The days when the email server went offline

Over the 4-day Thanksgiving holidays, my email server went offline for a scheduled AC power transformer upgrade. Since I manage my own email server, I was naturally concerned that my emails may get bounced back to the sender due to the usual 4-hour grace period. I called our IT and was assured that IT will allow a much longer grace period for the emails. I was still concerned that the email server may not come back up right. It’s always a concern when a server goes down. But I’ll deal with it when it happens.

So my family took a nice, peaceful holidays in North Lake Tahoe, without even taking my laptop with me. Why bother? I couldn’t check my emails anyway. After a couple of days, I began to feel bored because I couldn’t browse the web without the laptop. At the same time, I felt stress-free because there is really no work for me to check on. It’s like having no inbox at all, almost the same feeling when you give your boss the 2-week notice to quit. It’s amazing how much our emails are driving our life at work and off work nowadays. We’re like the rat on a wheel – keep spinning. Having no work email access is like walking off the wheel. How wonderful!

Now, I’m back at work. My email server still hasn’t come back up due to the network issues. I feel lost and isolated. I don’t know what’s going on. Is there any emergency brewing that I’m not aware of. It’s a dreadful feeling waiting for the IT guys to fix the network problem. In addition, I had a 7am conference call and I couldn’t check email to find the call-in number. I ended requesting the call in from the host using my personal emails. At least, it gave me some free time to blog 🙂

After this experience, I have determined that emails are both a great communication tool and great stress generator. Good communications come with the responsibility to do something with the information. No wonder our quality of life doesn’t really get improved all that much with all these productivity tools – email, mobile phones, and etc. Productivity does come with a price – more stress in life. Perhaps, there is an optimal point somewhere in between.