Dean's Tidy Desk
Volume 6, Issue 9 - October 31, 2002
Boy, what a stupid day I just had. Nothing serious, just really, really annoying: My computer came down with a bad case of the sniffles.
Not a full-blown virus or flu or anything like that. Just one of those irritating head colds - an 'alert' that required me to do a full system scan, thus tying up my network for the better part of three hours.
You know it's hard enough getting up and motivated on a dreaded Monday morning. But to start the day with the prospect of a major system crash... arrrgghhhh!!!! And had I properly backed everything up over the
weekend, like I ought to have? Noooooooooo. Does my entire business, musical enterprise, website content, email lists, database, order data, lyrics, recorded music tracks and sequences, graphics - virtually every
facet of my career except for my guitar picks- reside on my computer network? YESSSSSSSSS!!!
But, did I panic? Well, er... yes, actually, I did. Big time. Adrenaline rushing, heart pounding, that sinking feeling you get when you realize you left your guitar case on the roof of the car before driving off to the gig, (I never actually did that) or when you accidentally trip the infra-red alarm in the middle of breaking and entry job (did that - but got clean away ;-) or when it finally dawns on you that the car you're driving is short one kid who's still standing waiting patiently at the rest stop three exits behind you (something that can easily happen in a big noisy family, believe me.)
So, yes, I panicked. In fact, I was downright bummed out. Here it is, the beginning of the week, lots to do, me, all set to get rocking and THUD!!! The prospect of backtracking, reconfiguring, recreating, replacing, re-inputting, reconstituting, re-everythinging. Uuuggghhh....
Anyway, I wasn't happy.
But, did I quit? Did I throw up my hands in disgust and say, '#*@!', I give up and I'm going to quit this frustrating music business, and go back to school to get a degree in phrenology so I can set up a private
practice and charge insurance companies lots of money instead of the other way around? Did I do that? Huh?
Well, I thought it, but I didn't do it. Besides, some people think it's a quack science.
Nope, instead, I'm proud to say, I resigned myself to my fate and ran full system virus scans on all 5 PC's in the house.
And just sat there.
And sat there.
And sat there.
Because I couldn't do anything else. I couldn't answer email, I couldn't fill orders, I couldn't update the website, I couldn't even make phone calls without my contact list.
As I'm sure all of you well know, these are the times when it's easy to start doubting oneself.
It's true. We've all experienced it. I had to ask myself...
Am I doing something wrong here? Have I made some serious tactical error, that is finally revealing itself and about to bite me in the ass? Am I really the total screw-up that my 7th grade history teacher, Mr Paperman believed me to be? Do I really sound - in the words of a Music Week reviewer - like Kermit the Frog on Qualudes???!!!!
O.K. Maybe a little.
But it's times like these, folks, that you have to somehow overcome the sense of overwhelming anxiety, of impending doom and disaster, even if doom and disaster really is impending.
And there are only two surefire ways I know of accomplishing just that:
1. recreational drugs and
2. straightening up your desk.
I looked all over the house for some recreational drugs, but all I could come up with was an empty bottle of Midol which might have helped to alleviate my menstrual cramps, if I were female and if I'd been menstruating and if the bottle weren't empty.
So, instead, I proceeded to straighten up my desk.
The last time I straightened up my desk was July 17, 1983. It was raining out. The internet only existed in a few secret government facilities. My kids hadn't even been born yet. The U.S.S.R. was more than just a cool T-shirt. Mobile phones weighed a ton. Milli Vanilli hadn't even met.
In other words, I had a lot of filing to do.
Now, one thing I don't understand about today's modern education system is this: How come no one ever teaches kids how to file?
I'm serious here.
I was 22 years old before I owned my own metal filing cabinet. An important milestone on my path to adulthood. I only wish I'd started in my teens. Ah, yes, the joy of labeling and fastening plastic tabs to
multi-colored hanging folders. The thrill of alphabetizing. The heady perfume of fresh cut manila envelopes... FILING!!!
So, that's what I did while listening to my harddrives chuga-chuga-chuga for three straight hours: I filed a two foot high stack of paperwork. Then, I filed a three foot high stack of paperwork. Then, when I could finally make out the edges of my desk, I REALLY got to work.
I filed, I sorted, I organized, I processed, I STRAIGHTENED!!!
And I found stuff:
I found a missing box of paperclips, two rubberbands, Post-It Notes, a calculator, a mini-stapler, 3 guitar picks, 12 pens, 2 pencils, a letter opener, a ruler, half a bagel and an oatmeal raisin cookie with all the raisins removed. I found bills I hadn't paid and checks I hadn't cashed. And finally, I found...
MY SELF RESPECT!!!
That's right; with a neat, straightened, well-organized desk, and expertly alphabetized file folders, I was...
...a NEW MAN!!! With a TIDY DESK!!!
It's true. And I never would have done it, if it hadn't been for that terrifying virus alert. The papers would still be piling up. Higher and higher... 'til they reached the ceiling and spilled out the window. I would have avoided the mundane chore day after day, week after week, month after... (you get the idea).
So, I'd just like to say, to that malicious malcontent hacker that tried to wreak havoc on my computer system:
You LOUSY SON OF A B*#$%#, RAT B*&@@!@@##, ROTTEN STINKIN' +???@*#@!!!....
...THANK YOU!!! Yes, thank you for helping me achieve a little order in my otherwise disorganized day.
I feel so much better now.
Now, where'd I put that oatmeal cookie?...
Dean 'Mr. Organized' Friedman
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