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Signal Lost Due To Water Damage

July 20, 2018

I spent this week rafting. We went to Moab, Utah. We rafted the Green River. They run a special version for Boy Scouts. The boys earned several merit badges including Whitewater rafting.

I’ve been outside cell range. In fact, my cell phone is turned off. If you are a longtime reader of this blog, you know that I don’t easily turn off my phone. It’s not that I’m addicted to it. Far from it. Instead, it’s my job. I’m on call 24×7. Every day. Every night. Every weekend. Every holiday. Birthdays. Anniversaries. If it’s on the calendar I’m scheduled to be monitoring my phone.

My company answers phone calls from customers 24×7. And as the IT guy, if something breaks, I’m the guy they call to help it get fixed.

Don’t feel too bad on my behalf. I love my job. I’ve been doing it for years, and the benefits definitely outweigh the inconveniences. And, yes, I’ve taken my phone on camping trips. I’ve taken calls from 6,000 feet up the side of a mountain. I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night.

But, in those years I’ve learned a few things. We have a protocol we follow when the computer systems have an issue. I can do it (nearly) in my sleep if need be.

However, occasionally, I find that I’m going to be completely inaccessible. Even if there is cell coverage on the river, if you’ve ever been whitewater rafting, you know that 1) you get wet. Way wetter than you want your phone, and 2) you are expected to paddle. You can’t step away with an annoying, “I’m sorry. I have to take this.”

A funny thing happens during the times when I’m disconnected. It’s awesome. I have read about “detox” retreats where people have to be physically separated from their phones. I’m not concerned. Not a bit. If I can turn off my phone for the day, I get to do something I don’t always get to do. I get to focus. Whether that’s focusing on the river, the boys, or just the fact that I’m floating through some of the most beautiful country in the world. It’s a rare treat.

I’ll be happy to tell you all about next week. For this week, I’m busy not watching my phone.

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.

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