Granted, it’s e-mail…

e-mailThere are things that we all take completely for granted. We all have at least one. We don’t notice the point that it disappears, but at some point we become aware of the gaping hole that has been left by its departure.

Sometimes it’s something serious – a relationship, a feeling, oxygen. Most of the time, however, it’s something we could easily live without. Sure, we don’t want to live without it, but we don’t realize its importance until it’s no longer around.

This happened to me at work today when our e-mail server went down. We all experienced this loss, and it affected different people different ways. Account managers lost e-mails that were coming from important clients, leading to lengthy phone conversations and sincere apologies. Designers never received instructions, and therefore didn’t get a chance to start projects, effectively losing a day of deadline time in the process.

And me? Well, I received very little e-mail all day. Then, near the end of the day, I received a flood – every e-mail that Kerrie had sent over the past two days, a wave of client and account manager messages, and a sudden influx of spam and Chapter A Day installments of Pride and Prejudice (which I haven’t yet received, even though I’m apparently on chapter 16.)

At the day’s start, I barely noticed that my e-mail wasn’t working. As the day wore on, the doubts crept in. Eventually, I was wondering how I ever get through a workday without it. By the time I was getting ready to leave (after a day of slow work and little communication) I was frantically attempting to catch up.

I take e-mail for granted – the invention itself and the ease it brings to my life. As a self-contained practicing writer, I find that face to face, vocal contact is tedious and shaky. Now, I e-mail everything. It’s the new telephone – the only contact I have with the outside world while sitting at my desk. I barely know how to answer the phone system around here. But e-mail? I can crank those out like no one’s business.

Yes, there’s a moral – don’t take life’s simple things for granted. Pepper Jack cheese, a warm basement, and e-mail. Oh, precious e-mail.

This was lovingly handwritten on December 14th, 2006