Bad news comes in threes, or so they say. One recent example comes painfully to mind, as both a friend had recently mentioned it as well as another part being a situation I'm currently struggling with.
It was a few weeks ago, which is another obvious indication as to just how seldomly I write these days. The afternoon was winding down, but as rain pattered against the windowpanes my only thought was that there's going to be a wreck this afternoon. Three thirty, four o'clock passes and the storm clouds roll through. There's going to be a wreck. I just know it, I'm going to have a wreck this afternoon. And the timing couldn't be worse as I had to leave immediately after work to race over to Florida for an investigation.
The timing only grew more dismal, just as the weather outside, with the news that our VP's laptop had become too virus-laden to use. I knew I was going to be late, considering the amount of work still requied. And I knew that, even for one brief moment, I was going to have to completely delete everything off of that computer before I could clean it - after which, there was no going back. Being one of our VIPs I double-checked and triple-checked, if not more, to ensure that I had absolutely everything saved. One failed backup not only would cripple the company but could likely cost me my job.
The thunder crashed, and my worries were that somehow...someway...I was going to miss something. I had to nail this one perfectly if ever I rebuild a computer successfully. Those nerves were with good reason, though my thoughts still drifted away to the car wreck that loomed just over my head.
I ended up staying half an hour late making absolute certain this was perfect. Normally no worries whatsoever, if I hadn't been on so tight a schedule. I raced as fast as I could through low visibility, wet roads and insane interstate drivers to slide into my apartment mere moments before my ride showed up for Florida. Somehow, someway, I avoided the wreck that I could just feel was going to happen.
Five minutes pass. Then ten. I begin to wonder where my carpool is. Then I see a txt msg that informed me that his wife was in a car wreck and he's heading out to the scene to check on her. I hope that all my negative karma didn't dump on her by mistake.
We make it to Pensacola - late, but better than never. Especially after so many omens of ill portent. We begin setting up our equipment and I'm asked to place a camera on the edge of a railing, pointing down at the gathered audience below. I question this decision, certain that the camera would somehow go over the edge...but after a mere "you sure?" I end up complying. After all, we've used these cameras hundreds of times. Though small, the mini tripods always hold the cameras safely upright. And as I'm aware of the potential danger, I'm already taking steps to ensure this does not go tumbling over the edge.
I stick the legs securely against the side of the railing, using that to provide additional grip. I turn to grab the cables and some tape - just in case - and I turn back just in time to see the entire thing go tumbling over the edge.
Yep. Startled screams from those seated just below. The camera luckily fell between two tables, and did not clobber someone upside the head. The DJ, however, had much fun at my expense as I walked the walk of shame to recover my shattered equipment. (Luckily it wasn't so bad, and actually ended up working as good as before. Still annoying though as it's the only time I can recall ever being so clumsy.)
Once that fiasco had finally settled and the excitement died down, my cell phone lit up. Urgent emails from my boss. He was trying to use his computer and reported a few of the "normal" things that I warned him I might need to readjust. But on his bullet-list of concerns the final one informed me that almost all of his files were gone. He had one page of data, but everything else beyond the letter "B" was nowhere to be found.
Again, it's the power of threes. I should have known a third thing would rear it's ugly head.
This expectedly caused panic, as it was my worst fear come to light. It was not until the following morning that I calmed down and was clear-headed enough to proceed onward, remembering that I had TWO backups of his data and only needed to reload the second set saved elsewhere. It took most of the day, but in time his files and email were all returned to their proper places. Thinking that I had dodged the bullet with that second backup, I felt safe, but it was not to be. Ever since that rebuild, EVERY. SINGLE. PROBLEM. appears to be related. One day the printer won't print. Another day web pages are slow to load. And this user is perhaps as patient as I've ever seen...but at the same time, it's been two or so weeks and he's still waiting on it to be completely finished, signed off, and returned to full operation as it had been before.
Three times, fate has threatened to smack me upside the head. Three times I narrowly avoided that fate. A wreck still happened, but happened to a friend rather than myself. I did see a camera go spiraling downward, though it remained unbroken and the people below uninjured. That laptop did fail, and though the originally missing files were quickly restored other issues have remained nagging since. All works out in the end and none of these were beyond my ability to handle, but the pacing of them was amusing enough to mention.