Start Worrying When the Noise Stops

Our first computer was an expensive marvel that came with a 40 meg hard drive and windows 3.0. Yes, “meg” as in megabyte.

The salesman said we would never fill a hard drive with that much capacity.

It came with a 14.4 modem. You have no appreciation for download speed if you don’t know what 14.4 means. Suffice it to say that you started downloading a file and went to lunch.

I’ll never forget the day we upgraded to a blazing 28.8 modem.  Then the worst happened.

Our marvel started grinding. My imagination went wild. It made a grinding noise when you started it and eventually went quiet. Meanwhile another problem emerged.

Out of the blue it turned itself off. You lost whatever you were working on. I spent hours on the phone trying to figure out the problem. Eventually the grinding stopped completely but the turning-off issue got worse.

I’d call the computer store and say, “It’s me again.” They took me through diagnostic tests to no avail. Until one day the technician on the phone asked me to take the panel off the side of our expensive marvel.

There’s a fan that sits on top of your computer’s processor. The blades on our fan didn’t whirl. They quivered. The grinding had been the fan.

The computer was overheating. When it got too hot it just said, “I quit and turned itself off.” We solved the problem for about $10. It was my first computer repair.

You might grow weary of dealing with noisy problems. But if you don’t solve the grinding, another problem will emerge.

Start worrying when the noise stops.

Smile when people bring problems. But don’t be “the fixer.”

Help them take the panel off and look inside. Ask, “What would you do if you were me?”

How might leaders stay positive when they’re surrounded by problems?