Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 11, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 11, 2004 – So how am I doing without my computer? NOT very well it seems. I’m feeling totally aimless – unfocussed and scattered. I know I have client E-mails that are going unanswered and as the middle of the month fast approaches, I have no newsletters ready to send out and no new articles for my monthly column Tricks of the Trade.
I’m supposedly back at work this week and I can do nothing. I’m totally amazed at how this is affecting me. I’d never really thought about how completely my days are tied into my personal computer. I’ve had minor problems before with my various systems, but I’ve never had a hard drive crash, with the accompanying possibility, that my data is gone – forever!
I’ve developed an extremely close personal relationship with this little machine that keeps track of my private and professional schedule, allows me to pay bills online, lets me create great marketing information and correspondence, keeps me connected to all the real estate data I need to conduct my business affairs and lets me flex my creative writing muscle.
I will be heartsick if my July writing is gone! Perhaps this is bothering me most of all. I know I can create new materials for my business. In fact, some of them may need to be updated, but my day-to-day creative ramblings are unique to the day I create them on my computer screen.
How can I return to the 19th of July or August 3rd and hope to know what words flowed from my fingertips that day? It’s impossible. It’s interesting because I can see that my thoughts are totally negative and thus incredibly counter-productive. I’m imagining the worst, when I still don’t know if that’s the eventual outcome. Perhaps that’s to cushion the blow if my writing really is gone.
I have to go and meet a delightful client at four o’clock this afternoon. That may take my mind off this feeling of disconnectedness for awhile and help me forget how angry I’m feeling. This dithering takes up so much energy – it’s not much wonder I feel depleted. So what is the solution? As I ponder solutions to my loss of energy and my anger, I need to remember that my computer has gone to the great bolt yard in the sky – that’s all. No one has died, I’m not sick, my life is not in jeopardy.
Well – the news ins in – it’s now six o’clock and I have the final tally – it will cost me $1897.50 to recover my lost data. Ben is unwilling to assume any responsibility for this computer problem, even though I pay him to look after my computer needs and the system is a mere seven months old. I’m not a technical expert – he is, supposedly. I follow directions well – if I’d been told to watch my back-up system I would have done so.
It’s really about money and I find that you learn a lot about a person’s character when money is involved. The data is not important to him – it is to me. The most critical components being my record of my client E-mail correspondence, my financial files and my writing. My client work from January until now is an important part of my business, but I could probably get by with a couple of days of piecing together old marketing materials with newer updates that I’ve prepared (mainly from memory) – but what is my July writing worth to me? The answer is “a lot”. I cannot duplicate it – ever. Have I already said this? If so – too bad!
I know I’ll always be sorry if I don’t attempt to have it retrieved. I spend liberally on my silver jewellery collection and non-essential stuff for my home. My commitment to writing this year has been absolute and when I think this way, I know the answer.
I’ll spend the money. What’s the lesson? Pick your computer guru wisely, get everything in writing – who is responsible for what, back up your computer data often – keep copies of your essential information on your secondary drive and also on a CD Rom at an off-site, secure location.
P.S. – it turned out that Ben had used second hand computer parts from China when he built my “new” computer system and there was no “internal” back-up drive at all – didn’t exist. All his software was pirated as well. I paid a high price by trusting someone. And then I had to go and buy a “real” new computer – that was a pricey August back in 2004!