I would like to begin by stating that I don’t buy Russian children. I don’t buy any children, in fact. And I am pointing this out in an event that a certain Carbonite Customer Service Representative is reading this post. Or if the FBI is already on the case.
Several days ago my Carbonite and the files it was supposed to have been backing had a disagreement. That resulted in the revolving beach ball on my screen—the same beach ball that appears whenever my Mac thinks it’s gone Windows and gets stuck. The beach ball situation lasted for a few days at which point I decided to contact the customer service support.
After I described the issue to a very helpful agent, she asked if she could take control of my computer to see what’s going on. I always hate when they ask that. Not because I am paranoid about someone I never met taking over my computer by Internet magic. But because I am concerned they might think I am paranoid about it. So I usually launch into a huge effort to prove that I am not. And that I am totally cool with it. And that I trust them. And that, really, they can have a key to my house and come over any time to fix my computer without me even being there.
So after giving the customer service agent access along with my house alarm code, my social security number, and the account information on all my investments, I sat back and stared at the little arrow that was my mouse, moving around now entirely on its own. All was going according to plan until the agent clicked on the finder and started looking for Carbonite files. And there it was, staring right at me – and probably right at that agent. A file name that should have never been born.
I began to hyperventilate and break into a Bikram-yoga-worthy sweat simultaneously. Where the fuck did this file come from? I couldn’t remember naming it, making it, or even knowing what was inside. If I could take control of my mouse without arousing suspicion that I was some sort of sick pedophile or child trafficker, I would have. But I sat there paralyzed with fear that my friendly customer service agent was now suspecting me of horrendous deeds and maybe even speaking to the authorities as she fixes my back up system.
That paralysis lasted for the next twenty minutes as she worked on fixing whatever needed to be fixed and I worked on getting my mouth back into a working condition so that I could offer a somewhat coherent explanation to the police that was probably now on its way to my house. When I finally got the control of my mouse back, I immediately opened the offensive file and discovered that it had a list of Russia-based publishers of children’s books. Since several years ago I wrote four bi-lingual picture books, it was only fitting that I should have a list of publishers to sell them to.
What wasn’t fitting was the name of that file. So, people, watch your file names. Because sometimes technology is here to make us look like assholes (except for when it’s here to expose assholes such as racists, homophobes, and dick-pic-sending douchebags).