Fiction Friday: Stress-blocked, Part 2

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“Dave!  To what to I owe the pleasure, my friend?”  Phil’s voice sounded a little tinny through the speakerphone but that didn’t dampen his obvious good mood.  Jenna couldn’t help but smile a little.

“Phil!  I’m here with Jenna, or rather she’s in the office and I’m trying to work remotely, but we can’t sign on from outside the office.  From what I understand, several people are having the same problem.  Is that something you can look at from there?”

“Sure.  Let me just log in to the backend…”

“You can check the computer from there?”  Jenna hadn’t meant to speak if she could avoid it, but the question felt natural.

“Sure can.  Probably something as simple as a setting change.   How’s everything else?  Anything else acting weird at all?”

“Well, I’m at home, so I can’t see it,” Dave started.  “Jenna?  Have you noticed anything else?  Anything out of the ordinary happen before you noticed the problem?”

Jenna paused.  “I…we all had to log out this afternoon to do an update.  It was one of those required updates that we’d been avoiding all week, but today they told us to go ahead and restart so we could clear them out.  It only took a few minutes and we didn’t do anything—it was just the updates that the computer gets by itself.  Honest.”

“It’s ok—I believe you.”  Phil chuckled.  “You aren’t doing a thing wrong.  You do know that, right?”

“I just feel like I’m doing something wrong most of the time when it comes to this stuff,” Jenna admitted.  “Just like this—things happen that make no sense.”

“Nah, this makes total sense.”

Jenna blinked several times.  “It does?”

“Yeah.  I think I can have it fixed in about 15 minutes.  It sounds like the update messed up the settings.  I’ll put them back.”

Jenna blinked several times.  “Really?  That’s it?”

Phil laughed.  “I think so.  Highly likely.  That was the exact piece of information I needed, so thank you.  Why?  Were you stressing out?”

Dave stifled a chuckle.  Jenna cleared her throat to silence him  “Not terribly.  I just…it’s intimidating to me.”

Phil’s smile could be heard through the phone.  “Ah, Jenna, don’t feel like that.  That’s why you have me.  I’m not intimidating, right?”

“No.  You’ve been very nice.  Thank you.”

“So that’s it,” Phil said.  “From now on you call when you have a question—before you get stressed out.  What are you working on?”

“Nothing,” Jenna scoffed.  “Blinking-cursor-itis.”

“But I’m here to help now,” Dave chimed in.  “Or I will be in about 15 minutes when Phil’s done.”

“Jenna, how much of the blinking-cursor do you think might be because you were too stressed about the tech not working and couldn’t find your flow?”  Phil’s words hung in the air for several seconds and he let the silence speak for him.

“That’s a very good point,” Jenna finally answered.  “I don’t know.  It’s at least a factor.”

“Not anymore,” Phil said.  “You can’t do what you do if you’re trying to do what I do, too.  Let me do what I do so you can do what you do before it’s due.”

Jenna genuinely laughed.   “That’s a lot of Do.  Next time, I will call you right away so I’m not stressed.”

“And that’s why I’m here.”  Phil beamed.  “It’s fixed, by the way.”

“Really?  While you were talking to me?”

“I multitask well.”

“I’m in!” Dave nearly shouted it.

“Well, I’m out,” Jenna said.  “Dave, if we can get in remotely, I’m going home to work from there.  I should be on again in about 20 minutes.”

“Good luck, you two.  I want to hear how you saved the day with a crazy all-nighter next time we talk.”  Phil laughed.

“Thank you, Phil!”  Jenna truly felt more relaxed than she had all day.  “It’s good to have a friend to call.”

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