Levying Blame

Mitch HobishGrowth, Leadership, Productivity

I was the lucky recipient of a gift laptop last week, sent quite out of the blue by an old (as in long-term) friend. What generosity! I got right to work, checking it out, making sure the delivery manifest matched the options he had purchased for me, learning Windows 7 (I still mostly dwell in the XP realm; hey! It works for me!), and configuring this and that.

What I could not seem to do was to verify that all the extended warranties with in-home service were present, nor could I get the wireless card to work with my in-house/office WPA-2/TKIP-AES encryption. (BTW, it worked fine with no encryption and with WEP, but I wanted to use WPA-2.)

I ended up working with both customer support and tech support for more hours than I’d like to admit to, and no one could figure out what I had been sent, whether what was loaded on the unit was what had been ordered, and more. They just couldn’t match up the service tag with the express service code.

I was getting, shall we say, frustrated, in the extreme, and was having increasingly negative thoughts (and words) about the manufacturer, customer support, and tech support.

After a long series of phone calls, it turns out that I had mistranscribed one of the required numbers. My fault, me culpa, and embarrassing so forth. Once we were able to get the right numbers into the system, all was well. Everything that had been purchased was indeed loaded, registered, and functioning.


Oh, as for that wireless card, they’re going to ship me a new one, with arrangements to have a tech come to my office to effect the repair. Nice.

Questions: When things do not go as you think they should, how do you determine the root cause(s)? Do you include yourself in the “systems analysis”? What do you do when (if) you realize that you are the source of the problem?