Google Calendar went down for a few hours this morning.
That much we know.
What we don’t know is all that we lost.
When the popular calendar tool went offline mid-morning on Tuesday, it took with it a sense of time and stability in offices and households across the country (and parts of Europe, South America, Asia and Africa).
Three hours later, the glitch was resolved. But not before leaving mayhem and infuriated, liberated and eventually disappointed users in its wake.
10 a.m. EST Tuesday: This is the moment users first notice the outage. It began sweeping across desktops and phones as morning briefings let out and others were getting started.
Many began to wonder: Where should I be? At what time? Who am I? Why am I?
Google quickly noticed and announced it was working on the problem. A general sense of direction and purpose falters. The day quickly devolves into chaos as once cluttered calendars suddenly open up.
11:40 a.m. ET: Almost two hours later, Google says it’s “continuing to investigate.”
Somewhere, someone was wondering why they didn’t write down the time of their kid’s midday dentist appointment.
Is it happening at noon? Tomorrow? Did it already happen? Wandering lost without a road map: It’s enough to make one question their place in the astral plane.
Somewhere else a dentist sat mildly annoyed at the empty chair.
12:40 p.m. ET: An update finally comes – Google knows what’s up with Calendar now, and they’ll fix the unidentified glitch within the hour.
Don’t tell its users too much, though: the shreds of sweet freedom have only begun to pierce through the blackout. Did you forget that conference call? It’s okay – you’re not alone.
It’s only 9:40 a.m. on the West Coast — some workers may have forgotten to come into work entirely. They weren’t reminded. But who could blame them?
1:15 p.m. ET: Google revives Calendar, it announces, right in the thick of the post-lunch slog, and the nationwide sick day comes to an end.
Sweet, sweet freedom dissolves into responsibilities as looming deadlines and appointments surge back into our lives, all at once.
“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” the company said. “Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”