"to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages and kings."
The site is back after two long weeks of being offline. That was due to a string of problems. In times past, we've been taken offline by the hosting company for using up too many server resources. That seems to be what happened this time too.
But the first problem was that several months ago, I requested that the site account be upgraded to a Virtual Private Server, a scheme that gives the site its own dedicated resources instead of sharing them with other basic accounts. Apparently, there was a communications glitch and they never performed the upgrade. So we crossed that invisible line yet again and got shut down.
Second problem. This time, somehow or other they messed up the permissions for the site's cache folder. That caused the site to not show the error messages telling us the database had been disconnected that we got before. Stacy found that out by hunting laboriously for problems in the code.
Third, this time around it took until the 25th for someone to notice my "priority" message and reply to it, and longer for me to notice they had because for some reason the tech support messages are not being forwarded to my email as they should be and were in the past.
Their tech support finally sent my upgrade request to the VPS department, and now we can hope that this kind of nonsense is over and done.
This was also a period where I was distracted from paying as much attention to the site as I would have liked because my Real Life has hit a snag. My job evaporated out from under me, and threw my life into confusion and uncertainty. One day my boss is talking about replacing carpet and installing new surge protectors, and the next we get an email that he's downsizing the business and laying everyone off.
Turned out he'd been overworking himself into a physical breakdown of his health keeping the place afloat, and that night it caught up to him and caused a serious failure of his digestive system. His doctor laid down the law: he has to drastically cut back on his work load, or else.
So he shut down our shop and opened a new, much smaller office. He's only going to work on his business contracts and not have anything to do with walk-in customers or residential services.
With the rest of us now unemployed, we had to make some decisions. Our secretary / receptionist is going to take some time off and then get another job elsewhere. I and the guy who was doing most of the residential service calls will open up a new shop to cover the stuff our former employer will no longer be handling.
It's a scary time. I have no idea if we'll be able to generate the kind of income that will make our shop a success. We aren't cutting ties, though. We'll be supplied with parts and sales stock by our former employer, and he'll be referring customers to us. We'll be selling his stock for him, and comparing notes from time to time. I call it a change from an employer / employee relationship to a confederation of companies.
Still, there's one upside to this. Now I can wear sandals to work if I want to, since I'm my own boss again.