There weren’t any exciting moments scheduled. I was supposed to do some routine maintenance for my smaller clients, drop off Client #3’s key, spend another seven hours on Client #6’s linking campaign, and then have a relaxing evening with my family.
So I sent off the Google Analytics code to Client #4’s webmaster, checked everybody’s stats, did a few blog entries, and put my shoes on to run my errand before beginning that seven hours.
There was a phone call. #2 son, off at summer school, couldn’t get his ATM card to work. I gathered up the papers to show the bank. I drove down to Client #3’s place of business, went in and greeted her –and hadn’t brought her key. I drove back for the key, came back, and she had made me a cup of coffee. I sat down and enjoyed the coffee with her, of course. We had a good chat about social media marketing, something which I don’t do much but which I certainly encourage my clients to do.
An hour was gone.
I drove to the bank, thinking it would be simple to solve the little ATM card problem. The woman helping me was completely on top of things. Unfortunately, the person at the other end of the phone from her was not.
“Look in the right hand corner,” my helper would say. “No? Okay, try pulling it up again — What do you mean it doesn’t pull up? You had it a minute ago, because you were checking activity. Oh. No. The number is —. Look, where’s Tamara?”
This went on for another hour.
I returned home with the problem solved, ready to jump into that seven hours. I found an email from Client #4’s webmaster. She had told them that I would be designing the page for her, so they had no page to install the analytics code into. Did I want them to add a re-design to the schedule? No, no, I’d do it. I put it on my to-do list.
And I had an email from my computer guy asking for DNS codes for the domains I needed him to register. Naturally, I had to find out what DNS codes were, but fortunately it wasn’t very hard. I looked them up — and found that the construction company, which I had already moved twice, couldn’t use their domain name at the place where I had them. So I had to move her again — to a host who would let her register her name elsewhere, since I just know that she is not going to be happy with those ads for long and will want to move to professional hosting.
If I am going to continue to set people up at free hosts, I am going to have to begin charging them for the time involved in tracking down one that will do what they need, as well as the time involved in setting them up. Although it could be argued that I, if I am going to do something as crazy as setting people up at free hosts, should know all their characteristics, and I should count that as training.
I sent #1 daughter out to forage for lunch for the household and got to my seven hours of linkbuilding, followed by an hour of listening to the download the potential music book publishers sent me and a further hour of vetting web hosts and rebuilding a site, and thus it was that I was still at the computer when #2 daughter called.
She was in O’Hare airport, which is quite a big place, rather late in the evening, with no sight of the fellow who was supposed to pick her up and no way to reach him.
It wasn’t that she thought I could come and pick her up or anything. It was that the fellow in question had dropped his cell phone into the river, and she wanted me to email him and remind him to pick her up.
I assured her that, though she could not call him, there were phones in the universe that he could use and he would be able to call her.
She reminded me that, since he did not have his cell phone, he would not have her phone number.
Further questioning elicited the fact that she didn’t know the name or phone number of the person from whom he was subletting an apartment, nor an address so that she could take a taxi there, that they hadn’t set up a meeting place but she was just supposed to look for him (that works where I live, by the way), and that there was no way to reach his employers or his mother or anybody who might be supposed to have any further information about him.
The moms out there know that at this point I was struggling not to say things like, “You flew to another state without any plans or any information? Are you out of your mind?” I don’t think I said that.
She called back several times in increasing distress, and I tried to think of creative solutions, or at least to get her to calm down, but she did finally call me and say that the fellow in question had paged her and she had broken into tears at the baggage claim, but — and here the fellow’s voice took over — everything was fine.
I took that as my cue to quit fooling with people’s websites and go to bed.
#1 daughter and I are going to get haircuts today. I have a website to design, of course, and housework to do, but I also have some down time scheduled. A nap is quite likely.