The marathon of island challenges has begun. One of the first things people will tell you about moving to an island is that you just have to roll with the punches. Along with the expense of location comes limited resources. Most run-of-the-mill challenges on the mainland can be easily handled. Frustrating and maybe time consuming, yes, but they can be handled. On an island, even one as developed as those you will find in Hawaii, challenges often have an added layer of complexity.
For example, my 30 day old newly purchased laptop has a problem that was discovered this week. The webcam does not work. This was discovered as I attempted to join a last minute collaboration call with a client. Most unfortunate timing, but I can only blame myself as I had not previously tried to use the webcam. I made the grave mistake of assuming a brand new piece of equipment would be fully functional. My bad. Lesson learned (again, truth be told).
After four hours on the horn with HP support, it was determined to be a hardware issue. My location, of course, does not have a service center, so my only recourse for a solution is to send my laptop in with an estimated repair time frame of 10-15 days. Quite the conundrum. Giving up my laptop for that period of time means no billing for at least several weeks. No good. While it's fairly easy to blog and message via iPhone, it's not exactly a fruitful means of working on the projects currently on my plate. I explained this to the HP support agent. The response? Too bad, so sad. Sigh. I was promised a return call from a Case Manager and that was that.
Now here's where this bit of self-reflection comes in. Mainland Me, a person I know very well, would have quickly escalated this issue. The proposed solution was not good enough, an alternative needed to be presented immediately. Plus, the agent I was speaking with was beligerant, did not listen, and had a very unfortunate habit of talking over me. Every. time. I started a sentence. The circumstances were ripe for someone like Mainland Me to lose her cool. But I didn't. I remained calm, but was persistent in my request for an alternative solution. Granted, the alternative I received was the promise of a call that may, or may not, actually happen. The point is, I didn't let the situation get under my skin.
No one is more surprised by this unprovoked change in attitude than yours truly. After this bit of reflection, I decided to just work with what I've got. After a dusting of ingenuity, I found a way of propping up my phone on my dog cage standing desk, downloaded the Skype and Hangout apps to my phone, and found a way to both join my client's calls while continuing to work on the laptop. Ideal, no. But it works. On the maiden attempt with my client located in Trinidad and Tobago, I explained my setup. We both laughed and he told me I must have island girl in my veins 'cause that's just the way you gotta do on a rock.
Maybe HP will come through with a solution that works. Maybe it won't. Either way, it's not going to disrupt my chill or my newly discovered island girl ingenuity.