Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the defending champion for the Worst Week of 2018!
It’s a public holiday, I can sleep, I can chill, I’m having so much fun, life is good!
Aaaand they’re turning the water off again. For the entire day this time. Glorious. Nothing I like more than not being able to use my flat that I pay rent for. “But you can use it! Just fill some bottles with water!” You walnut, what d’you think I did? However, buckets and bottles are not the best replacement for an actual flushing toilet. Look, the recession is over, okay, we don’t have to live like it’s the 1930s anymore. Yes, I know, there’s children exploding in Africa that have it way worse than me. Yes, First World Problems. If we can’t even get the First World organised and functioning, how d’you think we’re ever gonna improve the other two, huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So I do what every entitled Millennial does: I crawl back home to my folks. My parents, who in recent years have morphed into Most Awesome Parents in the Entire World, don’t mind me chilling at their place, getting some work done, or raiding the fridge. Massively better option than hanging around Starbucks for eight hours. Problem is: I’m not good at getting up at 6:30 (waaaaay out my natural rhythm) so I can shower before the water is off until evening, then spending an hour on the subway dragging my huge-ass laptop with me. Not that I didn’t do it, but fuuuuuck did I need sleep.
Still no water to be had in this house. This is the fourth time in two weeks. When are they gonna be fucking done replacing pipes?
Shit, my building is in the paper. No, the actual newspaper. Because this renovation has been going on for nearly three years now. Hear that? That was the sound of someone’s patience shattering into a million little pieces. And no, it wasn’t me. This time, it wasn’t me. But I’m the nagging pain in the neck who’s calling house management again this week to find out if they know of any other dates this week or in general that the water’s going to be turned off. Because it’s kinda annoying coming home in the evening and squinting around for the tiny bit of paper at the door that’s gonna tell me if I’mma have water tomorrow or no. And what do ya know, house management have no fucking records of anything. They don’t know. They’re gonna tell the foreman to call me back on this (spoiler alert: he doesn’t).
I love the area I live in, but I fucking hate this building. Scaffolding up since spring 2015. And the only thing’s missing is a coat of paint. Meanwhile, down the street, some private company started building an entirely new block of flats in February 2017. People are gonna move in next month. They can build an entire fucking house in 1 1/2 years but can’t renovate one in three years. Someone fucking explain this.
So off back to my parents’ place… which is chill, but the way back in the evening is an absolute nightmare. Subway is late. Okay. I live in a big city, I can live with that. Subway has a problem and won’t stop between a couple stations, one of them happens to be mine. Okay. I live in a big city, I can deal with that. I’ll just get out sooner and take the bus. Subway stands still seemingly forever in every station. I live in a big city, I can deal with that. Subway announces the problem has been solved and we’re going the normal route again. Fucking hallelujah! Praise the gods of public transport! I can get out at my station!
Subway stops in the middle of the route and boots everyone out. This train gets withdrawn from service. Why? No one knows. When’s the next? Ehhhh, it’ll be around. Sometime.
All around me people are sighing, rolling their eyes, calling their loved ones to say goodbye, because this subway station is where we live now. At this point I have been trying to get home for over an hour. This is like one of my nightmares. And when the next train finally arrives, it’s sardine time. Somehow the entire city squeezes into the same carriage as me. And that’s when I realise with horror that I’m standing on the wrong side. I’ll never make it to the right door alive.
Kidding, I do. And just lightly scratched, too! While profusely apologising to everyone on the train. Some of their eyes speak murder. Nothing people hate more than a packed train and someone trying to get out.
Two separate clients decide to play Waiting for Godot with me. Both told me they’re gonna send me their files on Thursday. Guess what’s in my inbox on Thursday: You guessed it, nothing.
Until precisely 9 p.m. And me, being the nicest person on the planet, of course answer that e-mail. And the next one. And the next one. Why am I answering client e-mails until 11 p.m.? Do I hate myself or something? Yes. And also, they had some wishes concerning their files that I have to definitely pay attention to this, yes, you’ll do that exactly like I’m telling you, yes?!
You pay me so I can’t exactly say no.
What’s that? You don’t think it’s professional of me to complain about clients on the internet? There’re of websites dedicated to complaining about customers in the service industry, sit the hell down. Every human needs to vent.
What’s the opposite of the Ancient Mariner? You know, the poem that goes “Water, water everywhere”? Again! Fucking again! How many pipes are there in this godforsaken house that need changing? There has to be a finite number of pipes! Or do we have a wormhole in the basement where the universe’s lost pipes accumulate?
