I believe that most people have had times in their lives when nothing seems to go right, something like what happens to a team in a long losing streak. For example, you go to your supermarket and see a parking space right in front of the entrance, but someone darts in just in front of you. You go inside and find you've forgotten your shopping list. Your favorite food item has been discontinued. You get on the slowest-moving checkout line and to make things worse the woman in front of you has some problem that entails a lengthy discussion with the checkout person. Finally, you get into a traffic jam on the way home. You are in a losing streak.
I was in a losing streak recently, not involving going to the supermarket (although that's happened, too) but pertaining to my tech gadgets. I write a column for a senior paper called "Observations" and one of its features is something I call "Misadventures in Technoland." In it, I've made some unflattering remarks about such things as computers, iPads and "smart" phones, noting their tendency to suddenly stop working for no conceivable reason and always at the most inconvenient times. My own technogadgets must have gotten wind of these because within one week my computer suddenly stopped showing my Word docs; my Ipad went bonkers and my "smart" phone didn't allow me to make a phone call. In fact, on the morning I had an appointment to go to the local Apple store to see about my iPad I wanted to take a Lyft because, besides being a very senior citizen, it's sometimes very hard to find a parking space in the mall where the Apple store is. I get a Lyft ride by calling 411 on my supposedly smart Jitterbug (recommended by AARP) phone but on this morning when I tapped the Phone icon the dialing keyboard didn't come up. I had a little time so I called customer service, got past their automated system to a person, only to be suddenly cut off. I tried again, got to a person and this time a recording came on that went on so long I hung up. I was in a losing streak and would have to drive myself to the mall. This is when things started to turn.
Traffic was light going to the mall and amazingly I found a space (handicapped) right in front of an entrance. Then I amazingly found the Apple store without any trouble. Someone met me, confirmed that I did indeed have an appointment and led me to a chair. The chair was backless and uncomfortable but in a few minutes my Apple person, a young fellow named Matthew, appeared. I explained my problem, that my iPad wouldn't give me access to many of the Apps I had and he connected the errant Pad to a laptop. He told me it was a software problem and if the transfusion or whatever it was worked I could keep all the data I had on the Pad; if not, I was out of luck. Losing everything I had on my Pad would truly be a disaster. While we waited, we had a nice conversation---Matthew was a vet who'd enlisted for four years in the Army, where he got his introduction to computers and such, was now going to a local community college and planned to then go to a four-year college to get his degree and continue to work for Apple, which he said was a good employer. The operation was finally completed and, voila, it was successful, my iPad was back to normal and I still had all my data. Disaster averted. The tide had definitely turned.
I thanked Matthew, drove back to my retirement community in still light traffic, making almost all the lights. After lunch, I once again called about my Jitterbug phone. This time there were no interruptions, the techie I reached managed to get into my phone, did something and eventually it was back to working. The problem, he told me, was that my phone was obsolete; I'd bought it way back in 2016. I had an idea that my iPad also was obsolete; in fact probably any technogadget was obsolete the day after it came out. So there you are. My losing streak was over and I was on a winning streak. When this happens in our retirement community someone says you should go to Thunder Valley, our nearby Indian casino. I didn't; the Indians didn't give away money to us palefaces that easily. Instead, I settled in to a quiet afternoon with my now-working iPad. I knew my winning streak wouldn't last, but I'd enjoy it while I could.