When I was in college, I was a member of ASME, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Being a member meant that you 1) had hope that someday you would actually graduate to become an engineer, and 2) had exclusive access to the ASME conference room, an area that was about 10’x12’, with a file cabinet, a table and chairs, and a door that locked. Hmmm…
I’m bringing this up, because every time something goes wrong, I always remember the poster that hung on one of the walls in that room. It was titled “Murphy’s’ Law for Engineers,” and as you can guess, it listed several things that would go wrong if even the slightest possibility existed that it could go wrong.
I thought of the poster this past Saturday, when we all arrived at the library to film our next four episodes. I had picked up the camera equipment the day before – camera, tripod, newly-charged battery, microphones. I slid the camera into place and was about to turn it on when I realized that it already was on, which was unusual, but I didn’t think much of it, until I flipped open the LCD monitor. The room came into view on the monitor, and then about 1 second later, the battery light flashed with a warning that the battery was almost dead (it didn’t say that, exactly, but you get my drift.). Naturally, I flipped the camera off and on again, because the possibility of the battery being dead was not one I could entertain.
Unfortunately, it happened again.
It was at this point that I remembered the poster. Specifically, “The 2nd worst thing you can hear the tech say is "Oops!" The worst thing you can hear the tech say is "oh s**t!”
That was me, and I wasn’t saying “Oops.” Yup, the battery was almost dead, and our first guest was arriving in less than fifteen minutes.
Another Murphy’s Law: “It is never wise to let a piece of electronic equipment know that you are in a hurry.”
We all scoured through the camera bag, looking for another battery, the charger, a plug…we found the battery charger, figured out how to slide the battery in, and for a few seconds, we actually believed that that thing was going to charge itself up in time. You might think, why not just plug the camera in? Funny thing is, the camera doesn’t “just plug in.” You have to know that this other smaller adapter fits into the camera where the larger battery normally goes, and then you have to connect it to the battery charger, which then plugs into the wall…
I would NOT PANIC. We would work it out. And we did! Yea, Ed!
Lesson learned. Next time, I’ll check the ‘on’ switch and grab the spare battery.
P.S. After that, everything went great! The next episode will be posted within a few days.