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Why doesn't ____ have this problem?

Think of a tech situation that’s frustrating. It might be a slow computer, or a network that’s down, or an unreliable piece of hardware. It might be a cumbersome process, or a policy that you feel is ridiculous or ineffective.

Many people spend time with the frustration itself. They share expletives, or commiserate over drinks, dwelling around the annoyance of the situation. Often they will focus on the author or decision maker behind the problem, for example the boss who was too cheap to buy the proper item. Or the manager who was too nit-picking to trust that their staff would do the “right thing”. They might disparage the “penny wise, pound foolish” decision to buy a more economical unit.

Before engaging on all of that, start with a single question. “Why doesn’t ______ have this problem?” - the blank can be a person or a company, department, or other group of people. Why doesn’t your friend have this problem at their job? Why doesn’t a different client of yours have the same problem that the current client is facing?

Answering that question will usually be VERY easy, and simple. It may be “they just bought the better product” or “they have a redundant system.”

Rather than ruminate on how frustrating the current item is, look at why others don’t have that problem. Work to emulate the person or organization for whom this issue just doesn’t occur. Even if you get told “no”, you’ll at least have a good reference point that not everyone need be as impacted by a situation if they just make different, better choices. Keeping those in mind will guide you in future decision making. 


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