We'd had a rough week here in deepest darkest Africa. Without warning, but with alarming unfortunate regularity, we've had what we call "?lights off" incidences. Boom! And the power is off. And not just me but the entire neighborhood, sometimes even the entire city, for hours and hours at a go. It makes living here (and trying to work here) a challenge, to say the least.
When lights go off and you've got freelance work (a.k.a. my bread-and-butter) that has to be done, you turn on your generator (if you have one) or hightail it to an internet café (if you don't). I don't have a generator, so it's a matter of me getting out of my pajamas (we freelancers live in pajamas, you know), then having a shower and getting dressed (in wrinkled clothes, of course), hopping in a taxi and driving across town to a reliable café.
That is if the lights off occurs early in the day. On this particular day, coincidentally the day when I penned the "?Waiting is the hardest part" article, I had already finished all my writing assignments, so I decided to "?play" a little. (And why I decided to open a trade after the lights off week from heck, I'll never know. Oh yeah, it's because I'm insane.) I opened a trade and made a decision – I was going to let it run for a loss for a while because I was waiting for some data that I just knew was going to bode well for my decision.
I had originally set up a stop...that I kept revising and pushing further back, at one point I was down more than $30. I cancelled the stop. I was that confident (remember, I'm insane). As it got within 10 minutes of the data release my numbers improved – I was down $10, then $7.50, then $5. I was so excited to think I might actually have (educated) guessed right this time. Then Boom! Lights off!
No power. No internet. No stop.
I turned laptop #2 on (since laptop #1 has a dead, never-to-be-revived-again, battery) and hooked my cell phone up to it to use it as a modem.
No good. The connection was so bad the java-based trading applet wouldn't load.
I looked at the clock. It was after the data release. I had no idea what was going on with my open trade. I could be losing big time.
I know! I called my dear, sweet, old, technology-challenged mom in the U.S. (she's the only one who I know will be at home) figuring I could walk her through the login procedures and have her close my trade.
No good. Mom's computer had just crashed again (I am convinced it's because she's an AOL subscriber, but let me not go there now). Maybe my brother could help? Oh wait, maybe not, he's got a construction job today. My sister? No, at the office – she won't be able to log in.
I know! My Forex sponsor! He'll do it! It's his money, after all. I quickly send him an SOS. Fifteen mind-wracking minutes later I get a response.
Oy! No good. Of all days for his wife to give birth it has to be then? Sigh. "?No worries, my friend," I email him back. "?Congratulations!"
Just as I hit the send message button on my cell phone, the power comes back on (I truly believe it was my "?reward" for reacting so maturely and not throwing my laptop across the room).
Achingly slow, the trading application finally loads. I AM AHEAD $25!!!! Whoot! Whoot! I close out the trade.
I want to say I learned a valuable lesson from that, but I didn't. Even as I'm writing this I've got a stop-less, limit-less trade open. I should know better. I do know better. I must be insane.