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False Alarm and a Thousand Mea Culpas

Yesterday (Wednesday, July 16, 2014, to be exact and to be ever etched on my mind), I made a mistake.  And not just one mistake.  Actually, I made several.  And all of them in public.  Vis a vis my blog.

Mistake #1:  Multitasking.  I’ve never ever been good at multitasking.  In fact, I hate multitasking (my hatred of it in direct proportion to the current societal expectations that I will engage in it).  Yet, at work I do it all the time.  If I’m looking up, say, ICD-9 diagnosis codes on the internet, well, hell, I’ll just pop over to my personal email account for a quick look.

Mistake #2:  Checking my personal email at work, regardless of device.  At best, checking my email will distract me even more than I already am because I might find a message from a friend and so respond, and in the process of responding forget about the task I was supposed to be working on.  At worst, all I see is “junk” email and I get depressed.

Mistake #3:  Not paying attention (due to multitasking) to which email account I was logging into.  I was in the middle of writing a SQL query when a thought about my blog popped into my head and so, of course, I decided to take a quick look at my email.  Apparently, I logged into my email account with my blog name, forgetting that I actually have an email account with my blog name.  One that I have not checked in over a year.  Do you see where I am going with this?

Mistake #4:  Having a meltdown.  I can choose whether or not to have a meltdown.  It doesn’t always feel like I can choose, but I can.  When I saw the strange organization of my email account, lists of subscription emails that I thought I had turned off months ago, nothing in my Trash folder and everything on my Primary tab and Gmail acting like it’s a brand-new day in email management … I yielded to the usual anger and angst that I experience whenever I think technology is failing me.  Hence, the meltdown.

Mistake #5:  Making my meltdown public.  As I wrote in yesterday’s blog post (thank god I used my WP app on my iPad so I kept it (relatively) short), a little voice in the back of my head warned, “Don’t publish.  Don’t publish.”  I’ve written blog posts before that I’ve left in draft and either published much later or just deleted.  I could have done the same here.  I should have done the same.

If you’ve gotten this far, then you understand that my primary Gmail account (marieannbailey) is really okay.  Yes, it has those annoying tabs that really don’t help me in organizing (especially since sometimes Gmail forgets which tab a message should go to), but I had adapted.  And that change was a year ago.  What I saw yesterday was a different email account that I had forgotten about and so it was not yet organized.

When people started to comment on my blog and nobody complained of having the exact same problem, that’s when I slowly started to realize that I might have made a effing ass of myself.  Well, we should learn from our mistakes, right?  I thought about deleting yesterday’s post and just saying, “What?  Who me?  Meltdown in public?  Never!”  But if I could erase every mistake I’ve ever made, I’d never learn anything.

There is an upside to all this.  I’ve found a few things to be thankful for.  I have a friend who makes a point of being thankful for something, even when her day totally sucks.  You should check out her blog.  She’s a good example of how to find the positive in a world of negatives.

So, taking a cue from Pamela, here’s what I’m thankful for after making an effing ass of myself in public:

  • Yoga:  Wednesday night is Flow and Meditation class.  45 minutes of vigorous flow followed by 30 minutes of meditation.  I started class feeling angry with myself and ended with acceptance of myself.
  • Gmail:  I still don’t care for their email management, but at least it wasn’t Gmail that messed up, it was me.
  • My online friends:  I am most thankful for the wonderful friends I have here, and all of you who rallied support, offering me suggestions and/or empathy.  Because of you, I have some ideas for how to improve my email management.  I also suspect that you all are more forgiving of me than I am of myself.

So, false alarm.  Gmail is not challenging my sanity.  I’m perfectly capable of doing that to myself without any technological assistance.

Cheers and TGI(almost)F!

Categories: Blogging

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

26 replies

  1. Oh my gosh, now I feel like an idiot. I just sent you an email asking you if you had gotten accustomed to it yet. I wasn’t being snarky, I just hadn’t read this blog post yet. Glad you figured out the issue.


  2. On a 0 -10 scale of public embarrassment, your situation is somewhere between 0 and .001. Really, it’s not even a thing. I’ve blogged way dumber stuff than that.

    When a person does something silly (and I’m not even sure your situation qualifies) and feels foolish, she feels like the world is shining a spotlight on her. In actuality, the rest of us might sympathize for two seconds and then forget the whole thing. I mean, who hasn’t been frustrated with computers? I’m sure 95% of the frustration I’ve ever had with one is becuse I clicked the wrong thing or didn’t proprerly know how to use the application, so at worst I’m relating to you. It’s not like Google is a person who was wronged by you.

    You’re intelligent, likeable, compassionate, and talented. So you logged into the wrong gmail account. So what? There are no doubt plenty of people who never log into the wrong email account but are selfish, simpleminded jerks who no one wants to be around.


    1. Given that I work with data and statistics, I really appreciate that scale! It definitely gives me perspective 🙂 I have to admit, though, I really appreciated the empathy. Nothing like a bit of Google-bashing to cheer the spirit 😉


  3. Meltdown in public? Welcome to the club. I was thinking of making up T-shirts, darling! Something Dali-inspired, with melting clocks, or perhaps like that 3rd Peter Gabriel album cover.
    Don’t feel silly. Just sigh, spread your arms, and sing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.


    1. I’m feeling really glad I had that meltdown because I’m getting such great comments! Dali would suit me fine, Helena, and I probably should put the song on my playlist for these special moments (which happen rather often) 🙂


  4. I’ll second everything Eric said. And I’ll add that it was perfectly believable that Google was at fault because they do futz around with gmail too much, and they are intrusive and occasionally creepy, and it’s fun to rail against giant corporations that pretend their motto is “Don’t be evil.” Yeah…right. 😝


    1. I completely agree. I remember a couple of decades ago when people claimed that technology would enable us to work less but more productively. That hasn’t happened. People work more and less productively.


  5. Gah…no mea culpas necessary. Sometimes we just have to let the world know we’re frustrated. Glad everything worked out, Marie! I’m like you with multitasking.. it’s just asking for trouble. 🙂


  6. The best part is that you had a funny story to post. I usually wait a day to publish a rant except when I don’t. Then I am back peddling like a politician! One of my very geeky friends is an IT expert and he always tells me any problem I have is an ID-10-T. (or loosely translated idiot) Seriously, it’s not intuitive to me!


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