General Failure

When I clicked on the scan button immediately a message appeared on the monitor screen:

Could not perform the requested operation. GENERAL FAILURE. 

My first reaction was what does that mean, but almost instantly I also had to laugh. What a great way to say that something went wrong, but offer no explanation. It really does say it all in just 2 words and, yet it is a complex expression – General Failure.

We’ve all experienced a situation where everything just goes wrong for no reason at all, i.e. general failure.   One example that comes to my mind is a batch of chocolate crinkle cookies that my oldest grandson and I included in our Christmas cookie bake. We’ve made these before and they are not complicated, but we both misread the recipe multiple times. He was measuring dry ingredients and added the confectioner’s sugar to the flour and I dumped eggs, oil and everything together instead of adding one ingredient at a time. The dough went out the door in a trash bag! We experienced general failure due to our inattention to details.

Sometimes general failure is simple, like the ruined batch of cookies, and can be easily overcome. It can also be complicated when it affects someone’s life in a negative way. General failure may be a catch-all expression for things that don’t go as planned, but it really should be a way of looking at a situation, accepting that it did not work well, and then moving on without lingering over something that failed.

And if you’re wondering about why the scanner program wasn’t responding…I had failed to turn the scanner on.

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