Make sure the spare works!

Last night, I watched an old episode of NCIS where agent Gibbs tricked a marine to confess to murder by daring him to jump off the plane with a spare parachute that he knew was sabotaged.  It didn’t mean too much to me then, until I found myself out on the road with a flat battery in my phone. What made it worse is that the spare battery (or power source) that I had been carrying in my haversack is flat as well.

What use is a spare if it isn’t working? Worse still, it gave me a false sense of security – I became less rigorous about checking my battery life before leaving the house.  Rushing to meet a new client, I had to borrow a charger at Coffee Beans just to charge it up enough to let me access my contact details.  Five minutes of recharge and a cup of latte saved the day.

After the meeting, I headed straight to the hospital for my medical review, and found myself driving on the express way, with a fuel indicator that’s been blinking on empty for the past 2 days. I was thinking, “The spare fuel is going to run out anytime soon.”   Furthermore, it was raining and I didn’t exactly know the way (guilty of being over reliant on the Maps app on my phone).

The thought of having a car stalled midway and no phone to call for help, and possibly missing the appointment (I was quite anxious to know my test results) gave me a scare. I got off the express way immediately, headed for the nearest Esso kiosk, refueled before the car dies on me, and arrived at the hospital on time.  On hindsight, it turned out that the route I had taken was the most optimum way to get from where I was to where I needed to be. St Gabriel must be watching over my shoulders.

So, what have I learnt from all these? I’m grateful not to have to learn it the hard way. Make sure the spare or backup works … be it a spare battery, tyre, computer, cash, pen, spectacles, underwear, etc. Develop the habit of checking that the spare is available and functional, because when we need to resort to using it, we are usually at the brink of desperation.

I’m going to make sure I backup my work more diligently, check the pressure of the spare tyre in the trunk periodically, have my emergency power source fully charged at all times.

Might sound a bit paranoid, but hey, better be safe than sorry. What about you?


Your Semi-paranoid Dad


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