Now I don’t want the title of this post to alarm you. I haven’t suddenly formed the militant wing of the Anarcho Urban Writers for Liberation of the Dangling Participle or anything like that. But something happened in the Sydney CBD this week that got me thinking. Got me thinking hard. About the best way to shut down a city if you wanted to.
It’s obvious when you really think about it. No explosions. No viruses released into the subway system. No abducting the prime minister’s plain and sexually frustrated daughter who is saving herself for marriage and getting a group of buff Latino male models to hold her to ransom while rubbing themselves down with baby oil and saying Ooh yeah, you know you want it every ten minutes. None of that.
There is one surefire way to cripple a city. It was done this week by reluctant criminal mastermind Bazza the Bulldozer Driver* from Energy Australia who cut through ten thousand phone lines and damaged twelve mobile phone towers on Tuesday affecting pretty much all the homes and businesses in York and Clarence Streets in the city.
That meant no phone, no internet, no fax, no EFTPOS, and limited mobile phone coverage for all. My husband’s shop has been very badly affected as have all the businesses in his block. No way to place orders. No way to contact customers. And guess what? No one pays cash anymore.
Not one representative from either EnergyAustralia or Telstra has paid a visit to any of the businesses affected. Rumour has it Telstra is blaming Energy Australia for using an independent contractor to do the job and Energy Australia is blaming Telstra for not providing adequate plans of the layout of the phone line system. I love the blame game.
So far the lines have been down for 5 days and there is no indication of how long it will continue. Many shopkeepers have closed their doors, peeved that no one is taking responsibility or apparently doing anything. If you are a hairdresser or a travel agent or an online based business it is almost impossible to do business without a phone.
News reports suggest that Telstra is working around the clock to fix the problem but so far the city remains quiet.
That is why I haven’t been around much this week. I have been doing a lot of work for the shop at home. Banking, calling customers to let them know what’s happening, checking emails.
My husband’s server has a really inadequate spam filter. I have been awash with spam mail. Yesterday I received over 500 of the little blighters. No, I don’t want my penis enlarged 200 times thank you very much and I definitely don’t want to buy VIAGRU manufactured in the Ukraine. Or PROTSAC for the depressions. Might be time to change servers….
How can a city be shut down just like that? How can it be that in this era of incredible technology there is no manual override button?
My view of bulldozer operators has changed. I always thought they were jolly and competent like Muck The Bulldozer from Bob The Builder. I now believe that they really are harbouring a secret wish to be criminal masterminds.
Can we fix it?
No, we can’t.
* name changed for purposes of alliteration