Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Reverse Midas Touch

I have the kind of touch that Bush has, but not as grand a scale- my reverse Midas touch pertains to devices, rather than nations. For all you know, some astrologer might opine "You are currently passing through a Kandam: Saturn is now retrograde in your 7th house and Mercury is in your 5th, explaining why devices/machines don't cooperate with you." (Disclaimer: All the last is purely made-up gibberish, I don't play astrologers on TV or the internet.)

It's a bonus in my line of work which involves testing devices, and works like a charm. You only have to have me in the same room as the device to make it malfunction. Even better, it will malfunction reliably so that it becomes easier to figure out what is causing the problem, which often turns out to be the sheer awe at my presence. Just kidding- It usually ends up being arcane problems with the way the device's session manager interacts with a variety of other servers and loggers clamoring for attention, much like the old woman in her shoe and her children*.

To get back to the main point,I turned the switch on the thermostat the other week to Off, since it was a warm day and turned the heat back on at night, as temperatures started dropping again. A couple of hours later, M was shedding her layers of clothes like onion peel, complaining she felt too warm. I walked into the family room (one of the warmest in the house) and the heat hit me like a blast, just like when you exit the airplane in Chennai after the icy cold air-conditioning on the 747.

A glance at the temperature showed the temperature, normally set to remain at 68 degrees (fahrenheit) was now 82 and rising.

"All I did was switch it off in the afternoon, and on in the evening", I protested.

Hubby shot me an accusing look. " I don't know what you did, but it's not working properly."

He turned it off before we went to bed and the next morning, we woke up to a freezing house. My teeth chattered as I got ready for work and shooed the kids off to school by their usual time. Then I left, ensconced in the cozy warmth of the car heater, for more battles with recalcitrant devices at work.

When I got back from work, all was hunky dory. I asked my husband, "What did you do?"

"I just turned it on again. It worked properly all day."

Thank goodness for the Midas touch.

*There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread,
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.


kochuthresiamma p .j said...

there's one in our family with this reverse touch. we ued to call her 'nashipintey vithu"(seed of destruction)

Sujatha said...

She would have made a fantastic test engineer! (Is Ms.Nashipintey-vithu already one, by any chance?)