Last week, my boyfriend treated me to a brand new 16 GB memory stick in modest black. Since my old one was always full having only 1 GB of storage (don’t ask, it was 2006 and then it was really expensive) I was in dire need of a new one and was very happy with my new shiny blank stick, I even engraved the first letter of my name in it 😉
That’s when I took it to a little ride to the library, where browsing through academic journals I stored some articles as well as parts of my little thesis project. And then in the evening, when writing something and a very important thought entered my head, the stick came up again. “Wasn’t there something important today that I read that I can include in my text…” I thought and grabbed my backpack where suddenly I couldn’t find my little new stick…Then it began to dawn on me that I might have forgotten to take it out of the library computer and then I felt really really stupid…Of course I back upped my work. Tales of infecting the computer with some terrible kind of virus while downloading some random shareware when writing page 92 of one’s dissertation have taught me enough not to do that kind of thing and be safe. The golden rule is: backup, backup, backup.
I always feel like „that can never happen to me“, „how can someone be that stupid“ and have other self-righteous thoughts that bit me in the ass that day. That could be another life lesson. Never be self-righteous! I know that it is not good for you, but sometimes you cannot help. And in those few moments where you cannot help yourself but to feel that way, I can guarantee you that in the next moment it happens to you. Which is kind of terrifying since yesterday, when told the story of a girl my age becoming pregnant „by accident“, I also had those thoughts. Ok, admittedly they were not self-righteous, more terrified and pitying the girl, but I still am slightly anxious now….please spare me!
Feeling sorry but also kind of superior when people hang up messages searching for their memory stick or post somewhere that they forgot their memory stick in the library pc and now are on the brink of desperation because their dissertation outline, research history, pictures of their childhood with grandma, who is now dead (ok I feel very sorry for that, but still it is kind of stupid to not backup this precious memory) and other things are stored on that particular stick. The chance of getting it back is always very slim.
Considering mine is brand new and nothing special was stored on it, I honestly was only pissed at myself and wouldn’t even have cared if somebody took it. My bf, who is always very pessimistic, just laughed and didn’t have any hope at all that I would get it back, lamenting about the lack of “sister/brotherhood” or general moral in students. Even if I was pissed I didn’t care too much because I had the strange feeling of getting it back. I am the positive one here. And the next day I made the library journey again very early, and after telling the nice library lady my little mishap she immediately handed my stick back to me. So there still are wonderful, responsible students full of moral, who think about the sad student searching frantically for his/her memory stick and cursing the world. I am really thankful to that person! My bf doesn’t understand the world anymore…there are still nice and friendly people? What is this world coming to?
Still I feel slightly stupid for having forgotten to take the stick with me and now I have learned my lesson. I feel kind of knighted. Now that I have experienced the terror of losing some special „work“, (that I have backupped of course, but still…) I can lean back and enjoy the ride.
P.S.: Apparently this is not an isolated matter and tales of forgotten memory sticks are just as random as lost hairpins…there’s a hilarious video on youtube encouraging students to use microsoft office live workspace so that a lost memory stick doesn’t shatter your world.