My Antarctica tour is canceled. The boat engine crankshaft broke. I received an email notifying me of this on Monday. I was supposed to fly down to Argentina next week, and make my way down to the southernmost tip to board the boat at the end of the month.
I should be singing "I'm on a boat" Antarctica-style in a couple weeks! Instead now I am scrambling to figure out alternate travel arrangements in South America.
Right now, it looks like I will be spending a week in Buenos Aires with my dad, and then a week in Santiago, Chile.
I am changing the plane tickets right now. The change fee is $200, which causes me stress. I want to make sure to research flight prices thoroughly. If I make a mistake and need to call in again, I would have to pay another change fee.
My dad likes to say that my brother and I are suited for a job where mistakes can be tolerated, like computer science. If your program doesn't compile the first time, fix the error and try again. In fact, it's rare to have a non-trivial program run perfectly the first time.
Most things in computer software are fault-tolerant. Accidentally push out bad code to your web server? Just roll it back. Faulty client code can be auto-updated (provided you did not hose the auto-updater).
An example of a job that Tom and I would do poorly at, according to my dad, would be performing arts, where it is important to deliver an impeccable performance on stage. Another example is being an athlete.
Recently I learned that being a lawyer would fall into the same category! Lawyers have deadlines by which they must file certain motions. If they miss the deadline, their client could lose the case by default. Also, if your case goes to trial, you cannot undo mistakes at the trial. If the trial ends and you discover another precedent you could've cited, it's too late.
I never appreciated how difficult it is to be a lawyer! Also there is so much guilt, if your client loses the case and goes to jail, but you believed them to be innocent. It is a tough profession.