• mariokiefer

Little Things

It's the little things that get to you.

I had a terrible day. Anything that could go wrong did.

Coming back from the gym. I had a flat tire. It took 45 minutes to finally get it changed. By the time I got to work, I was already late. It's the little things that get to you.

The computer wouldn’t boot up, so I spent half of the morning on the phone with IT trying to get it to work. All the while my phone was dinging with new email containing questions that I could not answer until I could log-in to our system. When, finally, I was able to do so, I had so many email piled up that it took the rest of the morning just to get through them. It's the little things that get to you.

By lunch I was starving, but I was so behind on work that I couldn’t take the time to get something to eat. I ordered delivery and kept working. When the delivery finally showed up, my order was wrong. Isn’t that always the way? I ate what was delivered making a mental note about ordering from there again. It's the little things that get to you.

The afternoon continued, as it always does, with one interruption after another. I was writing a challenging formula to calculate something specific in a spreadsheet complete with AND, OR, and IF/THEN statements, and as I went to click on a new cell in my spreadsheet, an e-mail notification popped up exactly where I was trying to click - opening the email instead of entering the field. I completely lost my train of thought on that complicated formula. It's the little things that get to you.

But, the email was “urgent”, so, I spent ten minutes looking up the answer to the question posed - an answer that the sender could have discovered if he had only been willing to look in our document management system on his own. It's the little things that get to you.

I returned to the spreadsheet (Let’s see, where was I? ) and started the formula from scratch. Of course, then I discovered that the dataset was improperly formatted for the calculation I was trying to make. I spent the next hour reformatting certain fields so that the calculations would work as designed. It's the little things that get to you.

Meanwhile, another “urgent” email came in followed quickly by a phone call asking for something to be done by the end of the day because the requestor had “forgotten” the deadline. (Please, please, please help!) What could I do? I helped. It's the little things that get to you.

Finishing up that project, I returned to the spreadsheet. There was a power blip and all electronics shut down. It was only a blip. The power was up immediately thereafter. But by the time I was able to get back into the spreadsheet, it was corrupted and had to be repaired. It's the little things that get to you.

My recent calculation was lost and I had to reformat and write the calculation (again). Finally, complete, I saved the document into the document management system and attached a link to the email to send to my boss. Just as I was about to click the “send” button, an email notification popped up directly over where I was going to click. The new email opened instead. It was from my boss asking where the document was. “I am sending it to you right now,” I responded, closing that email and returning to one with the attachment and then clicking send. It's the little things that get to you.

It’s ten minutes until closing time. I hear my partner calling out to me from the kitchen. “Can you tell me if this is a boil or a simmer?”

“Hold on,” I reply. “I have to finish one thing up before I can log out for the night.

"But I need to know now so that I don't overcook it!"

Sighing, I take a look. It's the little things that get to you.

The phone rings. The voice on the other end "really needs something tonight" if at all possible.

“Ok,” I reply and work late to get it done. It's the little things that get to you.

My partner is angry. Dinner is ruined and he has to eat alone. It's the little things that get to you.

It’s late. I have finished work. I grab some (cold) dinner then sit on the sofa to watch some television. Because of the power blip, what I had recorded didn’t record and I have to watch “live” TV. The commercials are relentless. It's the little things that get to you.

Before bed, I watch the nightly news.

The homeless situation downtown has become untenable.

The famine in some part of the world is starving children.

The Middle East is in flames.

Another fight has occurred at a Popeye’s over its chicken sandwich.

A cop was run over and killed by a drunk driver. The drought continues.

I turn off the television and crawl into bed.

Then, I pray:

Thank you dear Lord for the food in my belly, the roof over my head, and the clothing on my back. Thank you dear Lord for the love of my friends and family.

It’s the little things that get to you.

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