Imagine completing your GCSE maths exam without too many wrong answers, then finding that someone at your school forgot to send the paper off for marking.
Imagine compiling a long and detailed report for your boss, only for your computer to inexplicably crash and propel your work into the ether. It has been a bruising week at ITV.
Official apologies don't really wash, but whether you thought our coverage of England's opening game was good, bad or indifferent, I can confirm it did leave us in Rustenburg in one piece.
Learning that the most important ten seconds of it never arrived on the nation's HD sets left post-match morale among our team in South Africa at Rob Green levels.
Unlike Fabio Capello, ITV's management didn't select the individual who made the costly error. But, like the England manager, we can now only do everything within our powers to come up with a better result on Friday.
Capello and co's performance against USA divided opinions like most television programmes do. Football and telly are largely matters of opinion. A dozen different informed radio and tv pundits described a dozen different games in the media centre after the USA match.
But when you have got three games to qualify to take on the world, results are all that really matter, and Algeria have the capacity to frustrate the life out of all us this evening with their pretty possession patterns.
Adrian Chiles' wry observations about the torments of following England may be repeated before the night is out. Those of you don't have HD may recall I hit the rapture button after England's flying start last Saturday.
On all counts, I may wait a little longer before I get too excited on Friday