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What you can learn from the IT department

Posted by Ilise Benun on

There’s a protocol at IT help desks for answering every call for help with computer difficulties that goes something like this:

  1. "Is the machine plugged into the wall?" If "yes"…
  2. "Is the machine–and something else plugged into the same outlet–receiving power?" If "yes"…
  3. "Is the machine turned on?"

I wrote up a long version of the story that precipitated this post on my own blog (go here to read it), but the short of this is both a simple lesson and a lesson in simplicity:

When in doubt, try the simplest thing first.

You can bring in the heavy artillery later on if the situation warrants it: costly and/or time-consuming solutions like specialists, complex systems, learning a new skill, etc. But before you do, maybe take a breath and see what the first, simplest thing you could do is.

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