My week was rocked by a cataclysmic event. No, not a natural disaster, although I think we’re about the only state that hasn’t been hit by one. Yet.
No, this event caused instantaneous nausea, wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.
Would you like to guess what happened?
The Chicago Bears lost? Of course, but not a newsflash.
My children didn’t empty the dishwasher after multiple reminders? Good guess and definitely happened but that’s pretty much a daily occurrence. So no.
Backed into someone coming out of Starbucks’ drive thru on a Saturday morning recently? Sadly, yes, but I’m blessed with insurance and no one was hurt so that was just a major bummer. Give up?
Here is the cataclysmic event: somehow, in my quest to free up space on my computer’s hard drive, I moved some files from my computer to another drive. A drive on The Cloud. (I capitalized it on purpose to underline its importance.)
You know The Cloud, right? Some ethereal location where files go to be stored in a weightless form. Or something.
Anyway, in my space freeing frenzy, I not only allegedly moved the files to The Cloud, I also went one extra step and emptied the Recycle Bin. For you non-computer literate readers, that’s the computer trash can. Took that sucker right out to the garbage truck and dumped it in! Didn’t need those files anymore!
Oh, no. They’re in The Cloud.
So feature my surprise moments later when I went to open my email and all my Sent Items were gone. As were all the folders filled with all the emails I had painstakingly filed according to subject matter. Seven solid years. Thousands of emails. Disappeared.
But I didn’t start wailing yet. Because I am blessed with the geniuses in IT at Sheridan College. They have saved my bacon many times over those same seven years. Besides, everyone says that emails are never really deleted. They’re somewhere out there. Maybe in The Cloud! So it never occurred to me that my brilliant pals in IT couldn’t fix this mess.
Except it turns out they couldn’t. Like the turkey in A Christmas Story destroyed by the Bumpus’s hound dogs, my emails were gone. All gone.
That’s when the nausea hit. The rocking back and forth coupled with wailing. It was not my finest hour. Actually multiple hours, as my new reality set in.
I share my pain and suffering with you as a cautionary tale. Back it all up, people. All your files, your photos, your emails. Back those puppies up somewhere you can access if you go a little nuts during a hard drive cleaning frenzy.
I know. It’s like flossing your teeth. You know you should floss daily and you really mean to floss but you’ll start tomorrow. Or the next day.
Learn from my mistakes and back up your stuff. And while you’re at it, you might as well floss. It’s scary what lives between your teeth. Or so I’ve heard.
Amy Albrecht is the executive director of the Center for a Vital Community.