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Tenacity and Plans B, C, D …

I went to my computer early last Monday morning (12-20) around 2:30 a.m. I live with six dogs and an “old bladder” so middle of the night computer visits are normWho needs a computer dreamstime_349949[1] (Edited)al for me. I check email or catch up on Twitter until I get sleepy again. Sometimes, on Twitter, I’ll find another night owl or someone on the other side of the world willing to chat.

When I moved the mouse to wake up the computer, I was greeted a black screen with white writing. For those of you have seen this type of display, you know the terror starts now. I tried everything I knew to revive or restore the “sick” machine … to no avail. I went back to bed for a few hours hoping it would “miraculously” heal. No such luck.

Grabbing the yellow pages I started dialing. I left a message at the first shop (has YET to call me back) and then called a shop advertising 24/7 service. I dialed 910.367.2365. After the second ring, a cheery “Paradox Computer Services” greeted me. It was 7:30 a.m., Monday morning, Christmas week. From that point on, Gary Webb, one of the Paradox owners went above and beyond in getting my computer back operational. Over the course of the week we upgraded to Windows 7 and Office 2007. We installed a higher level anti-virus program and added an external hard drive. We also downloaded infinite files from my off-site backup storage (THANK GOODNESS FOR Carbonite!!)  We tweaked, restored, reset and reloaded all week. He met me and returned my computer on Christmas Day for heaven’s sake!

I’d had computer troubles back in September and put in place some stop gaps then. I thought I had it under control. Boy was I wrong! Downloading one file from Carbonite … no big deal; restoring an entire hard drive … BIG deal. I’m on a high-speed satellite, not broad band or DSL connection, what should have taken less than 24 hours took 3 days to download. At one point, I did “something” and had to restart the backup making it take even longer. Ugh.

On top of the download adventure, we’d make a change, I’d take the computer home, hook it up and something else, unexpected would happen. I’d call Gary, and we’d arrange to meet at a point between our two locations (I live 30 miles from town, 60 mile minimum round trip). I went to Wilmington five out of six days last week. On the fourth trip, Gary, handed me a $25 gas card to help defray the cost of schlepping the computer back and forth. We’re still not sure the cause or reason for the ghosts in my machine, but it was a challenge. I wasn’t giving up. Neither was he.

Every day last week I planned around getting my computer back and what I could do in the interim. I rearranged my schedule so I could prepare for Christmas, meet an urgent client deadline, get my computer repaired, remain current with emails and take care of other client needs. Oh, and did I tell you, at the same time the computer crashed, I noticed my phone wouldn’t send emails from my business account? I was in technological purgatory. Gmail worked on my phone, but the account I’d need the most for responding was down, and nothing would fix it … expect a master restore. I wasn’t willing to do that until I could get my computer back up since I wasn’t sure I might loose/had already lost. Ironically, that’s what the computer needed too.

Manual Typewriter - Atkinson School - Centennial Celebration October 2009 (Edited)

Nope. This isn't part of my plan, but then again ...

It was a full week of, “OK … this isn’t working. What can I get done today in spite of that?” and then “dropping back and punting.” I couldn’t sit down and sulk. (Believe me. I wanted to.) I had to keep moving. Events of this past week give a nice parallel to the job search. I had a plan. I’d prepared, yet the unexpected happened and I had to scramble.

We prepare. We plot a course. We envision the outcome. Then we remember, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans”. It’s good to have a plan.  It’s better to have three or four (or more) to keep you on your feet and moving forward. I managed to get it all done. I learned A LOT about adapting and redundancy in planning for the worst. With plans B, C and D firmly in place, I “think” I’m ready for anything now. This may never happen again. Or worse may happen. Who knows? At least now, I have a few different paths established for recovery. You can do the same in your search. Map out multiple if/then scenarios. Hopefully, you won’t have to do everything you planned before you attain job search success, but with several things in place you’ll be able to exhale instead of gasping the next time things don’t go your way.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawn Bugni, Paul Paris. Paul Paris said: RT @DawnBugni Tenacity and Plans B, C, D …" Plan for the unexpected, even when you think you have it under control. […]

  2. Well, you already know what I’m going to say so I won’t say it. I don’t think ‘buy a Mac’ would be much help to job seekers anyway 😉

    But you’re so right that having contingency plans is the key to sanity in any endeavor. Sometimes I forget that, and those are the time when I get super-stressed.

    • Dawn says:

      Louise –

      You are too funny. You’re not alone in your Mac love. I’ve had several people make the same suggestion. None quite as passionatley as you. 🙂

      I like to expect the best, but also understand the importance of planning for the worst behind optomistic expectations. And when I forget about or dismiss the need for back up plans, life swoops in and reminds me … super-stressed is a good description for those times!

  3. Dawn,
    Why does this all sound so familiar to me (and probably the many, many other people reading your ‘story’ today!)? Because we’ve all ‘been there’ enduring such crises at one time or another.

    The computer purgatory you describe is palpable. Your learnings regarding having various different paths established for recovery map VERY well for job seekers. Relying on a single course often will disappoint and/or worse, result in arduously extended recovery periods that could have been avoided or shortened. Also love the idea that being prepared for the worst permits us to ‘exhale’ amidst such struggles.

    Vivid story – great outcome!


    • Dawn says:

      Jacqui –

      You’re so right. We’ve all “been there” in one way or another. Job seekers run the gamut of planning. Some approach the search with an “I’ll take anything” approach. Others have one path, one plan and no back up if things don’t’ go their way. Neither is effective. There is a happy medium between the two extremes. Establishing Plan B is a step in the right direction.

      Great outcome is right!


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  5. Oh goodness. I have multiple plans in place – I actually have backup computers – pieced together from old ones and new parts.

    It sounds like you found a great support person in Gary – not always easy to find. I’m able to do most fixes at this point but my issue with computer problems is it’s a time when it’s a pain not having a car. I usually try to find someone who will come and pick it up.

    • Dawn says:

      Kim –

      Good on you for multiple plans. I’m still a “geek-in-training”, but I’m learning. The upside to things like this happening is I learn a great deal about hardware and software.

      Gary is a GEM and I am so fortunate to have found him. In fact, he called today to be sure things were still working properly. I’m blown away by his service levels, follow-through and commitment to getting things right. You KNOW how I am about details … he’s right there with me.

  6. Wow! I knew it was bad… and I watched you not talking… on Twitter, anywhere… and I can totally relate since I just went through part of that journey myself.

    You are right in relating this to job seekers as Louise and Jacqui already said… We all have taught this to our clients. Why using the single course… or outdated methods or no network all can cripple your job search. Why thinking that you are on the 30 year plan of your career can catch you unaware.

    I am glad you are back… and hope all your computer woes are over for a long, long time.

    • Dawn says:

      Julie –

      You’ve done your share of computer battles in the past month too.

      You’re right about this being like a job search. I thought I had it all under control. I was wrong. Frequently job seekers enter today’s market thinking they have it all under control too. The come with tactics from their last search 10 years ago and sadly find out they won’t work … any more than 10-year-old technology will work in today’s computers.

      I’m glad I’m back too. I knew my file were safe and would be restored. I began to panic when I couldn’t download Tweetdeck … that was a catastrophe. Thankfully, I got it back too. Who knew I was such a Twitter addict??? (Don’t answer that!!)

  7. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dawnbugni: “Tenacity and Plans B, C, D …” Plan for the unexpected, even when you think you have it under control.

  8. Gayle Tabor says:

    The best part was you got to visit with Glynne’s Soaps while you waited for your computer 🙂

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