I was at a conference the other day (I won’t mention which one as it has had enough of my words already) and I was taking my seat. Space was a little tight and I had my usual utility bag with me stuffed with every possible thing that I could need. To get myself sorted I put my laptop on the seat next to me, one of those folding down seats that flip up when you stand up and turned around to get myself straight. Of course the inevitable happened. The weight of my laptop was not enough to keep the seat down and it folded up sending it crashing to the floor.
I turned to the guy sitting next to me who looked shocked as if he had witnessed an accident and said that that didn’t sound good and bent down slowly to pick it up with crossed fingers. It had been in sleep mode when I had put it on the chair but when I picked it up it was dead, the small green battery light had gone off. It was not a good sign.
And then it hit me – oh no, I’ve killed my laptop. I lovingly inspected it by rubbing my hands across its casing but there were no obvious signs of damage. I lifted the lid gingerly, frightened by what I might see and pressed the on button. The screen advised me that my laptop had not shut down properly and asked if I wanted to open Windows as normal? I did and hit the enter key.
The next few minutes seemed like an age. I panicked. I felt sick. My life flashed before me as I thought of what not having my laptop would mean. I had nothing on it as it was all on remote storage somewhere out there and I had another laptop at home. I also had my phone with me and so I wasn’t exactly cut off from humanity but I felt bereft, emasculated and incapacitated. I was lost.
I waited and waited for something to happen, hoping and praying that I hadn’t damaged the hard drive. Who I prayed to I have no idea as I’m not that way inclined but it must have worked as eventually my desktop appeared. At first the applications didn’t behave well but I restarted the device and everything settled down at the second time of asking.
What was the big deal? It was just a laptop and it was just an accident but what this little incident has told me is that I have become emotionally attached to my little friend. It comes everywhere with me, indeed it is on my knee as I am writing this and we’ve become very close. The near death experience of my laptop, not any laptop but my very own personal laptop, was more than a physical wrench. I felt that through my own carelessness, I had lost a colleague.
I never want to go through that again and have made a promise that I will take more care in future.