As I sat down and opened my word processor on Monday, I picked up my phone to play the voice recordings of all my Monday interviews. I looked at the list of recordings and saw that only the last one I did was visible, at the very top of the list.
I talked to a lot of people, but the files weren’t there. I would have to leave town, go find the nearest circus and join it.
I set my phone down, kind of gazed at the wall for a second and thought about what I could actually do to recover for lost time. The prospects were rather bleak, in fact. “Just try your best,” I thought. Then I looked at my phone one more time and scrolled to the bottom of the list where my bread and butter were hibernating. The rest of my recordings were at the bottom of the list that went from most recent to least recent and then in chronological order ascended in time to most recent once again. Why is one on top and the rest on the bottom? I have no clue. It was like some sick joke, but I had to laugh a little. I would live to report another day.
None of this would have happened if I had not misplaced my voice recorder the other day. It just vanished out of thin air. That is not a fun thing to have happen to you when you are a reporter who writes stories, but I recovered my losses since then. Although a whim of technological defiance could have undone it all.
Of course, it would be me who undid the assignments, not the phone. An “equipment failure” is also known to the public consciousness as a “failure.” And fail we musn’t.
We are completely dependent on the tools and devices that facilitate our lives. And yet there are still unnerving functional variables that occur in the most complex devices. It seems that even the digital realm is bound by the uncertainty we are subject to.
This bungie jump from despair and anxiety to restoration and security came with its benefits, however. I thought of a column idea, which I did not have upon sitting down that haphazard evening. I gained a little perspective on the importance of being "proactive,” as my parents repeatedly advocate. Maybe I could have paid just a tiny bit more attention to how my phone operates. Then again, for all I know my phone has deleted all the files since I started typing just now and is setting me up for the ol’ switcheroo. Cross your fingers for me.
Russell Anglin is the senior reporter for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at: