In life, you can’t plan for every eventuality… You can try, but no matter how detailed your planning, there is always the chance that something will go terribly wrong and leave you in the lurch. This is especially true when you have to rely on anything that’s outside your control, and particularly when you’re relying on things which themselves are dependant upon other factors behaving as they should.
I’m generally pretty good when it comes to contingency planning and I can usually be relied upon to have factored in backup plans, alternative scenarios and strategies for most situations where failure is not a desirable option. However, there are times – often the simplest scenarios – when no amount of planning is going to save the day.
And that’s how my day started.
The plan was to be in a certain place by 9am, and I’d be travelling by train. My tickets were purchased in advance, I arrived at the station with 30 minutes to spare… And that’s where it went wrong. Only one ticket machine was working, the queue was like a Soviet bloc bread line and it seemed that every person in front of me was either stupid, confused or completely unable to grasp the concept that there might be other people in the queue with trains to catch.
Needless to say, my train arrived before my tickets, and departed without me. Worse, by some obscene quirk of unhelpful timetabling, the supply of potential trains I could have caught – which until now had been around every 15 minutes – mysteriously stopped and there wouldn’t be another for at least an hour, leaving me over 2 hours late. Ah well, at least the the sun was shining.
Such things can drive people to madness, but since I’m already there, I just shrug and resign myself to the vagaries of misfortune.
Knowing that things can so easily turn pear-shaped, no matter how carefully planned, even when we have some element of control over our circumstances, is somewhat comforting when it comes to dealing with environments that are inherently unstable, unpredictable and mostly beyond our control… Environments like SL.
Our virtual world has a habit of throwing things at us that, in a real world scenario, would have us banging our heads against the wall. Only last night, an inworld conversation was rendered even more entertaining when SL decided to randomly render the text of individual speakers invisible to themselves, but perfectly normally to everyone else, before equally randomly splurging out a wall of dialogue spoken earlier in the conversation.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been at a club and the ensemble has resorted to the virtual equivalent of a community singsong because the DJ can’t log on, or the music is just refusing to play. That’s not to mention MP3s sticking, animations going haywire, and bits of bodies rendering in peculiar places.
How often have you spent your hard earned lindens on a new outfit, only to be forced to wait hours for it to decide to show up… And when it does, it obstinately insists on remaining a pleasant shade of battleship grey, just for the hell of it.
There are the times you simply can’t get inworld; the heart-stopping moments you suddenly appear to have lost all your money; and those annoying occasions when you TP home, but embarrassingly just end up hanging helplessly in mid air in the exact same place you were just trying to leave.
These, and so many other maddening annoyances at which SL excels are completely outside our control, and no matter how well thought out our inworld plans, there are few, if any, contingencies we can put in place by way of mitigation – we’re stuck with them, I’m afraid, and there’s little we can do, other than put up with them.
No different then to RL on those occasions when life decides to throw its toys out of the pram and wrong foot us, just out of sheer spite. We can rant and express our rage about it, but ultimately there will always be those occasions where we have to accept our lot as victims of circumstance and put up with the situation.
Or, alternatively, make the best of a bad deal… Which is exactly what I’ve done this morning. I may be late, but at least I made use of the time by writing this post!
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
Band From TV – You Can’t Always Get What You Want