So if you will remember, on day 2 of NaBloPoMo, I wrote about my Y-Axis Crises. I got a good chunk of the presentation done on Wednesday at work, and then a little more done at home. Unfortunately, I had to do most of it at work because I needed my client's chart to write the presentation, and access to the network at work access his graphs and data. On Thursdays, I typically have a meeting from 8:30 - 9, a client from 9:30-11:30, a client from 12- 2, and the remainder of the day free. "This will be fine," thought I in my ridiculous naïveté, "I'll just spend 2-5 finishing up the presentation."
So in to work I go Thursday morning, look at the schedule, and realize a colleague was sick and I was put in the 2:30-4:30 slot to cover for her client. Brilliant. I went to morning meeting, came down to my desk and had a phone call. I called the person back and spent 9-9:25 on the phone, at which point I cut them off and ran to the second floor to prep for my 9:30. I was in session until 11:30, at which point I realized I was starving as I had not eaten breakfast. I let that client go, and was stopped in the hallway on my way down to my desk by a supervisor and then 2 colleagues who needed my help. I stopped, helped, ran down to my desk, dropped off my stuff and ran to the bathroom. I then looked at the clock, realized it was 11:55, and ran upstairs, lunchless, to my 12:00. 12:00 appointment was a mess and a half, complete with a disrobing child and a 45 minute tantrum. At 2, I headed down to my office and put my lunch in the microwave. As I sat down, waiting the 2 minutes for my lunch to heat up, the phone rang. It was the special educator I have been attempting to contact for 2 weeks. And, it turned out, she really liked to talk. I sat at my desk, attempting to sound cool calm and collected while gathering all the necessary data and listening to my lonely lunch beep in the microwave. At 2:18, I started getting frantic text messages on my phone, my pager went off, and I got an email all at the same time. My next client was taking his pants off and screaming in the lobby. I then heard my name over the intercom broadcast across the hospital (first and hopefully last time THAT happens), telling me to report to the lobby immediately. I hurriedly but politely get the teacher off of the phone and dash out of the office to the lobby where I find a half-naked adolescent boy lying on the floor screaming. My colleague pops out of the elevator at the same time and we transport him up the elevator to the session room. By then it's 2:30 and time to start session, so in I go, dreaming about my lonely lunch in the cold microwave. By 3:30 I was desperate and asked a friend to take data for me while I ran and grabbed a granola bar from my desk. I sat in my chair for 2 minutes before hopping back up and going back into session. I finished up at 4:30 by transporting a- this time- fully clothed child to his car. I retrieved my lonely lunch from the microwave and promptly spaced out at my desk for a good 15 minutes while I ate and attempted to recover.
So I guess you could say that put me back a tad time-wise. Never fear! In times like these, I have a Super Power Focusing Machine I can use to focus with unusual intensity. And I did. For about an hour, I focused hard-core and whipped those graphs into shape. I left no data label unentered, no Y-axis mislabeled. I was an Excel Goddess.
...and then, as inevitably happens, the engine on my Super Power Focusing Machine fizzled out and died like my dad's riding lawn mower did every time he mowed the lawn. It started out fine, then made a couple weird noises, coughed a couple times, and slowly sounded like it was being drawn and quartered until it stopped and fizzled out completely, followed by a loud POP you learned to wait for. By 7:15, I had popped. I emailed the presentation to myself to finish at home, packed it all up, caught the shuttle, sat in traffic due to an accident in the city, and finally made it home by 8:35.
But wait! My day doesn't end there. Nope. I could have come home and written a complaining, whining blog post, much like this one, if it ended there. But instead, I came home, took the dog for a walk, ate dinner, let the dog out again, and pulled out the presentation to rearrange it, add two slides, check it over, and finish it up before writing. An hour and a half later, I was done. I was happy. And I wasn't even tired! I hit Control+S one more time for good measure and closed out powerpoint to email it to myself again and save it to my flash drive.
As soon as I hit that damn little X, I realized what I had done and scared the crap out of the dog by yelling, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo!"
I had opened the powerpoint from my email, but never actually saved it anywhere. All the times I hit Control+S, I wasn't actually saving it some place permanent. I was saving it in the no-mans land in which opened but unsaved documents exist. And when I closed it out, the hour and a half of work it was gone forever.
In spite of the fact that I knew it was gone, I spent 30 minutes searching for it, hoping it would turn up in some obscure corner of my computer. Useless. So I re-opened my email, opened that original attachment--SAVED IT!--and spent another hour re-doing what I had just done.
One would think 3 years of college + almost 5 years of grad school would have taught me to save my work in multiple places. One could also reasonably assume that this education taught me how to not hate Excel, and how to quickly and efficiently deal with Y-Axis crises.
But no. I went into psychology to work with people. People have wrong buttons I can push, but I can tell when I'm pushing them and we can work through the wrong button mishap. Computers? One wrong button and it's all over. People don't retain all the information I give them, but they also aren't hardwired to do so. Computers are. Any button I push it's supposed to remember, and I KNOW the information is in there. It has to be. It just won't let me know where. People are human--they can't read my mind, so they don't always do what I want them to do, but we work through it. Computers on the other hand are supposed to fix themselves and do exactly what I want when I want, regardless of whether or not I push the right buttons. Because...well because that's just how it's supposed to be. And even a doctoral degree is never going to convince me otherwise.
So, by the time I took the dog out, took a shower, packed my lunch, and brushed my teeth, it was 1:30 AM, I was not on speaking terms with my laptop, and NaBloPoMo was the LAST thing on my mind.(PS - The presentation was today at 12, the powerpoint was finished, and I'm pretty sure I rocked it! I hit all the major criteria: speak and have fully formed English words others can hear come from your mouth; display pretty graphs and pretend you know what they mean; use big words; remain standing and keep breathing throughout. Yep yep...I call that a success).