13 Things I Learned Upon Spilling A Chai Tea Latte on My Laptop and Thinking For 48-Hours I May Have Lost My Manuscript

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free


1.    Don’t drink hot liquids next to a laptop.

2.    If saving a document to a Google Drive folder, make sure the folder is actually synching to Google Drive before entrusting the manuscript you’ve been working on for eight months to the Cloud.

3.    Tilt a dripping Macbook Air down and to your right to avoid introducing your Oregon Chai to your processor. (Maybe. This is not professional advice. Ask your Apple professional how best to hold a dripping laptop.) 

4.    But first, turn the laptop off. 

5.    Like, turn it off immediately. Don’t just stand there with your dripping laptop cussing and screaming like an idiot while the chai seeps through that marvelously “integrated” system and starts embracing it with its eager, sticky fingers. This will only upset your laptop, which will start wigging out right along with you. 

6.    Try not to do any of this two days before Christmas. It sorta dampens the mood. 

7.    Mac people: Always have a super-tiny pentalobe screwdriver on hand. Otherwise, you can’t open up your laptop to assess the damage and will instead be forced to watch your helpless Mac lie in a comatose state until the proper screwdriver arrives in the mail. 

8.    Upon realizing that you may have not only killed a new laptop but also lost nearly three months of work on your book and about 15,000 words exactly one month before your deadline, (but will not know for sure for another 48-hours), prepare to proceed through the five stages of grief: 1) During the Denial phase, you will find it perfectly reasonable to make a second cup of chai to drink. (Enjoy this phase. You will not feel this good for another 48 hours.) 2) During the Anger phase, you will hate Google, Apple, and Oregon Chai almost as much as you hate yourself. Almost. 3) The Bargaining stage is by far the longest, and will involve lengthy, tearful conversations with your husband about every conceivable scenario regarding the fate of that little Word document whose importance far outweighs the value of the laptop. You will learn new words—like “pentalobe screwdriver,” “SSD Reader,” and “liquid submersion indicator.” You will spend a lot of time on the floor. 4) Next, during the Depression stage, you will cancel all your pre-Christmas plans with friends and family in favor of hiding under the covers and questioning the existence of God. 5) Finally, you will reach Acceptance, at which point you summon the strength to call your mother and cry for an hour. But you will move through the world with a bit more stoicism, a bit more reverie. You will quote Ecclesiastes, like, a lot. 

9.    One can reach a point in which it makes sense to remind one's grandma on Christmas Eve that “the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless.” It’s biblical. (Ecclesiastes 3:19)

10.   Everyone should marry someone who knows how to extract data from an encrypted drive and who is willing to do so on Christmas Eve. This is important. 

11.    Related:  Geek is sexy. Geek is very, very sexy. 

12.     Sometimes you have to be forced away from your work to realize you’ve made too much of it, to remember it doesn’t define you.  

13.    Taking a Sabbath is a much cheaper way to accomplish #12 than spilling chai on your laptop. 


Note: Laptop’s getting repaired. I recovered all my data thanks to Dan and have been working on his computer since.  Only lost about 3 days worth of work on the book in all the mayhem. I’m still running behind on deadline.

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