The Adventures of Alan ‘Troubleshooting’ – Part.2

The Adventures of Alan ‘Troubleshooting’ – Part.2

Written by Alan Hancock

Troubleshooting: How to solve most computer problems yourself.

1. Click. Click repeatedly and in varied patterns. If that doesn’t work, stop and try clicking harder a few times, click as hard as you can on the mouse button, leaning into the screen as if simply willing it to happen will make it so. If attempting to be Matilda fails, try a couple more clicks before turning around and gesturing at the screen like a child appealing to their mother for sibling justice. Try saying “I’m clicking the thing there but it’s just not working” with incredulous anger.

2. Wait. Be patient. The problem may well resolve itself. This doesn’t always work since modern people are used to things happening on demand. If after 6.235 seconds, the issue remains unresolved, huff loudly, rub your forehead and say, “for god’s sake” or a religiously appropriate alternative and sit back in your chair petulantly.

3. Check. Check the back of the monitor. Given that most everyday problems people encounter are software related, it makes sense to check that all the wiring is connected in the right places and that the hardware is sound. If you’re not using a wireless-enabled mouse, be sure to trace the mouse’s cable all the way through the spaghetti wire maze and that it’s connected to the computer. If you are using a wireless mouse, just pick it up look at the bottom and then put it down again. Repeat several times until satisfied. Peer over the back of the monitor and then rub the dust off on your clothes before saying “well, that’s not it”.

4. Think. Just sit in your chair and think about stuff. Think about what time you finish, what you’re having for tea. Think about a burger either beef or bean depending on dietary requirements. Think about the Stranger Things story arc, think about how Eleven looks like Dale Winton as a child, perhaps try and figure out whether Stranger Things is his Supermarket Sweep origin story. Play with a ruler, stick it on the edge of the desk and flick it, adjusting its position to influence the pitch before becoming bored, bashing the end and sending it flying across the office. Briefly, think about how long this issue will take to fix and then think about cats. If anyone asks why you’re idle just point at the screen and explain “it’s not working”. They should just nod knowingly and return to their task.

5. Question.  Question the credentials of  everyone working in the IT department. Look at how the equipment is maintained and scoff as if you know what you’re talking about. Remark loudly that if you had your way you’d chuck all this equipment in the effing bin and get real computers as if the ones everyone is currently using are a figment of your collective imagination. Look around for the nearest person to complain to and drag them into your problem by forcing them to empathise.

6. Go. Go for a break. Just leave it, shoot off, have a cup of tea, it’ll probably work by the time you get back and if it’s not, you’re beyond caring now anyway. Someone else can deal with it.

Alan is a freelance writer, get in touch with him! 

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