Skip to content

Playing Hookie In The Snow

January 25, 2018

I didn’t intend to play hookie. I intended to do what I’d always done. I was going to do it all. I was going to go camping with the boys and still monitor my phone. It wasn’t anything new. I had taken calls on mountain bike rides, hikes, even whitewater rafting. This was nothing new. It was a simple winter camp overnight Friday and on Saturday the boys would push a sled around to various events. . .hopefully in the snow.

The camp was up American Fork Canyon in American Fork. It’s been to that campsite multiple times. Apparently I had forgetten that I didn’t have cell coverage there. I often find myself camping in places that don’t have cell coverage. But, if I know I’m going to be out of range, I arrange for someone to cover for me.

I didn’t have cover for this weekend. And I couldn’t leave. We arrived at camp with just enough time to set up camp. There were just two leaders for the six boys who came to the campout. I stared at my phone as if I could force a coverage bar to light up. It quickly became clear that I had no power to conjure up a cell tower out of tree. And there were miles of granite mountains between me and the coverage in the city.

A couple months ago, I ended up on a flight without first arranging a backup. One of my sites had an outage while I was on the plane. It didn’t go well. In fact, the issue was still going on when I landed. A few phone calls and I quickly resolved the issue. But, I was reminded that dispite a well run team, and other teams who were fantastic, my job really needed someone to be available 24 hours per day.

That really wasn’t a new idea. My job’s been like that for years. There are lots of drawbacks to being on call 24×7. Calls can interrupt family events, vacations, dinners, movies, and of course camping trips. There are also some advantages. Honestly, a big benefit is the constant validation that my job is important. And by extenstion, I am important. Also, it’s a lot easier to justify taking time for my kids, especially time during the day. But, mostly, I just hope the phone won’t ring after hours.

But, last Friday, my phone wasn’t going to ring. It couldn’t. Sure, I was worried, but, what choice did I have? I turned off the phone and focused on camping. If there’s nothing you can do about a problem, don’t worry about not doing anything.

When we arrived the camp was clear of snow. It started snowing about 7:00PM and snowed through the night. We awoke to about three inches of new snow. The boys had a great time. We headed back out of the mountains around noon. The drive from the camp is only about 15 minutes, but it is down a winding two lane road.

We came out of the canyon and turned South to head toward Pleasant Grove. I turned on my phone and notifications started popping up. Work email, personal email, texts from one of my kids, Marco Polo, a video sharing program. But, no missed cell phone calls and no voice mail. Apparently there had not been an outage during my 18 hours out of touch.

I felt strangly like I had gotten away with something. Like I had played hookie and not gotten caught. And yet, all I did was go camping for a night in the mountains.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: