Actually solving problems

I get it. We’re all stressed. Most of us are working ridiculous numbers of hours and maybe only about 40% of it is in our primary skill set (or at least that’s where I am right now).  But after reading this story about a keyboard/mouse issue at the Shark Tank, I had to let this out before I burst.  WHY DO WE INSIST ON NOT SOLVING PROBLEMS?

English: A Microsoft Arc wireless mouse. You c...
Microsoft Arc wireless mouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this story, the user insists on keeping her mouse pad, even though it doesn’t play with her new wireless mouse, which came in a wireless keyboard/mouse combo.  What does the geek do?  He walks out of her office.

Seriously? No, really, seriously?

He doesn’t say, “Okay, we’ll use your old mouse, then,” swap it, and then walk out with a great story to tell over drinks to other geeks.  He walks out, because he couldn’t get beyond what he saw as stupidity and stubbornness.  He decided to be stupid and stubborn right back.

Quite frankly, if one of my geeks had done that, he would have received a stern talking to, if not an HR write-up. Solving her problem is this geek’s job. Maybe it’s annoying as all heck to have to cater to “stupid users,” but it’s your job, so suck it up.  Try to figure out a way to actually solve the problem.  If you can’t move the mountain, go to the darn thing, will you? If you can’t budge the crazy user, at least try to make her happy.  TRY. If you fail, chances are that she’ll be way more likely to swap mouse pads.

I see behavior like this more and more. We have arguments where we should actually negotiate. We complain about problems rather than actually trying to fix things.

Stop it already, okay?