Mercury Retrograde redux

“Mercury retrograde in Scorpio doesn’t let you get by without noticing it, especially when the moon is in Virgo like today.” So spoke Green Hope Farm resident astrologer Jane Taupier during a pause in the action today.

Today was a day that snapped me out of my fantasy thinking that a good attitude could prevent Mercury retrograde from completely messing with us. It was a day during which we relearned some painful things about ourselves such as we know shit about computers. It was a day we will long remember.

Yesterday I was still mellow about this apparently endless Mercury retrograde. I was sick of examining my underwear drawer, but nobody but me knew this. I was bored with my shadow, but I put on a good show of being delighted by the prospect of re-examining my inner garbage for the umpteenth time. I read trashy novels at night, but left a well thumbed self help book in the living room to prove the point that I WAS HAPPY to rehash my dysfunctional patterns.

Today however, I moved from secret whining to public caterwauling. Yep, Mercury retrograde worked its magic and the truth surfaced; I HATE MERCURY RETROGRADES!

As dawn broke over the hills of Green Hope farm, I discovered that I couldn’t open any email. Even though I had done nothing to the computers, I was told that our ” TCP configuration” (whatever that means) needed to be re-configured. Of course, everything is a re in mercury retrograde. Sadly, my attempts to reconfigure came to naught.

When other people arrived for work, we discovered that our problems were not limited to email. The network that connects our various computers to each other so we can share files like the mailing list or the invoices was not working. This left several people answering the phones with no access to our data. And only one person could invoice orders. This was not as big a problem as it sounds because the printer was not responding either. This meant we couldn’t print the invoices that the lone invoicer was cranking out anyways.

Those of us here in the office who are in our forties, fifties, and sixties like to think of ourselves as technologically challenged women who valiantly try to learn new tricks. We try not to glaze over when someone under thirty explains how to troubleshoot a computer glitch. We take copious notes about what to do when things go wrong, so we don’t ask the same questions more than once four times twenty or thirty times. As this full office snafu unfolded we calmly rebooted, read all our cheat sheets, and tried really, really hard to fix something. We did every we could think to do and more. Nothing got better.

So we packed orders without invoices and left them open hoping that Vicki, who was coming for a visit with the baby, could use her generation X voodoo on the machines and get them rolling. Worst case scenario we would pause at the end of the day to do handwritten invoices, a charming idea in which a lucky few would experience my marginal quirky horrific handwriting or Deb’s. She had gotten up at 3:30 am to make a zillion of her famous quiches for a catered luncheon. Usually its a dead heat who has worse handwriting, me or Deb. This could have been a day when she edged me out due to lack of sleep.

As the morning progressed and our pile of half baked orders got bigger and bigger, we began to leave SOS messages on Ben’s answering machine. Can you believe it? He was NOT hovering by his phone waiting for us to call him! He was off somewhere having a life. Each message had a unique flavor. The first was chirpy. The second a bit more dire. The third made from the privacy of the kitchen was a plea for mercy. The fourth, well, it’s best not to describe this one too specifically. Lets just say it was bad, really bad. Very scary. Think Edvard Munch’s The Scream. I hope he deleted those messages BEFORE listening to them. I am not sure its good for anyone to have to listen to that kind of noise from such a tormented soul.

Eventually we stooped even lower and sent out somebody to try and FIND Ben down in the village. When the poor guy left his other job and appeared in our midst, it was shortly before we started hyperventilating and right after we began torching the MacFiles for Idiots.

Okay, so he fixed the situation in 23 seconds. Maybe less. He did it really gracefully without making us feel too stupid. Anyways, we were so relieved, we didn’t mind feeling stupid. Apparently our router got unplugged during William’s game of kickball in the office last night. Sadly, it never occurred to us to check that the router was plugged in, because none of us had really focused on the fact we had a router.

Oh well, all’s well that end’s well.

After our hero Ben departed, we finished processing the multitude of packages covering every flat surface in the office and we all got to play with baby August who was having a much better day than us!


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