Do you ever experience a time when too many things seem to go wrong? Welcome to our November (and early December)!
November and December are very busy months for us. Numerous orders are arriving in our inbox daily and we spend a large part of our day picking, assembling, packing and shipping orders! Nothing new with the routine we’ve followed for over 15 years!
But this year is different!!
In early November, we developed a problem with our internet. Living in the hinterlands of rural Idaho, the importance of technology for our numerous businesses cannot be overstated. I no longer travel as a sales rep; we no longer run retail booths and we closed our store years ago. All our business is done via the internet.
After calling our internet provider (several times) and having our modem checked twice, and eventually, replaced and updated by their tech people, we are still uncertain if it is fixed. Currently, it works intermittently, only to go out, with no warning, for days at a time.
My cell phone is connected with my email accounts, so, thankfully, I can access orders via my phone. On the other hand, we cannot process payments, run or print our shipping labels, nor adjust the website (if necessary) after orders are completed.
So while dealing with our on and off internet service, we developed a second problem: Our hosting company discovered malware on our sites. To deal with this issue, they shut down ALL our websites! Because our e-commerce sites are hosted by an outside provider, our main physical product sites and still up and running. Unfortunately, none of my other sites are functioning including my Selling to Gift Shops website and blog and all the associated websites.
As it turned out, our extended Black Friday special that ran through Cyber Monday became inaccessible on Monday, November 26 — several hours before it was officially over!
If you were trying to purchase one of our e-guides and was unable to do so, please accept my apology. Until the problem is fixed and the sites are released again, our hands are tied!
If I did not realize the importance of working technology, I do now! *sigh!*.
Part Two of our Technology Story
During this time of stress and frustration, I was able to find a bit of peace. But I had to step back and look at the big picture. In reality, other than maybe disappointing some of my readers and followers, how did this really impact my life? Was I going to contract a fatal disease, was I going to lose a loved one, was I going to find myself homeless …. of course not (although, I wondered if I was going to lose my mind!)?
It took time and work to focus on the ‘good’ coming out of this and seeing what message may be connected to this seeming disaster. Although I could find no lesson, I did manage to find peace and patience in the midst of it all. “This too shall pass” came to my mind and I remembered that everything always works out.
It was then that I discovered a way to clean up some of the malware off my sites. As a result, all of our 20+ websites are currently up and running!
And, our internet provider was finally able to do some testing on our lines while our service was down. As a result, he ended up replacing our equipment etc. which, by default, gave us a higher speed internet service (at no extra cost).
Hopefully, we are done with the difficulties (or nearly done). And I learned some very valuable lesson:
- Have patience! Seldom do problems last forever.
- The world will not end if I cannot post what I want when I want ….. as a matter of fact, maybe I need to learn to let go of some of that ‘control’.
- Maybe, it is time to make some changes with our internet and website companies rather than struggling with the problems we have experienced before and during this situation.
- My happiness cannot be based on how well my internet and website are working. I have too many other blessings going on in my life.
Thanks for listening to my rants and final resigning words. Next time, I will find and see the ‘good’ during a difficult situation sooner!