Saturday, September 18, 2010

Instead of the website I expected ...

... after clicking an online link, a white screen appeared with these words:

Server is too busy.

For a moment I considered what that phrase meant just a few years ago. It could have been the comment of a dinner partner explaining why the waiter hadn’t brought me another iced tea.

The phrase could also have referred to my tennis opponent preoccupied with tying her shoe, or the man delivering legal process notices who was distracted by a call on his cell phone.

But those weren’t the problem of the moment. My Internet server – the unseen something somewhere that brings me what I order from the information highway corner cafĂ© – was busy.

Doing what?

Was it disoriented by the workings of my squirrel-in-a-wheel computer? Had I asked for too many things at once and its wires crossed? Were there too many customers on the list ahead of me?

Whatever the case, I had to wait to be served. I couldn’t even get up and get it myself.

The word “server” comes from an old Anglo-French word that defined a person who brought food to the master of the house.

When I Googled “server” the first 100 listings had nothing to say about food and drink, but I did see quite a bit about being dedicated.

That seemed to fit; a dedicated server would be a good thing.

And now I wonder: to what or whom am I dedicated to serve?

Am I ever too busy?

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