NEW: Samantha McDonald

Stranded by the floods and – ugh! – five days without email, what was a girl to do? I learned some survival skills in Newcastle last week.

Left high and dry

How many readers were caught up in the terrible storms in NSW last week?

I live in Adelaide but ran a workshop in Moree, NSW, on Friday and was extremely lucky to get back to my base in Newcastle afterwards. The flooding was incredible!

I’ve never seen so many cars abandoned by the roadside as travellers scrambled for higher ground. And, as if it wasn’t all surreal enough, a huge ship ran aground on a popular beach near where I’m staying.

Friends had their businesses flooded out, with huge damage, and some had to evacuate their homes. Newcastle is like a war zone; I never want to see it like this again.

It got me thinking… This is the first time I’ve been able to access the internet and my emails for five days. Five days!! Every time I’ve gone to check them, something has got in the way… you know, little things like no electricity or no phone lines, stuff like that…

And, being a business person, this has driven me absolutely nuts! Fancy not having emails for five days! I honestly felt like my left arm was missing. Seriously. And I’m pretty sure I was not the only person who felt this way.

So, how does one cope when they find themselves without the addiction (did I say that??) of email? Here’s a few tips:

Clear your backlog. I worked offline for a bit and was able to clear the majority of my inbox, by filing or replying, even though I wasn’t sure when they’d finally get my message. It was actually really great to have some time to go through and sort out the mess!

Pick up the phone. Yes, I know, this one’s a tough one, but I was forced to actually do some business over the phone. And what a nice change it made! My clients were very happy to hear from me, and they all completely understood why I hadn’t been able to get to them earlier.

Send your apologies. Structure a group email that explains why you couldn’t get or reply to messages earlier, and send it to anyone who would have expected an email from you, as soon as you have access again. These things happen. This is the age we live in. Technology rules us (hmmmm…).

There’s absolutely no point stressing about being out of contact and not having access to your emails. It happens to everyone at one time or another, and sometimes it’s completely unavoidable.

So, take a deep breath, grab another cup of coffee, and find something else to do. I’m sure you’ll find something!


To read more Samantha McDonald blogs, click here.



Cheryl Price from writes: Yes, well beware of suggesting to a Novocastrian that they grab another coffee when the power has been off for the fourth day running! I can tell you that this was no simple matter, having to wait for the water to heat up sufficiently over the log fire and making the cuppa by candlelight. At least we managed to get some ice for the bubbly – who needs coffee?



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