Anyway. Off to the opposite side of town again. Creep into my parents’ apartment like a freaking ninja, I’m so cool.
Start laptop. Laptop kills itself over a Windows update. Freezes completely. Okay, power it down, start it again… Laptop powers up, laptop refuses internet connection. As in, won’t open the fucking menu where the connections are chilling and waiting for one of them to be chosen. Okay, power it down, start it again… laptop has a stroke and only half the screen is working, the other half has the worst case of half-black-half-acid-colours I have ever seen. I can’t see the fucking menu. At this point I just feel like screaming. And launching the thing off the balcony. But the neighbours around here are all elderly people and they get a little shirty when you throw electronics into their gardenias, even if it’s totally justified.
Dad’s doing home office today which is my luck, so I tiptoe over (trying not to make any noise so as not to wake mum down the hall, because mum’s had a wild night featuring riveting historic novels and is still snoring) and ask if I can borrow a computer. My dad, being the engineer he is, quizzes me on what’s wrong with mine for fifteen minutes, then makes a beeline for the thing and starts taking it apart. He has no idea what’s wrong either. So I work on one of his spares, no biggie. He has a dozen. Because he’s an engineer. For an engineer, possessing six different computers of various sizes with various OS is perfectly normal, and I’m starting to see the wisdom in this weirdness. I got all my files in the cloud. No problem. I’m a fucking professional. I feel like crying and pouring a pint of whiskey into my tea. But in a professional way.
Somehow I survive that day, do the usual weekend grocery shopping with Boyfriend – who incidentally is still coughing like he has the Black Plague and refuses to see a doctor – then return to my file… and it’s not in my fucking cloud. This is the version I had this morning, the time stamp is staring me in the face. Like, the only reason cloud technology exists is because it synchronizes automatically, right? So you can use all your files anywhere always, right? Well, someone might wanna tell Microsoft. Because their shit not working. It’s not synchronizing. No, I swear I did everything right. Yes, I saved it to the right folder.
Okay, so maybe I did something wrong, I’m not the most proficient user ever, but doesn’t that make me Microsoft’s target audience? Because their thing is that any idiot can use their products? Methinks they’re not testing on free-range idiots.
I might have accidentally saved the file on his harddrive instead of on my Onedrive, even though I worked online the tnire time. So I, of course, phone my dad. I swear I’ve talked more to my father this week than in the thirty years before that. Explain mine predicament. The problem is, my father has a very specific way of doing things. I tell him, “Okay, I’ve created a shared folder, just find the file, it’s named X, it should have been edited last at around 5 p.m., and drop the file in there.”
He says, “Let me try something.” And I’m glad that my phone plan includes 2000 minutes. Because of course he doesn’t do the simple thing. I don’t get what he wants at first, because he can’t phrase requests. Never did and never will. You have to say things like, “What is the preferred outcome of the action you are looking for?” and then you figure out he’s looking for the Logout button.
So the file is not on his harddrive. It’s gotta be in the cloud. Dad has to check if the thing is really not synchronising. There must be a technological solution. Because this problem could happen again at any time, so there must be a permanent solution. So he checks. And I have to guide him through it, because he’s not the most proficient user ever, either. It’s the blind leading the tone-deaf. That’s the problem when you have two different kinds of autism in the family. Finally have him log in with my account to copy the fucking file I worked on all day over to the folder it should have been in in the first place. And somehow within an hour it actually appears! Glory-fucking-halleluja! But now I’m so exhausted from dealing with this shit that I need to take a Honey Nut Cheerios break! Why do I have Honey Nut Cheerios in my house? They’re pure sugar wrapped in carbs. Yeah, and also they’re the only thing that cheers me up (cheerios me up?).
And at this point I’ve had it with OneDrive. Oh, you don’t wanna work, you half-eaten lobster? Fine. I’ll do it the old-fashioned way. There’s loads of hard-working USB flash drives that would love a job like this.
Shit, at this point I’m ready to get a slate chalkboard. That’s technology you can rely on.
Or maybe I’ll just pour whiskey into my Honey Nut Cheerios and put myself in a coma. But I wanna get paid. So back to work.
Saturday & Sunday
Work, work, work, work, work, Rihannadoesn’thavethisdamnworkload, work, work, work, work, work…
What? There’s no conclusion here, I’m still working! Now shoo, go play or something!