The Blinding Swirly Depths of Human Error

My final paper is due today at midnight. This is the paper that will close my course work for my master’s program. This is the paper I should have had on a flash drive. This is the paper I considered sending to my Gmail account so that I could work on it in Google docs. This is the paper that sits on my desk top right now waiting….

I left work early to come home and be with my infant son. He’s out of daycare this week and I had it all figured out. My fiance and I were taking shifts all week relieving our sitter during lunch and today was my day. I looked forward to coming home, cooking dinner, putting the finishing touches on my paper and sending it in to my instructor. Instead, I was multi-tasking, talking on the cell phone finishing last minute wedding plans, making arrangements with the evening sitter, sweeping the floor, and (sort of) proofreading my paper (going back and forth between my computer and holding my son at the same time). He likes to press on the computer keys so I put him down for just a minute. And within that minute he got tangled into the computer cord and tried to crawl away to get free. He pulled away–the computer inched towards the edge of the dining room table. He pulled a bit more–the computer as if in slow motion rolled off the edge and slammed into our hard wood floors. This was one of those moments when you are thankful that your child is not hurt but you are panicked because you have no idea what the condition of the computer will be in.

And just as I suspected, the screen was rendered inoperable. The cursor was lost inside the swirling spray of colors. The desktop was hidden behind the white bright shade. The crack wasn’t really a crack at all. It was a crisp white blinding–my documents trapped inside the light. Now I realize that is dramatic but I had hoped to be done with my final paper and cooking dinner by now. We are getting married in a few weeks and have pre-marital class tonight, my five-year-old has dance class, and we are expecting the other sitter (a friend of ours) in three hours.

But all I can think about is my document trapped inside our laptop. It is right there. I know it is there. I can’t see it but I know it is there. I called the “Geek Squad” and they quoted me a price my fiance is absolutely not pleased with but all I can think of is why didn’t I have it on a flash drive? Everyone knows not to work on important documents on the desktop. I know this rule!

So I decide to write…calm myself and see the bright side of things. I have to get a monitor and hopefully pull the document from there and save it on a flash drive. I still need to proofread. I still need to pick up my five-year-old from camp and get him to dance class. Thankfully my infant son is upstairs sleeping. Thankfully my fiance ran to the store to try to pick up a monitor and the accompanying cord. Thankfully I am calm…I am calm (I think).

Who says you can do it all? My smartphone, laptop, and the internet seem to suggest that. However, every time I turn around my technology fails me in some complete and almost utterly devastating way. But I realize that these incidents are only as devastating as I allow them to be and I don’t want to give this particular incident more power than it needs. I am nervous but I’m hopeful. I’ve learned my lesson (again) about technology. In the crucial hour, it can fail. Or did I learn my lesson about human error–so can I.

My final paper for this course is due in eight hours. I have to retrieve it from the blinding swirly depths. I have a waking baby to take care of, a five-year-old to pick up, who knows what we’ll have for dinner tonight, a wedding to finish planning, a revision or two for this paper, and a thesis to write this fall.

I need chocolate.

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Categories: Misc.

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