“Whom the gods would destroy, they first give computers…” (Apologies to Euripides)
How’s your Monday going?
I woke up today to a phone call from the accountant.
Accountants, lawyers, detectives, ex’s (as in “all my ex’s live in Texas”)…
… your day is not gonna go well starting out with a jangle from any of those folks.
Actually, that’s too easy.
Some days, even people you want to hear from are calling with bad news.
One of my most favorite quotes of all time is Dorothy Parker’s line whenever she picked up a phone.
“And what fresh hell is this?” she’d say in a pleasant tone. Cheerfully expecting the worst.
(Parker, for the unenlightened, was a seminal member of The Algonquin Table, back in the 1920s. I’ve lusted after a similar arrangement myself my entire career — an ongoing drunken intellectual brawl in a NY back room, with the finest wits and sharpest minds of a generation in attendance.)
(If you’re not hip to that period of Americana, you’re in for a treat. Google “Algonquin table”. See the 1994 movie “Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle”. Read some of her excellent, and howlingly funny stuff. You’ll be stunned by the similarities between her crowd and the ironic angst our current generations are going through…)
I knew this was gonna be one of “those” Mondays… cuz I’d taken some time off last week to go debauch with some old friends. And play golf. And ignore all things marketing.
So, you know… I was “due”.
And I was semi-prepared.
See, early in my career, I forced myself to internalize a very difficult rule: Every day, make the hardest calls first.
Don’t put ’em off.
Just slam your coffee, gird your loins, and dial.
Our default setting is, of course, to ignore bad shit until it festers. Hope it goes away.
Part of the professional’s unwritten code, though… is to be that guy who faces the music.
Every time the band kicks into another woeful tune.
I’ll spare you the gory details of today’s misadventure.
Just know that my biz partner Stan and I are “on” to the universe, and how it works to destroy you.
The little buggers are out to get all of us.
It’s like, with the invention of the Web, all these new little demons were created…
… who huddle every day, and discuss perfect ways to screw with you.
They’re patient… they know all your hot buttons (and love to punch ’em)…
… and in cyber-space, they have an endless supply of ways to harsh your mellow. And trash your plans.
(Old Arab saying: If you want to make God laugh, make plans.)
For example: Gmail was down last week for several hours, mid-day.
That’s not supposed to happen. Gmail is supposed to be all Webby 2.0 happy-happy/joy-joy, an online goodie that acts like a desktop application.
But that can’t happen when you can’t access your account, can it.
Google is mum about the cause fo the outage…
… but it suspiciously happened around the same time Russia was hacking Georgia’s servers (coordinated with their real-world armored invasion).
It’s kinda too big a potential problem to even get your head around.
And yet… I am actually more infuriated today because I’m also being pummelled by spam.
And tightening the screws on my filters does almost nothing to stem the tide.
May have to say bye-bye to yet another email address that just got away from me.
Oh, and check this out: Stan has encountered corrupted code at a critical moment in the creation of a new website we’ve had in the planning stages for months…
… leaving us high and dry, and him muttering like a madman. (Not sleeping for two days, while wrangling with voodoo-mysterious software and video problems will do that to you…)
And here’s a good one from the offline world: Somehow, I got on a secret “Call Every Freakin’ Day” list that apparently trumps the national “Do Not Call” list.
And I’m getting looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong messages daily about how awful it is that my car’s warranty has expired (and how I’m sure to die or something soon if I don’t fix it RIGHT NOW!!!!!).
Curious detail: Every single call starts out with “This is your final warning.”
They use a phony number for caller ID, so I’m stumped on out-witting ’em.
Waiting through the recording and demanding to speak to a rep and creatively threatening them if they don’t take you off their call list only prolongs the insult.
They will call again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
Final warning, my ass.
This has been going on for two months.
And I don’t even have a freakin’ expired warranty on any car!
Demons, I’m tellin’ ya.
Worse: I’ve been on the road a lot, and their long-winded spiels often push other callers into my “secondary” voice mail, which means I can miss important calls I want to receive.
This is just stunning to me.
There is no way I’ve found to make the calls stop.
I may have to get a new phone number. (Okay… up to now, I’ve been ridiculously lucky to keep this current one private and unsullied by “phone spam” for a long time now. I should be grateful…)
Anyway, I just felt like bitching today.
You gotta admit — most of my posts are upbeat and informative.
Today, there was just too much fresh hell to deal with.
How’d your Monday go?
P.S. Hey — be sure to check out the last post… where I offer an inside peek at our shocking new program. It’s exclusive to folks on my hot list… but we’ve included blog readers, too.
You gotta hurry, though.
To get on it right away, go here: http://www.simplewritingsystem.com