There is nothing more infuriating than technology that won’t work, especially for someone born before the age of WiFi, as I was. It seems that every time I want to add something to my home office, I find myself asking why it always has to be so difficult! In my day, the only thing you had to worry about was finding an outlet to plug the device into. You never had to ask, “Why is this component not recognizing that component?” Bah!!! Where is my sledgehammer?
I had wanted to purchase a printer for my cozy office nook in the living room. It is an inspiring little corner, with a soothing view, a fireplace, and English Country furniture. It is a quiet place away from the energy of an active family, and a place where no one can disrupt the feng shui by depositing clutter into the workspace. I believe in creating islands of perfectly flowing energy in the home even if some areas are ravaged by chaos. To expect perfect harmony everywhere would amount to nagging but that’s a different topic. So it was this backdrop of flawless serenity that called for a printer that could be hidden in an armoire with no cords to offend the eye.
How was I to know that setting up a cordless printer was going to be so challenging? I figured all I had to do is unbox the device, push a button and the wireless laptop would immediately pick up the signal giving me the full office experience with the atmosphere of a retreat site. No such luck. As my friend and I struggled to make the appropriate adjustments (since my friend was a man, we were not allowed to read the directions), I finally suggested that we go to the Hewlett-Packard on-line “Tell Me How This Works Before I Destroy It “ technical assistance site. Reluctantly he agreed and an hour long help session ensued. Basically, this was the gist of the conversation:
Me: I can’t print anything.
HP: Well, do you have a router or what’s the situation over there?
Me: Well it’s a router. Everything is wireless. It’s Linksys, I think.
HP: Well we need to get the gateway, the subnet mask, and blah, blah, blah, numbers so you can program them in… plus you will have to unplug the printer and take your laptop over to the router then throw salt over your shoulder and say your prayers…
Oh man! This was complex and it involved one of my weakest cognitive links: attention to details. By then, of course, I was by myself because my friend was off to a job site so here I was facing the challenge on my own. The session continued: “Ok, now do this, now that…Click this. Click that.” As I plodded along though, something magical happened. I began to understand where this was heading and it all made sense. Excitedly, I felt the pieces coming together…. Wow, this is going to be great!
Then the train of disaster rolled into town! Just as I was about to get the last step from the online helper, my laptop battery ran out and the computer went dead erasing the whole conversation!! I stared at a blank screen. NOW WHAT? I evaluated my options, “Well, maybe I could contact Hewlett-Packard to start a new on-line conversation. Or perhaps I could try to retrace the steps in my head (not likely) or just get out my sledgehammer… “Then a little voice in my head said, “You know what to do. You haven’t been working at this for 2 hours and learned nothing in the process.” THINK!
Click add printer. Click Advanced. Type in IP address. SUCCESS!
So the moral of the story is (as Aesop would say): Our level of success is only limited by our mind. Hang in there and you will learn more than you ever thought you could. Challenge yourself. Never give up. Every time I hear the hum of that printer, a small grin of satisfaction appears on my face….