A father, a son, a nerd.
People expect consistency.
People don’t like it when you changed your mind, even for the slightest second. And sometime they’re right, it is annoying to see someone changed their mind.
But here’s the thing: Things change, people learn, situations evolve.
With more information being put into our brains, we might change our mind about something. We might say something and change our mind seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years later because we have more information than we previously had.
I agree, sometimes being inconsistent is annoying. But consistency is definitely overrated.
All my life I’ve been dealing with technology. Since the day my dad introduced me to computers and programming when I was 7 years old, until I have two kids of my own now 22 years later, technology has helped the world moves forward and me grow as a person.
But there’s always that one day where you rely your whole life in technology, and almost like bad joke, technology just drops the ball and fails you. It’s like it does it in purpose.
Today is one of those days.
I’m travelling to Medan for 3 days, attending a small conference/meetup that lasts from 9am to 5pm on the second day. I also have a deadline to send a complete proposal to a client latest at 3pm the second day. So being a pre-cautious guy that I am, I prepared and sent all the documents the night on the first day, leaving more than 15 hours before the deadline. I was feeling good about myself when I went to bed. First day was done, and I’ve done my homework leaving lots of time to spare.
Fast forward on the second day, I was sitting inside the conference room with my laptop in front of me. I own a 15” Macbook Pro running Sparrow, a very popular alternative mail client among Mac users. The same app I use to consume hundreds of emails every single day, also the same app I used to send the proposal to my client the night before.
The internet at the conference room was close to worst, but at least I am connected although tweets and mails would arrive 10 minutes after I received the same email on my 3G-connected phone.
As I tinker with my laptop while listening to the speaker on stage, I accidentally click on Sparrow’s “Sent” folder. I guess you can imagine how I feel when I didn’t see the email I was supposed to sent to my client the night before on the “Sent” folder. I assume that the internet was so bad that maybe the folder is not yet updated, so I refreshed. Three time. Still not there.
Next logical step, of course, is to open the “Draft” folder. My jaw dropped when I found the email just sitting there with the status “Pending”. And there’s a “Uploading…” status bar that was stuck at 90%. I was trying my best not to curse inside that conference room. “Fuck!!”, I screamed in my head. That’s the best I could do.
Frantic to death, I tried to refresh that folder hoping that it would trigger sending the message, finishing the other 10%. It didn’t move for 10 mins.
Next thing I did was to connect my laptop to my phone via wifi tether, because my 3G connection was more than decent, it was actually faster than the 3G network in Jakarta. Right after I connect my laptop to my phone via Wifi tether, my Redmi 1S pulls out the battery low notification, showing it at 3% battery power left. I did remember seeing the 10% and 5% battery left notifications a few minutes before but I ignored it somehow.
I tried to push my phone to its limit, knowing that the tether will drain the battery, I didn’t care and I refreshed the website. 30 seconds after I connected and refreshed the mail client, I received a text message from the telco that I subscribed to, saying that my 5.5 GB monthly quota just ran out.
What. The. Fuck.
"This is one of those days", I said to myself, hopelessly looking at all these tech around me that (it seemed to) conspires to fail me. I couldn’t get out of the conference, since I am supposed to be on stage in a few minutes. I was supposed to get on stage at 2pm, one hour before the 3pm deadline and I can’t even sit in front of my laptop.
I’m not a control-crazed guy, but it sucks to feel like your hands are tied, helpless, not in control. “It’s a humbling experience”, is what most motivators would say. “It fucking sucks” is what I would say.
However resentful I was feeling, that acts like a good reminder on how technology can sometime fails. Technology, regardless how perfect they may be, is created and built by humans. And humans are not perfect. I might not consider it as a “humbling” experience, but it certainly feels like one.