Published: Monday January 19, 2015.

The Monday it almost fell apart

Last Monday, EX23 Technical Services nearly had its final hurrah before the doors were bolted shut. I don’t know if it was down to a rough night of sleep after some stormy weather, or having to add a second client to my ‘no fix, no fee’ list, but I was very close to throwing in the towel forever.

Last Monday was one of those days where everything, seemingly, was going wrong. A veritable clown car of technical challenges that even I was struggling to keep a lid on. I have a high tolerance for computers and their misbehaviour, and my brain wiring is very much suited to problem solving. I have come to the conclusion that I no longer like computers, but I know my way around them to the extent that I can use them to my (and other people’s) advantage.

Last Monday, there were visits to clients around the village, and other towns in the area. I also had some mutterings of my prices being too expensive for the area. Said mutterings were from a client in a prominent tourist area who was having trouble selling their second home in France, so it was perhaps understandable that Pete The Computer Help would take the brunt of their frustration.

Last Monday my car was misbehaving. I’d somehow managed to leave the nearside window open slightly which let much rain in and soaked the seat. The diesel particulate filter is playing up, too. This is either a time-consuming and expensive fix, or very expensive to fix.

Last Monday I wrote 500 words into a dead letter file because it wasn’t suitable for public consumption. I wasn’t going to let a lousy day knock my writing streak, so I diverted my attention to something that I knew would help me a little and let me tap that feared green circle to confirm that — yes — I’d written my 500 daily words.

Last Monday I took delivery of some networking equipment for a client. I ordered the wrong thing. I remembered when I purchased it that it seemed cheap for what it was, but didn’t dwell. That was almost the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was looking at my calendar for exit dates to wind things down respectably, advising my clients to seek help from elsewhere and thanking them for their business.

Last Monday I paid a return visit to a client who I’d seen a week previously but not been able to completely resolve all the problems, despite 5 hours of work. I told the client about my ‘no fix, no fee’ policy and arranged a return visit to get things fixed. I made no mention of the 6-hour research session I put in over the weekend. A 2-hour visit later, and I’d Fixed All The Things. I redeemed myself, the client was very happy and gave me a tip. We’ve arranged a further visit for additional work based on my stubbornness determination, honesty and business policies.

Last Monday was a whole week ago. I beat it.