Misery Business

            I
contemplated keeping this week’s blog to one succinct sentence,
“Technology hates me, and I hate it.”  But that’s a compound sentence, so perhaps just, “I’m
an idiot” would have sufficed. 
Who am I kidding, I could have summed it up with a few choice
four-letter words, and no, I wasn’t thinking about another blog on snow.  But to keep it clean for any kiddies
(or their parents) who stumble upon this, I’ll expand and explain.

            Yesterday
after working all weekend on typing the sequel to my novel, I was being extra
cautious and went to back up my latest draft on my flash drive.  Except instead of replacing the
old draft with the new one, I rewrote over seven hours of work with the
older version, losing forty pages of revised perfection–okay, perhaps
perfection is stretching it, but still.   Needless to say I was a bit flustered.  A tad upset.  Slightly miffed. 
Okay, I swore and cried and pounded the steering wheel like a mad woman
the entire two-hour drive home from the Cape.  And I wondered why the cat was meowing…

            When
I got home, I went online in search of a remedy.  Surely, this could be fixed.  How many times have we been told that nothing you save on
your computer is ever really gone? 
We live with this looming fear that our every keystroke can be traced
back to us, or with this belief that every tech person is as skilled at
recovering information from burned and erased hard drives as Abby and McGee on
NCIS.  It’s a lie, people.  You want to hide that scathing letter
to your boss or the evidence that you’ve been secretly keeping a file on the
exploits of Charlie Sheen?  Just
invite me over.  Or better yet,
like the person responsible for teaching our young how to read (yup, me again),
just skim over the message asking if you really want to write over the file
with an older version, and hit “replace” with reckless abandonment.

            My
online search wasn’t completely fruitless however, because, though I didn’t find
a way to fix my mistake, I did learn something: misery really does love
company.  As I scoured the help
sites of tech-savvy nerds, likely very rich, very single tech-savvy nerds, I came across
numerous stories of people who had made the same foolish error I had.  Actually, most of the posts were
written by men whose wives, sisters-in-law, or elderly neighbors supposedly
flubbed up, but that’s a phenomenon for another blog on another day.  As I read these posts though, I realized I
found them oddly comforting.  The more
important the document lost by these poor cyber-strangers, the better I
felt.  Thesis paper: tough luck
kid, pull an all-nighter like every other college student does.  Doctoral thesis paper: yikes, that had
to be longer than my forty pages. 
Priceless family genealogy chart that took years to research: now that’s
real pain; I guess I can sleep better tonight. 

            I
know; it’s kind of disturbing. 
But when you think of it, we do it every day.  Who hasn’t gone to the gym or sat in a weight loss group and
secretly looked around for someone more out of shape than herself?  In fact, support groups in general are
based on the theory that misery loves company.  We boost ourselves by knowing others have been through the
same struggles we have, perhaps even had it worse.  As long as we’re not the only technologically impaired,
overweight, or unbuff gym-bunny out there, then we can feel okay about
ourselves.  We’re not freaks, we’re
just flawed.  It almost makes me
feel better about those days I realize all I’ve done is whine and
complain.  Really, I was doing my
co-workers and friends a service by helping to build their self-esteems.

            And,
hey, if you have a day when commiserating just isn’t doing it for you, go
ahead, recover that deleted file on Charlie Sheen, and smile knowing it could
be worse.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Misery Business

  1. Lisa

    Oh Lauren. I saw this on FB and had no comforting words for you. I’ve done this more times than I can count, but the mac daddy champion was freshman year of college when I overwrote my 15 page Spanish final the day before it was due…and this was written on a 286k beast of a machine, obviously without spell check and obviously in SPANISH…it was bad. very bad. On the plus side, over the years I’ve gotten really good at recreating genius. Just the same, it’s a real pisser. My heart breaks for you.

    Like

  2. Lauren

    Thanks, Lisa! I’m telling myself it was meant to be – maybe what I rewrite will be better?

    Like

  3. Monument to the author posed for this:)

    Like

  4. All excellent written

    Like

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