Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This funny story comes from Kiwi Pixel Debbie Roome. She calls it funny, but it seems more like torture to me!

Note from Debbie: This story is 100% true and happened seven years ago. I typed it out after living through this very frustrating morning. (My husband's computer skills have now improved somewhat.)

by Debbie Roome

I used to imagine that working from home would be fun, stimulating, liberating even. I’m still sure it could be, but not with a husband, five children and three cats in the equation.

Take this morning for example. I thought I would get up early and catch up some work while everyone was asleep. I hadn’t been in my office for a couple of days, but boy, had everyone else. My neat pile of computer CDs was cascaded like a giant domino game across my desk. Every spare surface was covered by empty tea cups, cereal bowls, chip packets and apple cores. The computer screen had a splodge of peanut butter in the centre where little fingers had obviously been pointing and the key board was adorned with sticky splash marks. I weighed up the pros and cons of awakening the culprits and had decided it would be more peaceful to clean up myself.

With the desk clear at last, I pulled out the chair and sat down as I switched on the computer. Five seconds and it informed me that it hadn’t shut down properly and needed to run scandisk. My husband had been reading our emails the previous night and had obviously switched off without shutting down. In spite of my best efforts, his skills remained at the level of switching on, reading emails and switching off again.

“Go for it.” I muttered, hitting enter.

“Mommy.” a voice wailed down the passage. It was the six year old wanting to know what time it was. I told her it was far too early to wake up, gave her a kiss, and tucked her back into bed. As I walked out, a sleepy voice called after me. “Mom, why do you have a sandwich stuck to your butt?”

6:15am. The chair had been scrubbed, I had changed my clothes and the computer was ready. For fifteen blissful minutes I worked steadily at entering cash sales and purchases. As I was about to save my work, however, the power died and the screen slowly faded into blackness. I screamed hysterically. “Who turned the electricity off?”

Enter a sheepish fourteen year old with a screwdriver in his hand. “Sorry Mom. I wanted to fix the plug on my aquarium but when I switched it back on it tripped everything. I didn’t know you were working on the computer.”

Reboot. This time I cancelled scandisk. I couldn’t afford to waste anymore time. However, minutes into the accounts, the screen froze and a little box appeared. ‘This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.’ It duly did so. Teeth clenched, I abandoned the idea of accounts on a Saturday morning. Instead, I would write an email to my friend overseas. Definitely a therapeutic idea, I thought as I typed furiously, telling her of the woes of the morning and the frustrations of family life. Then the phone rang. It was the thirteen year old’s best friend. Being a good mother, I picked up the cordless phone and took it through to her.

When I returned, our huge black cat was lying sprawled across the keyboard. My e mail had disappeared and the blue screen kindly informed me that a fatal error had occurred. I hit the power off button and ejected the surprised cat with considerable force. It was pointless trying again, because I knew from experience that the phone line would be in use for at least an hour. It was at this point that the eight and ten year old appeared. “Mom” they asked innocently. “Please can we play on your computer?”


kc said...

I laughed out loud about the sandwich on the butt. There is no way I'm entering this contest. This gem puts me to shame!
You're such a gifted writer, Debbie!

Parker Family said...

Great story! It's nice to look back and laugh at these moments, but I bet it was extremely frustrating at the moment. Thanks for sharing it with us. trishblack(at)juno(dot)com

Peculiar said...

Now this was funny. How many of us have things go wrong like that, back to back, and it seems so unbelievable that things could go that far,...even though they really did?

I'm really enjoying navigating through this blog. Having us read some of the posts and leaving a comment for Bloggy Giveaways was a good idea. It's a win-win situation for us readers.