test our patience.

Thankfully, the majority of our team have their telecom allegiance with Telstra, feeling all smug as they continue to scroll, chat, and call while I find myself plunged into what feels like an apocalyptic darkness, disconnected from the world. The internet refuses to connect, my phone becomes an expensive paperweight, and I start to wonder if smoke signals and carrier pigeons might be making a comeback.

As the blackout stretches on, my eyes stay glued to the ticking deadline clock. At 9am, I have no choice but to bundle my little one into the car and embark on a quest for an elusive Wi-Fi haven, preferably one running on Telstra's network.

Yet, amid the frantic hunt for connectivity, there's something sobering about the whole experience. We've become so dependent on computers and the digital realm that a mere blackout makes us feel like helpless cave-dwellers. No offense to our ancestors, but we've grown used to a certain level of convenience.

The Optus meltdown does raise some intriguing questions. It's a stark reminder of why physical cash should remain legal tender, and why businesses should be obligated to accept it. The growing number of businesses refusing to take cash might, in fact, be a dangerous path we're treading.

In the meantime, I'll sip my fifth coffee of the day, trying not to feel like a freeloader as I adapt to this sudden twist in our digital age saga. After all, when the Telecom Gods hit snooze, there's only so much we can do but ponder life's curiosities while we await their wake-up call.


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