When Something Is Wrong With My Baby

I started my day earlier than usual this morning by meeting a prospective client who arrived a few minutes before ten, and left about a half hour later, very interested in moving forward. Afterward I started up my computer – my old computer, which is still my primary computer even though my new one is all set up and waiting for me. Oh, moving away from this old computer would be a lot quicker and easier if I didn’t have so much CRAP to move!  Yesterday afternoon I discovered that I had about 80,000 megabytes of data to compress and move (the equivalent of 80 100-MB CDs).  I thought most of this data was old email that I meant to keep and read eventually.  But I was surprised to notice I hadn’t emptied my Deleted Items folder in a long time!  So this one PST file was getting packed up (yikes!), and dragging out the entire process.  After I dumped it, I then went through my equally bloated Inbox, which was infested with a bunch of e-newsletters that pile up unread.  A first pass at dumping old, useless, redundant emails cut my Inbox down by a third. Only 3,000 messages were left in the Inbox at the end of the afternoon.

I’ve wanted to get on here and write several blog posts a long time ago. Some ideas that have been stacked up since the Residential Design & Construction tradeshow in April.  Another Resume Takeaway, other things.  I also was going to post some thoughts in response to a whole trove of job searching articles from TheLadders that I had saved.  After reading a bunch of them last night, it became easy and fun to dump the ones I didn’t need to read, and save only the ones that had the most to offer me now – an inspiration, a change of attitude, a useful tip I could apply without stress.

I had one I wanted to respond to when I turned on my computer this morning.  I am hating this computer – with it’s slow-moving Inernet Explorer, and eight-year-old hard drive with it’s original install of Windows XP, and the mouse that still sticks despite numerous cleanings – but I don’t want to throw out the BABY with the bath water.  (See, there’s a point to all of this!)  While I prepare for the eventual move, I’m fighting a new and persisting problem where Internet Explorer runs three instances of the same .exe file, and one of them freezes the whole system so I have to manually reboot the machine. The Microsoft rep I’ve contacted emails me with standard Level 1 Tech Support non-solutions when I’m smart enough to know that I want an answer to this one question.  What’s going on inside this black box – nested as it is within all these other black boxes?

Well, the topper to all this comes today at 11:30 when I first launch Internet Explorer. My home page doesn’t even load!  The connection is there, but the .exe file is using 99% of my CPU cycles to do God-knows-what.  Fortunately, I can use Firefox instead, and look at my email online.  But to attempt to solve this problem, I have to print out the Microsoft rep’s email, which I’ll eventually have to store into some folder that I haven’t gotten around to creating yet. 

Seemingly back on track to doing some blogging today, I first digest the morning’s emails which address my various personal and business pursuits.  Out of frustration and habit, at 12:30 I turn on the radio to hear Sam and Dave singing, “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby”.  I’ve heard it before.  I don’t need to hear it now, but it sums up perfectly what’s going on.  My email, browser, and organizational woes are preventing me from getting a lot more blogging done! 

I was going to title this blog post “When Something Is Wrong With My System, Something Is Wrong With Me”.  But “Baby” is more universal.  I’m sure we’ve all felt that way, and are even feeling that way now.  Whether your “baby” is in fact a physical child or a loved one in whose well-being you are heavily invested.  Your “baby” might just as easily be a career-defining project, a dream job, a business, an identity, or simply a way of working.

In my case, it’s a computer that is either the gateway or the barrier to my own productivity, focus, presence of mind, and uptime.


“When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, Something Is Wrong With Me.”

Call To Action: What is Your “Baby”?  What are you invested in? What are you responsible for? What is not working right now, and how are you paying for it?  Is it costing your business money, or are you suffering in some other way? Give me a call or drop me a line!  I’d love to hear what you think!


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