Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Politely Decline

By Lisabet Sarai

My poor husband! All I've done for the past two days is complain about the issues I've been having with my primary computer, the one I use for all my email, web browsing, and writing. You see, he's not only my lover, partner and co-conspirator – he's also my system administrator. And so when my computer insists on spontaneously rebooting two or three times in an hour - always when I'm in the midst of composing an important email (or so it seems!) - it's his problem as well as mine.

We've been trying to diagnose the defect, and meanwhile to find workarounds, another environment for me to do my work. So far we've hit one brick wall after another. I've literally been in tears (out of frustration), several times today. Thus, I would appear to have plenty of fodder for this week's topic: This Sucks.

However, I politely decline to discuss my digital issues any further. I'm sorry, but I believe that kvetching is bad karma. As soon as I start telling you how terrible everything is, I start to measure my difficulties against those suffered by others. And frankly, I'm ashamed of myself.

Yes, I have computer problems at the moment. But I have a computer – actually more than one. Right now I can't accomplish all the tasks I need to finish, but hey, I'm sitting here typing this blog post, which was one major thing on today's to-do list.

Not only do I have computational facilities that would make many an author green with envy, I have the technical know-how to resolve most types of misbehavior. When I can't figure something out on my own, I can draw on my husband's vast expertise. I don't have to truck the machine over to a service center (which is a blessing, since our baroque configuration would be far beyond the capabilities of most repair people). I don't have to spend a penny (unless of course we figure out that some hardware component is to blame. But that's part of the cost of doing business – and tax deductible!)

And let's broaden the scope a bit, to illustrate that honestly, it would be ridiculous for me to complain. My husband's not just smart, he's also considerate, creative, funny, and a full-body kisser. We live in an amazing apartment, which we rent at a bargain price (considering its characteristics). We both have jobs we love, challenging without being too stressful. We're both about as healthy as one could ask, given our ages.

I didn't get much done today, compared to my objectives. However, composing this post has helped me put the whole crappy computer situation into perspective. Yes, it sucks that I have to face a bit of inconvenience, that I have to accept that sometimes the fates have different ideas about how my day will go than I do. Nevertheless, I'd say I was a serious candidate for the most fortunate woman on the planet. 


  1. Thank you for the mini-kvetch, Lisabet. :) Some kinds of kvetching do seem to be bad karma (e.g. endless complaints from a relative, neighbour or co-worker who drains energy from everyone around them). However, a sense that something is broken and needs to be fixed is often the catalyst for a creative solution or a plot. I hope something can be done to make your computer more user-friendly. (I suspect they all have wills of their own, but I'm tech-challenged.)

  2. Sometimes when we grouse it helps us recognize our blessings too.

    Another thing. If the computer is rebooting by itself its usually caused either by overheating (make sure there's no dust and the fan is working) or more often by bad memory cards that drop the operating system. Be suspicious of the memory cards.

    Be suspicious.

    Be very very suspicious.


  3. Hi, Jean,

    Oh, I agree. I've got no problem kvetching about the current state of politics in the U.S., for instance, in the hope that maybe someone (even me!) might be able to do something about it.

    But you know... then I think about what it would be like to live in Syria, or Iran, and I start to feel that even that level of complaining may not be justified.

  4. Hi, Garce,

    We've changed the power supply. So far... it's looking okay. We're going to leave it up again tonight, since it didn't crash last night...


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