I’m staring at the too white screen. Where there used to be a list of thirty or so projects to choose from – there’s an empty space now.
I don’t get it. Nah, just restart. It’ll work. You didn’t delete anything.
Or did I?
No. Hell, no. I didn’t even touch that folder. I remember the catch phrase of the IT Crowd: „Have you tried turning it off and on again?“
So, I turn it off. The program at first, then the computer. Computers are weird little creatures. The list remains empty, no matter how many times I close and restart the program. I call a number I find on the internet, the Munich office, and try to compose myself. Which is hard, since I’m contemplating the loss of all my data accumulated in the last five years.
The Bavarian gentleman at the other end asks me if at any time, I bought a maintenance package. I am so pissed by now that for a moment, I don’t even know what to say.
„Are you seriously telling me that this software, that I bought for 800 friggin‘ Euros, doesn’t cover customer support?“ My adrenaline reaches unknown highpoints, one after the other. Breathe, girl. Breathe.
He tells me that I can contact the support team – via chat. Now, I know, chatting is a pretty cool way to communicate, but in my personal experience, customer support via chat works something like this: you type in HELP! and three hours later someone might say „How can I help you today?“ I don’t have that kinda time. I need to write this offer, and I should’ve done it an hour ago.
That’s the time I’ve wasted so far, not getting anywhere and only driving my boyfriend crazy. I’ve searched my entire computer. Sometimes you accidentally drag and drop stuff somewhere and you don’t even realize it. I don’t know how many times and with how many search terms I tried to find my project data. I know I haven’t just deleted almost two GB from my computer without noticing. It has to be somewhere. But where?
As if it hasn’t been bad enough to steal my boyfriend’s last nerve, it occurs to me I could drive my friend Mary crazy, too! The more, the merrier! She suggests, as my man has before, to contact an expert. Shit. That would be money I hadn’t planned on spending. So, I call this number I found after googling „emergency“, „data saving“, „Neukölln“ and „I hate my life“. Another gentleman, although this one, unlike the Bavarian from before, does actually help me. Kind of. He listens to what happened and offers, should I agree, to send someone. 15€ to come to my house, another 65€ an hour, estimating not more than one in my case. That adds up to 80€ I don’t have, so I say I would think about it. I don’t want to give up. Yet.
So, I sit here, cry some more and think of the fucking irony. I find myself in the middle (hopefully the end, but who knows?) of a months long draught, professionally speaking, I’m very worried, but sending out resumes and looking for other money making alternatives. Trying to send good energy out there, not devastating, desperate energy.
Then, this morning, finally, a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, a regular, however not frequent, client asks for a translation. A direct client, well paying, no agency involved. Easy to translate, interesting stuff, too. Just what I need. Just 900 words, but it’s something.
So I kiss my boo goodbye and rush home to prepare the quote, all full of positive energy and hope. I start the computer, I start Trados, and – nothing. Gone. All of it.
And I still sit here, and I still stare into the emptiness of the screen. And after some more endless staring, I realize that the main software folder („Studio 2011“) has today as the creation date.
An idea sparks in my brain, lightens the dark and I type one last search term into the search field in C: „Studio 2011“
My eyes are jumping between the green search bar and the hit list below. After what seems three months, I see what I expected: there are two folders named „Studio 2011“. And one is inside the music folder where it shouldn’t be, and it was created five years ago, when I installed the software.
It’s all there.
I drag the entire folder back to where it’s supposed to be, start Trados and voilà.
I’m so exhausted from the adrenaline rush that for a while I can’t even feel the relief. I just feel stupid. So stupid.
I prepare the quote, send it out and then disappear into the shower.
Now, six hours later, I still feel as if I ran a marathon, just without the runner’s high.