i've done this exact thing, so no judgement

Ultimate Guide to Troubleshooting Anything

Troubleshooting doesn’t have to be scary. Having issues with your phone? Dishwasher? Intern? Never fear – I have the solution. Follow these steps exactly and I guarantee a fix.

  1. Stare at the offending item. Let your eyes bore holes into its depths. Silently communicate your vast and unending disappointment with its failure.
  2. State the issue out loud. “This phone is not connecting to outside lines.” Perhaps the item was not aware of the issue. Unless it is a lazy person – they always know, they just don’t care.
  3. Declare why this is a problem. “If the report came in on time, the meeting would have been more productive.” This may solve issues with personnel – but the stapler may not care.
  4. Turn it off and on again. This is a common phrase thrown around in IT forums, because it works.  Depending on the item, this can require some creativity. For coworkers, it is recommended you place a 5-minute moratorium on conversation. With a water bottle, it is recommended to unscrew then refasten the lid. Pens provide a challenge; the recommendation is scribbling on a Post-It like a lunatic.
  5. Examine the item to see if all lights are on. Sometimes the light is on, but no one is home.
  6. Ensure that everything that should be plugged in is plugged in. Offer coffee to the item, if there are no cables to plug in.
  7. Take two deep breaths, and silently count to five, while looking at the ceiling. Mentally pack a suitcase to run away with.
  8. Check for updates. If there are several iterations of a meeting agenda circulating, it is guaranteed that at least three people will not have the correct one.
  9. Check for conflicts. It may be that there is something not allowing the item to function properly. Resolve issue by removing conflicting program, item, or element. This may require a new loop through the troubleshooting.
  10. Begin percussive maintenance. Apply the flat of your hand, or side of your fist as appropriate. Exert moderate force and repeatedly strike to jar item back into alignment. This step not recommended for fragile items. [Editor’s Note: step also not recommended for living items.]
  11. If an error message occurs, take note. The message may have helpful information on what went wrong, and how to fix it. If the error message is just incomprehensible sobbing, offer the item a drink.
  12. Google keywords. Input relevant words – “exhaustion” “office decor” “iphone not charging” or “dishwasher gaining sentience.” Be as specific as possible; put in make, model, year, or serial number as appropriate.
  13. Delegate responsibility. It may be that the item should be fixed with someone with a more specific skill set, and that’s okay. Due diligence was done when you did troubleshooting.
    1. Customer service. Wait on hold as you are told repeatedly that your call is very important, and the representative will be with you as soon as they can. This may increase your frustration, and require repetition of steps one and seven. When you do get ahold of a real person, they probably have a script to follow, again requiring repetition of steps one and seven.
  14. Take a lap. The problem has been fixed, is being fixed, or is unfixable and the item requires replacement. You can breathe now. And filch the chocolate hidden in your coworker’s desk. No judgement.

Kindest regards, sincerely yours

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