My week from hell is finally over…

July 5, 2019

Mike Wilcox Editor/Publisher

If it could go wrong it did go wrong. That was the summary of this past week for me.

At the top of the list was the Allegan server. The 20-plus year-old piece of archaic equipment which services three weekly newspapers, of which I am publisher, decided its time was over. It simply went kaput and because of its age there is no replacement.

That simply means functions that were done by the system, like circulation, invoicing and bookkeeping, now have to be done essentially by hand.

What’s more the system decided to no longer function at this worst time- the end of the month when invoicing and bookkeeping takes place.

It hasn’t been a fun time in the office this past weekend, as key employees and I work overtime to figure out how to do tasks that had been automated for dozens of years.

On a personal note, I received a frantic call from my wife about one of her greatest fears- a snake in the pool.

Of course I’m in Michigan and she’s down south, so there isn’t a whole lot I can do to help her.

As I’m dealing with the server, I suggested she call our pool guy. She did and five hours later the snake was fished out of the pool water.
However, for those five hours, she and our three dogs would not venture out of the house with a killer snake nearby.

But wait there’s more. My lifeline, as far as bookkeeping and staying in touch with all the various newspapers I’m affiliated with, is LogMeIn.
My mainframe computer is in Clare, and LogMeIn allows me to access everything from Clare, as well as the other newspapers. But, as I’m pacing back and forth over the server being down, LogMeIn decides it’s not going to work.

I lost several hours of work, because I couldn’t access anything through LogMeIn. Finally we got it back up the next day.

Switching back to my personal situation, son and I were staying at my Allegan apartment while all these problems were going on.

The weather in Michigan had finally broken through the rain and cold of spring, and was now sunny and hot- like 90 degrees hot.

The apartment however, was just as hot, because our air conditioning decided not to work.

There we were in a one-bedroom apartment with windows that were nailed shut, trying to sleep in 85 degree heat. Needless to say it wasn’t working.

Sleepless nights on top of malfunctioning technology made for a crabby boss.

And of course at the same time, the air conditioning in my vehicle also was non-existent.

When it came time to make the 2 ½ hour trip from Clare to Allegan, my son and I, decided we would create our own cool air by putting the convertible top down. It worked except when we went to put it up after our arrival it wouldn’t cooperate.

The ragtop was stuck in the “down” position.

We decided to leave it that way overnight, hoping clearer heads would prevail in the morning. That’s exactly what happened as my son googled the problem and lickity-split, the top went up.

In the midst of it all I got a call from one of the newspaper’s editors declaring he was missing emails for a good 18-hours. Apparently Google was messing up, and he was seeking help on what to do.

This had happened to me at my Alabama location a month ago, and quite frankly, it was quite a mess.

Miraculously, just like with him, my emails came back a couple of days later. I felt bad because I was inundated with bigger problems and told the editor he needed to deal with it on his own.

I won’t even go in to the myriad of problems I was having with renters.
I had vowed a long time ago I would no longer rent anything, but here I was, listening to this complaint and that, all the while wondering when I was going to get paid.

And as fate would have it, while all this is going on a key sales representative decided to inform me she was quitting without notice.
For a guy that has been attempting to cut back on my work schedule and enjoy life more, I am now doing just the opposite. I so look forward to the 4th of July weekend. Maybe then I can take a break.

Share This Post

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *