The Next Thing

I messed up at work today.

Not a big deal, but yes a big deal because all the deals are big when you care about doing a good job at your job. I suspect a lot of us do care, despite our viciously pretending otherwise.

Maybe the worst part was that it snuck up on me, like a bad Dean Koontz metaphor. I had rolled our Smart TV into the room–to be used for projection at the workshop that was due to start in about twenty minutes–and was arranging tables and chairs when the presenter asked where The Cord was, capital T capital C. These capitals were not the result of her way of asking, but of the immediate suspicion on my part that something was very wrong. And I wasn’t wrong; the TV was sans not one but two crucial elements that until now had been its faithful companions – remote and cord-thingy-that-connects-laptop-to-TV.*

*While I am the token “tech-savvy millennial” at work, this is a good indication of the extent of my IT legit-ness.

Cue cold rush of blood from the fingers and toes directly to the guts.

I found neither cord nor remote, despite searching with thinly veiled franticism every drawer and windowsill and potted plant I could think of in the next quarter of an hour, the regret simultaneously stretching and condensing these fifteen minutes into an agonizing wasteland that had me wishing I would have ______(done literally anything with a shred of foresight).

God knows where the lost parts are; the chaos that often engulfs the arts nonprofit world must have deigned to confiscate them for reasons I will forever fail to understand. The presenter went on to deliver her piece without adequate technology, and the entire hour I felt the weight of guilt and fought to herd those childish excuses that are wont to surface in the throes of failure. These thoughts are not pretty. You know them. We’ll skip them.

In the quiet that followed, I rearranged the furniture with a vengeance. I wrote my column. I prepared for tomorrow, which will come and which will happen whether I or you or anyone likes it or not.

You know what? Sometimes the remote just doesn’t want to be found. And sometimes you screw up. And sometimes you don’t. Either way, there’s still furniture to rearrange. And there’s still tomorrow. And there’s still love for you here.