April 18, 2011

Digital Time Off

Spill in Aisle 5

Friday began with a review of a packed but exciting schedule. Meetings, calls, clients, prospects and even an hour off to think. My kinda day. At around 9:35am, the phone rang and something happened that hasn't happened in probably a decade. My freshly brewed coffee was on the left side of my laptop, instead of its usual right. The land line, which was ringing, was on the the left as well.

I wasn't aware that my cat-like reflexes were still so sharp but as steaming hot coffee (with milk and sugar) nipped the edge of the laptop and continued to flood my desk, the computer was unplugged and in my hands. I chose not to bow to what was probably my fate until I mopped, wiped and vacuumed the laptop. Desk was cleaned after that.

@knealemann: Coffee meets laptop. How's your day?

I don't usually share such silly things on Twitter but chose to on Friday and a wonderful flood of great advice and help came through. Never underestimate your friends and colleagues' ability to help out.

After returning from an afternoon of meetings, I saw an email that suggested putting the laptop in a bag of dry rice. It was 8-hour old (now dried) coffee so my hopes weren't high but what was the downside. So off to the store to buy two large boxes of rice.

Give it some time

I let the laptop sit in the dry rice until Saturday afternoon when I took it out, dusted it off, vacuumed the excess and hit the power button. No such luck. It would turn on but the keyboard was gone. There was a moment of silence. All data is backed up twice a day so nothing was lost. Well, except a laptop that will eventually hit the recycle bin.

One of my client's computer guy sent suggested replacements while a colleague offered me their backup laptop and a client offered to help with data transfer.

Lessons Learned

Keep everything far away from electronics.
Remember you have great friends who want to help.
Back up your data daily.
Always keep rice in the pantry.

Kneale Mann

image credit: istock
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