Losing Your Data and Other Atrocities

One day long ago, I lost a USB flash drive on my way to class. A 20 page paper was due that day, and I had saved my most recent file of my report and presentation to the jump drive. I got to class and immediately began setting up, only to find that the drive, located on my keychain, had broken off. 

I quickly told my professor and she allowed me a moment to retrace my steps to see if I could find it. I checked the path I took from my dormitory to the classroom, asking every administrator if they had seen it. I checked every single computer in the library (even though I hadn’t used one), and searched every corner of my dorm. Nada. 

Dejectedly, I returned to class empty handed. My professor told me plainly, “If you can create something in time for the next class this week, you’ll get full credit.” I had never worked as hard as I did that night, but I got it done.

So a similar thing just happened to me today.

I had interviewed a friend of mine for an assignment. The interview went well, a half-hour over my 1 long minimum. I was extremely proud of it, and I went on vacation the next day to write my article examining the process and how it went. But upon opening the file the next day, it wouldn’t work. It couldn’t play. Nothing I did was working. I contacted AppleCare again and again and again and again, and nothing. Nada.

A few things happen to me in these moments of extreme and abject failure.

The first is denial. I see the problem, and I try to process the gravity of it bit by bit, but I’m fully aware that the problem is much larger than me and I’m unable to process it as a whole. It’s like an H.P. Lovecraft monster, in which my brain doesn’t even have a frame of reference for what exactly the loss represents, so I just blank it out entirely.

But eventually this process fails, and I’m dragged to the depths of my mind of despair. This phase is closely connected to the following one – working through it.

A failure is only one if it doesn’t teach you anything. So one – use like four backup recorders.

But two, I’m going to have to find time to do another interview before class time this Tuesday. I have to do the work. I have to do twice the work. I just do. I don’t have another option.

So to get myself out of my despair, I’m going to rework my questions for the next interview, and thusly include these revelations in part two of my interview summary and evaluation. I hope my professor is going to accept a summary right up to the brink of the page limit ’cause that’s just what it’ll have to be. 

So I’m off to enjoy the remnants of my vacation. And when Monday comes around, it’s back to work. 

PS. I won’t stop hassling Apple until they fix their fucking Voice Memo app. And I won’t stop until I know for sure this file is gone.

And that’s that.


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