As you can probably tell by my title, I had a bit of a scare a couple weeks ago; I thought I had lost my research proposal.

Or at least what I have so far. Work has been a bit busy recently, to say the least.

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a workshop on systematic reviews, and I had to update my computer to High Sierra so I could download some software for a tutorial we’d be doing. After I upgraded my computer and restarted it, I tried to open my research proposal. My proposal opened for about five seconds, and then crashed. So I tried again. And again. And again. Every time I opened my proposal, Microsoft Word crashed.

At this point I was obviously freaking out. Was the file corrupted? Had I just lost three months of work? Even my back-up versions weren’t working.

Fortunately my three months sitting at a desk in an IT department prepared me for this moment…

Google It John Oliver GIF by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-source
Steps to fixing a computer problem: 1) Check that it’s plugged in; 2) Google it; 3) Call IT; 4) IT Googles it.

I checked a bunch of help forums, and they said to install some patches that were released to fix this problem. Sure enough, these patches were now appearing on the list of updates for my computer. I downloaded them and restarted my computer.

Still crashing.

By this point I realized that this was a problem with Microsoft Word in general, and not my proposal. Fortunately I also own an older computer – which I now refuse to do any updates on – that can open my proposal. But now my school computer (which has all of my articles on it) can’t run Microsoft Word. So until I get this fixed it’s basically a glorified social media and Netflix machine, making it more of a hindrance than a facilitator to my productivity.

But on the bright side, I have a new excuse for my proposal not being done.