Thursday, December 13, 2007

Angels on My Shoulder

I've been slaving over a transcript for several days now, and the insanity I was feeling is part of why I chose last night to create this blog. One of my very first jobs, I was incredibly nervous and my hands were shaking the entire time. This transcript looks like a box of Alpha Bits.

At 2:30 or so this morning, I proofread the last bits and started putting in the cover pages. Without getting too technical, this job is being split into two different transcripts, so I copied Transcript B to a new document, convert it to ASCII format (something most computers can read), and returned to Transcript A to delete that portion. I was carefully deleting a page or two at a time when got an error message that kicked me out of the program. Uh-oh.

I go back in, say a few Hail Marys, reopen the document, and it is only three pages long. Huh? What happened to the other 87?

In a hyperventilating panic, I call tech support. At this unholy hour, I expected to get an answering machine. I did not expect to hear: "If a representative does not return your call within a reasonable amount of time, please call back." Umm.. How do I define "reasonable"? It seems to me that "reasonable" is directly related to my vital signs. Right then, nothing longer than immediately can be considered reasonable.

I spend my time deep breathing and saying the Rosary. A surprisingly-perky technician calls me back from wherever he was on the planet, talks me off the ledge, and he starts directing me here and there to recover my document. His instructions yield nothing, and I'm back on the ledge. I ask him about the auto backup feature, and after checking a few things it seems that mine is turned off. It seems the program comes that way, even though my prior version of this software had a different default setting. Sorry, he says. Nothing more he can do.


Not wanting to face the notion of doing the job from scratch, I get ready to email the ASCII files of the first bit to the firm. There is my whole transcript! I'd forgotten that I mistakenly created an ASCII file of the entire job instead of just Transcript B.

Thank you Jesus, St. Anthony, Mom...

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