The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Small mistake, big disaster

Several months ago I was shopping for a desk for my home office. Since I write on a laptop, normal desks or even computer desks don't work because they are too high. Eventually I found desks that allowed you to adjust the height. I got it narrowed down to two: a desk and a table. They were exactly the same except for one difference. There was a support bar running from one side to the other underneath. On the table, this bar was in the middle (looking front to back). On the desk, it was shifted toward the back. But the desk was about $20 more so I figured I'd get the table instead.

The table arrived, I set it up, sat down and my knees hit the support bar. Not a big problem, but a little irritating. I should have spend the extra $20 on the desk but no harm done.

Monday I got a good-sized project that I've been working on this week. Thursday I started my workday by turning on the laptop and setting my mug of coffee down next to it. I sat down, scooted in, and my knees slammed against that support bar. Did I mention the coffee mug was one of those with a narrow bottom and a wide top? You know, there's a special place in Hell for people who design cups like that. The table wobbled, the mug wobbled, and in slow motion it tipped over and deposited its contents into my laptop. Poof. All gone.

Insert your own stream of profanity here.

No problem - I backup my documents every day. Every single freaking day. Except since I started this project.

I should also mention that this is a subcontract. It's the first project from a new and lucrative client for my client, so I not only screwed up my end, but I make her look stupid to her new (and hopefully not ex-) client.

I think of all the things that had to come together to make this happen. This was my third cup of coffee and I almost never drink more than two. Heck, I don't even work on Thursdays! Normally that's a day I take care of my niece, but her father had the day off so I figured I get a day of writing in instead. I didn't even own that particular coffee cup six weeks ago (Christmas present).

The laptop dried out overnight but wouldn't boot up this morning. I took it to a computer shop, but I don't expect them to be able to do anything with it. Even if they do, I would be reluctant to trust it. I did my taxes this week (the day before in fact) and I'm getting a substantial refund; guess where that is going. Every single time I get a windfall, some disaster happens within days that eats it up.

My weekend will be trying to recreate the articles I lost. Some types articles can be rewritten in a heartbeat, but not these. They were very technical articles with lots of screwy acronyms and such. All of my research and links was on that computer too so I'm really back at square one. My client appreciates my efforts and understands that these things happen so I haven't shot myself in the foot too badly.

But I really wish I'd spent the extra $20 on the desk.


  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Yvonne Russell said…

    Hi Andy
    Gosh... what a sequence of events! You sound remarkably patient and calm, considering. :)

    I enjoy reading your blog. I have tagged you at my blog - for Diane Penna's personal writing contract meme.

    I found it quite affirming to distil the essence of what I really want to achieve.

    Join in, if you like, but I'll pass on the coffee for the moment, until you get that table sorted out (lol)

    All the best.
    Yvonne Russell

  • At 3:24 PM, Blogger Nicole said…

    Oh, my gosh! I'm reading this in my office at work, and I was audibly gasping, causing a coworker to think something was wrong with me!

    I'm so sorry!!

    I'll think of you when I shop for a new desk! *wink*

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Andy said…

    Yvonne - I wasn't all that calm, believe me. I dang near screamed myself hoarse after it happened.

    I'll look at that writing contract meme.

    Scribbler - Thanks for your concern. It's certainly something that will stick with me for a while.


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