It’s 90 degrees outside.
You were hoping to get some work done quickly in the morning hours so you could take the afternoon off and lounge in the sun like a lizard. Your apartment and office are without air conditioning, so you really have no alternative.
An hour of the morning is wasted explaining the department-specific grading scale to students who were unpleasantly surprised at their grade (despite this information being clearly stated on the syllabus).
With that out of the way, you can finally get to that manuscript you wanted to finish.
You plug in your external hard drive. Unreadable. Mild panic. You have things on there that exist nowhere else in the universe and you need them. Practice yogic breathing.
You tilt the hard drive. It is now miraculously readable. You frantically begin copying files to a back-up folder on the lab computer. As you do so you relax your grip on the hard drive and it becomes unreadable once again. Google “hard drive recovery”. $279. No way.
You try again and discover that the only way you can do this on your own is to hold the hard drive at a particular angle, so you find a comfortable place to rest your elbow. Nothing is comfortable after the hour it takes to copy all 142 GB of graduate school achievement, but if you budge that elbow (you learn the hard way), the hard drive becomes a paperweight once more and you have to wiggle and jiggle to get it back to copying your life’s work.
Once your left hand goes numb its easier to concentrate on multi-tasking by typing one-handed. Thank god the USB port was on your left-hand side. You respond to some more student emails, order a new (rugged) external hard drive on Amazon and compose a blog entry about the event.