Yesterday was a little strange. Internet in Northern Arizona went totally wonky. The explanation that we’ve gotten has to do with some vandalism done to some fiber. There were other net issues throughout the country, but we won’t go all aluminum foil hat on this one. We don’t have to. I live in an Airstream, it’s better than a tin foil hat!
At 11:30 a.m. I popped by Pangaea bakery in downtown Prescott to get myself a baguette. It’s nice to treat yourself now and again, and Pangaea is always a treat!
When I got to the bakery the line wasn’t moving well. A sweet elderly woman was at the counter paying for her lunch. Well, she was trying to pay for her lunch. The young lady at the counter swiped her card….and nothing. So she moved to the next register and tried it again. Nothing again.
The puzzled look on the girl’s face said it all. “What am I doing wrong..? I’ve got all these customers here.” The line didn’t move.
Finally, a young man behind the counter saw me holding my $3, and asked what I wanted. Ah, cash on hand is good! And as I received my baguette I heard the sweet lady trying to pay say the following…..
I don’t have any real money. I just use that card.
No real money!
Hearing her statement really hit home. 99% of my transactions these days are completed with my debit card. No cash on hand at all. Only when we’re traveling between state parks do I keep some cash on hand for the self pay stations. Beyond $20 – $40 cash, there’s nothing else but cards in the wallet.
The internet outage here in Northern Arizona had some impact. Well more than some impact. A lot of impact. Banks closed because they couldn’t complete transactions without their communications. The gas station near where the Airstream is parked couldn’t process credit or debit cards, so people didn’t get their gas. The gas station’s ATM was down, so the folks trying to get cash to pay for their gas were out of luck. 911 calls weren’t completing, many folks had no phone service…… The list goes on.
Fortunately, what happened yesterday was a minor outage. It didn’t extend beyond 24 hours, and things seem to be better networkwise today. All is well in the northern desert.
But the whole thing goes to show you how dependent we are on network services. And it was a reminder to me, keep some cash on hand, people still accept it! I can only imagine what a week without Internet would do…….