WTF Friday: Computer Monster

I know this is a day early, since it’s Thursday. But I was actually going to post yesterday (as a WTF Wednesday) and ran out of time, so technically it’s late.

Here it is:

Mid-term paper due Wednesday night. I started it about two weeks ago. This past weekend I gave it all the meat it needed (many pages worth), then spent Monday and Tuesday chiseling it down into a recognizable shape.

I worked on multiple computers and I emailed myself drafts on a daily basis, so I’d always have the latest one handy no matter what computer I was using.

Tuesday night I get home from work, committed to honing the thing down to it’s final glorious shape. This would leave me with just a few minutes of work Wednesday, to polish: a last read-through to catch any minor errors that slipped through the cracks on Tuesday night.

I worked dilligently and with purpose, this was my final stretch, the last agnonizing sprint before the finish line. It came together beautifully. I had, seriously, a symphony of a paper. It was really excellent. Of course, I was saving every three to five minutes.

(I learned the keyboard shortcut for saving in high school and use it compulsively. Saving happens without even thinking a lot of times. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I type CTRL+S in my sleep.)

Finally, I was finished. I saved the document one last time, closed the word processing program, and opened my email to send myself the final draft. Just in case. Always good to have a backup copy online.


The file had LITERALLY been wiped off the computer. It was not visible in the folder I saved it to. It would not open within the word processing program. Auto search didn’t find it. Manual search didn’t find it. Rebooting the computer didn’t fix it. Auto-restore didn’t fix it.

It. Was. Gone.

Forty-five minutes (and some serious ranting) later, I gave it up and went to sleep. Spent a frenzied day yesterday re-doing the final revision. (Saved to multiple devices under multiple names this go-round). By the time I left for school I was a zombie. I don’t even remember the two hour drive into the city. But it’s done. LAAA!!

The frustrating part about events like this is that I followed all the rules. I did everything I could have possibly done to prevent that exact even from happening. Fortunately, I also planned out my time so that I wasn’t working until the last possible minute. That saved me.

Planning only solves so much, you know? Sometimes shit just happens.


5 thoughts on “WTF Friday: Computer Monster”

  1. Our daughter had Jersey Day in school yesterday. The funny thing is her dad spent his first 13 years of life there. The only thing he retained (it seems) is that he stands “on line” not in line like those of us raised around here.

  2. Ouch. I've had things disappear or going wrong and refusing to open, but nothing quite like that. (Mind you… Back in my college days there were no PCs…) I loved that muppet show, thanks for giving me a morning laugh!

  3. That is about as frustrating a thing as can happen. When it disappeared did you try Ctrl+Z or did the whole file disappear immediately?

  4. OMG. No word of a lie, the EXACT same thing happened to my daughter's college essay overnight between Monday and Tuesday. She saved, her dad read and saved, I read and saved, and Tuesday it was nowhere to be found. The directory (?) showed that the document had once existed, but when we clicked on it the response was: “This document no longer exists.” Thank God for her it was only 650 words and she had an early draft saved. Lesson learned though, back up, back up, back up.

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