What It Feels Like, Sometimes

I’m making a ham and cheese sandwich. I finish by squeezing a little hot mustard on it. Bottle just beeps and flashes a numerical code on the label. I take my phone out of my pocket and Google the error code. “Bottle cannot dispense mustard until it connects to a Gulden’s server.” I have no idea why it needs to connect to the Internet to perform such a simple, non-Internet-needing task, but whatever. I check the Wifi. The wifi is down. I fix the wifi. Mustard bottle still won’t dispense, online troubleshooting suggests I perform a soft-reset. I hold down the cap for five seconds until the mustard bottle reboots. Now it needs me to re-authenticate. I set up this mustard bottle ages ago so I don’t remember the password. I fetch it from 1Pass. Bottle authenticates successfully, but it notes that my password hasn’t been changed in a long time and for the safety of my mustard, the bottle won’t allow me to proceed until I create a new one. I create a new password. The bottle completes its startup process, notices there’s a system update, downloads it, installs it, and reboots. Because of the new OS, it needs to authenticate again. I’ve been just standing here the whole time and I can’t remember the password that I created in anger twenty minutes ago. I tap a link on the label to reset my password. I go to my Mac to open the verification email, click the link, and create ANOTHER new password, which I write down this time. I return to the kitchen, the new password fails a few times because the servers’ databases needed five or ten minutes to update each other. Finally, the bottle of mustard completes its startup process and dispenses mustard…all over the kitchen cabinets, because that’s where the bottle happened to be pointed when the firmware discovered a cache file in the system from before the OS update, and processed the leftover “dispense mustard” command that was sitting there.

Frustrated beyond measure, I clean the mess and that’s when I wonder where the ham and cheese sandwich I made an hour ago went. I look outside the window and see a raccoon pushing the last corner of it into its mouth, staring back at me with the expression of someone bingewatching a show they don’t really understand but which they nonetheless find engrossing.

This story is WAY more entertaining than the story of how my morning actually went. But yes, blow by blow, that was the jist.

This is the name of my pain. I want to do something bang-on-simple that ought to take maybe a minute. But it seems like step one of anything is always “diagnose and fix a problem that has inexplicably disabled something that was working fine yesterday, and then solve the problems created by what had to be done to solve the previous problem in the chain.”

It occasionally makes me question why I ever even try to watch something on TV, or write something, or put mustard on anything, ever.