Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Reading through all the great - and sometimes very deep – That First Year posts, I realized that we tend to take life very seriously. We want the best grades, to get into the best colleges, to find a job immediately after we graduate; we want to be seen as adults that handle life perfectly… no worries mom and dad, we got this.

I would be lying if I said that I am not trying to give it all my best, that I’m not trying to make my parents proud, to be the best adult I can, to deliver great results at work and astound my boss. Of course I try to be the best me every day, but once in a while, I do fail.

I had just started working as the customer experience director of a new department in a different country with people that I had never met before. My job was to develop a new process for product testing. The results were going to be used to influence the company’s own future products. Part of my job? Testing tablets, laptops, desktops, mobile phones, basically a dream come true for a little geek like me.

We ordered the latest notebooks available on the market (no fruit brand to be mentioned) and I had to test them entirely. Every little feature. From unpacking to first launch to streaming videos to daily work activities like filling out excel spreadsheets. I tested it all day and all night and took it home with me; I had to test the entire user experience after all. 

It was a perfect Sunday morning: I had just set up my coffee table with freshly baked biscuits, bacon, eggs, peanut butter and a hot mug of delicious hazelnut flavored coffee (yes, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day) with the shiny new notebook in front of me, so I could test its ability to stream Netflix. I was about to press play when disaster happened.

One wrong move and suddenly coffee was all over the place: on the table, on my biscuits, my scrambled eggs were already swimming lanes and, of course, the liquid had spilled all over the fruit notebook. “Oh my gosh, what have I done?? They will fire me. Without hesitation. Just like that. Darn it, Viviane. This is like your second week and look at that mess,” poured out my anxious thoughts (plus some curse words) while I was trying to clean up my mess.

I shut down the device immediately and turned it upside down with a paper towel underneath it. “Please dry, please function correctly, please, please, please, came my prayers.

After a while, I tried to turn it back on. It actually worked but the keyboard backlight was slightly brown and when I shook the notebook, something rattled inside (not to mention its nice new smell, kinda like coffee). Shoot. I guess it was time to go to the Fruit Store without my colleagues knowing about it.

“I have just purchased this device but this key got stuck and something rattles inside.”

“No problem. We will fix it. No service cost. It is still on warranty.”

Happiest girl on earth I was. Three days later, however, my joy was turned into fear. An email had just arrived in my inbox. Its subject: Repair Service Update. Its content: The liquid indicator was activated. We updated your service repair cost to $430.

Heck and triple heck. “How am I supposed to pay that? Now I have to tell my department. Oh my gosh.They are going to kill me.”

After five minutes of paralyzed silence, I took a deep breath and came up with a great idea: I could just contact the support center and tell them what happened. Maybe they would make an exception. And, God knows how, they did. After 40 minutes of “dear Mr. Support Representative, I’m about to cry in front of my computer, please help me out” dialogue, he agreed to repair the device without extra charge.

Yes, sometimes I fail and do stupid things, but I never give up and so shouldn’t you because, as you just read, everything can be fixed.

(Composed on a shiny little fruit device that had barely survived death by coffee drowning.)

When It's Time to Move On

When It's Time to Move On

Tidbits & Tales from That First Year After College: A Collection of Essays

Tidbits & Tales from That First Year After College: A Collection of Essays