Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Effects Of Sandy On My Business

                                                                        image photo : No phone

This blog post is apropos of the recent outages caused by Sandy.  As an apolitical comment, I am very worried about the impact that a cyber attack will have on our country.  Computers have taken over business and people don’t know how to function without them.  Me included.

Somehow in the storm, despite maintaining electricity, I was left without internet access at the office.  That meant that I could not receive or send email. It lasted until November the 12th, two full weeks.   Sadly, we no longer know how to do business the old fashioned way.  

Imagine yourself with no internet.

Here are some of the things that happened to me.
-       My candidates and clients had no way of knowing that my email was down.
-       I couldn’t contact candidates who had appointments with me who had not sent résumés before the storm.  I neglected to get contact information when they made appointments (I won't do that any more).
-       Clients couldn’t reach me to give us assignments.  Sadly, most clients email assignments with only bare bones descriptions.  I have to call almost every client after receiving an email so that I can ask necessary questions.  Since I hadn’t received their emails, I didn’t know to call.
-       One client called me and berated me for not calling him – which he asked me to do in an email which, of course, I had not received.
-       One candidate couldn’t figure out my company name and called at home.  My wife graciously gave him my office number.
-       Another candidate called me and made an appointment.  I asked him to either snail mail or fax his résumé.  He was afraid to fax from his office and did not have stamps.  His inability to resolve this simple problem caused me to decide not to see him.
-       I couldn’t do my billing via the internet.  I had to do snail mail manual billing, which I have not done since 2005 (My apologies to my clients).
-    I couldn't pay my bills on line.
-    I couldn't check my account balances on line.
-       I had to cancel out of town Skype interviews.
-   My Blackberry worked (but no email) and I could contact both Twitter and Facebook through it.
-       When my email came back on, I had 954 emails to deal with, most had to be answered.  It took me almost seven hours to get through them.

At least my home and office were intact.


  1. In this digital age it's important to try to have a contingency plan should something go down, but I can completely relate to this. We have become so dependent on the internet and email that it can be completely dibilitating when these go down. A scary thought indeed!

    1. The problem is, I am not sure what the contingency plan is.

  2. Hi Paul. Do you have webmail? I use it for my business and can access my calendar, email and select documents remotely from anyplace that has wifi. I didn't have power in my 'home office' for 6 days but was able to conduct business seamlessly. You should look into it ...

    1. EJ, thanks for this. I will look into it. The issue is that my internet and email are linked to my office and the Verizon modem became corrupted in the storm.


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