Frivolous Friday: PEBKAC.

There is a term among those who do tech support for operator error.  It’s called PEBKAC:  Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair  It’s the situation where you as the user have fouled things up and created your own problem or made your own problems worse.  This happened to me quite dramatically yesterday.

If you are a reader of TCUB, then you probably know about Current Issues in Credit Unions (CIiCU).  Last night, we recorded our one-year anniversary show.  Afterwards, I saved the recording and walked into the other room.  I noticed a lot of lights flashing on a network storage device that I use.  I couldn’t figure out why that would be as only two computers were on, unless one of them had virus checking software that was scanning the network drives.  I went back and checked and nothing seemed to be happening on either computer.

Now I’ve had problems with hackers in the past, so I jumped to the conclusion that I had an intruder.  Being an old school sort, I acted in the most effective way possible to stop it:  I unplugged the storage device.  However, sometimes, it’s better to wait before you act.

Some of you have probably figured out where this is going.  The computer that I used to record CIiCU was trying to save the show to the network device.  When I clicked save, I neglected to check exactly where I was saving it.  So by unplugging the network drives, I stopped the audio software in mid-save.  The software then crashed when I tried to recover it:  the show was gone.

We put a lot of time into CIiCU.  Getting four lawyers from across the country together to spend an hour working on something is no mean feat.  That hour of time was essentially unique.  If something happens to the recording, there is no second take.  My PEBKAC event wiped out the original.  However, I have lived long enough to know that PEBKACs and other misfortunes happen.  So I always record CIiCU with a backup.  Indeed, if you download Episode 13 this month, you will be listening to the backup as the original is gone forever.

This experience got me thinking about human error and making decisions.  So I put the question to you, dear blog reader.  Have you had a PEBKAC event recently?  Have you based a decision on a misconception or jumped to a conclusion and then acted on it?  Have you tried to solve a problem you didn’t understand and then thereby create a larger problem?  Have you ever pulled the plug too early on something?  Have you had a situation where a back-up plan saved your bacon? 

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One thought on “Frivolous Friday: PEBKAC.

  1. First I just gotta say the new design = awesome.

    My last big PEBKAC was deleting a section of our client’s web content (roughly 20 pages) the evening before launch, thinking I was only deleting a single unnecessary page. Took us a late night at Dunkin Donuts to get it back.

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