That was the mantra one of our teachers parroted to us in the business school. And she was so right. Always, always, always make a backup, preferably many, of any work you wish to keep because the machines are treacherous bitches and will die on you when you least expect it.
My computer has been in use only for a year and was brand new when I got her. Yesterday morning, she woke up screaming. In pain, or terror, or both, I’ll never know. Might be that she just felt neglected and wanted my full attention to her as something else than just a piece of equipment. She caught it, for sure.
I started her. She piped up a “PUUUPUUUPUUUPI” -sound at the top of her mechanical lungs. I asked her what was wrong? Her face remained dark and unresponding, and it loomed to me that something more might be going on than just her being cranky for having been woken up so early.
The noise went on and on. At one point, we were screaming together, for it had also dawned on me that she held too many files as hostages that I hadn’t saved anywhere else. At this point, I was shouting louder than her.
I plugged her off. She stopped peeping. I was on the verge of ditching her out into the yard. As I am a grown-up and as such obliged to act reasonably, I called the maintenance instead. The guy was very compliant. Sure, you can send her here. The warranty is for two years. We’ll fix her, no worries.
But what about my files? I asked, fearing for the answer. Well, they’re lost. He had the decency not to chide me for not having saved a backup.
No, no, no… I can’t lose all that work. I was on the edge of tears. Will I order the maintenance? He asked. Don’t! I was thinking fast. What can I do? Why, take her to a friend who knows how to dig your precious files out of her cooling bowls. I’ve got no such friends… Well… What about that maintenance? I’ll call you back.
I plunged into Google, found the local computer maintenance business, and called them, an emergency call. The guy there was like super calm. No, we’re not busy. You can bring her straight away. If the hard drive isn’t dead, we should be able to salvage your files.
So, I carried my wounded machine into the car and drove to town. The computer guy was magnificent, an ocean of tranquility.
By the time I got back home, I could think clearly again and check my pen drive. I hadn’t lost as much as I had thought, but the edited version of my book was gone. Days and days of work. And some sections of the sequel were also gone. Something that I can live with, I decided.
Still, I was forlorn. Bloody bitch! How could she do this to me? On my birthday of all days? I stared vehemently at my old laptop, a loyal and tireless servant, just as a machine should be. I hate writing with a laptop. And she is so slow! Yet, she’s all I’ve got, and I’m grateful for her unwavering fealty.
I’m also grateful for my partner. He comes home with a bundle of flowers and a broad smile. Happy birthday, love. How could I not smile back? Thanks, honey. My computer crashed. Why would she do that? Dunno. She got off on the wrong foot, I suppose.
I had made curry for dinner, and we ate. Ice cream for dessert. I went to my little laptop after, for I needed to be present on social media. He watched me for a while. I said I didn’t like working with the laptop. It makes my neck hurt. We never watch our telly, he said. True.
So, he grabbed the TV, planted it on my desk, attached it to my laptop, gave me his keyboard, which he wasn’t using anyway, he claimed, and here I am, with a 32″ screen and proper keyboard, thinking that I must’ve done something right during the cycle of my lives to have deserved him.
At least I had the file loaded on Amazon before the computer failed me.