The past few months have given me a number of instances to reflect upon boundaries in different respects. It all started exactly 6 months ago on 23 November 2015…
Whilst Yvonne and I were busy in her office on the other side of the building, a cat-burglar climbed over a tall palisade fence, entered via our kitchen window and stole my laptop and iPhone from my desk. I caught a glimpse of a ghostly shadow as he made his way out and chased after him up the road, but he was much too nimble (and fired up with adrenaline or other substances) for me to stop him. I tracked my phone online and watched helplessly from the office with the police alongside me as the burglar made his way down the Main Road to the taxi ranks opposite the Cape Town Castle.
‘Nothing we can do,’ the police officers said, ‘it’s out of our suburb and beyond our jurisdiction now.’
My IT friend pushed the erase button for me and my digital life pretty much disappeared.
The villain returned with an accomplice 10 days later, but in the evening this time. They wrecked our front door as they crow-barred their way in and stole the PC that the first chap must have seen us working on. The alarm report showed them running about the house in the 10 minutes they were inside before the security company arrived, and they managed to damage my locked office and a storeroom door as well. Somehow they missed our main computer with our office accounting data on it that was right under their noses.
These events prompted an entire restructuring and securing of our space and data. Fortunately I had a good backup (just love my time-machine) and was able to restore my computer once the insurance settled the theft claim. An older iPhone was resurrected to serve extra time until my contract renewed in April. December and January saw upgrades to our alarms and all our windows are now adorned with lovely clear burglar bars.
The restoration of the office data was a massive undertaking. I had decided eighteen months ago to move to a different hardware – software system, but we were let down by the local agent who failed to help us in the transition. This was clearly the time to make the shift, if it was ever going to happen. My team, Cindi and Yvonne, were wonderful in duplicating invoices in both systems, as I knuckled down into cyber world to get it set up, as well as complete the work on our new website. It was a tough few months of eighteen-hour days for me, and thankfully everything was in place and seemed to be working by Easter.
We are confronted by crime on a daily basis in South Africa, and these two events rattled our cage a little. I believe this was a wake-up call for us to improve our boundaries, and we are grateful that our angels were indeed looking after us in that we weren’t physically threatened during the burglary, nor our caretaker seen or harmed during the second event. It served as a catalyst for change, albeit somewhat traumatic.
These events took place at our office, and involved replaceable material and data items. In Part 2 we’ll look at the subtler level of cellular invaders.