My Youngest Son was belaboring the fact that his English homework was going to take too long to do because there was so much writing involved. I asked him if he typed faster than he wrote. He said he was faster on the keyboard. So he did his English homework on the computer. And the job got done much quicker than it would have, if he had done it by hand.
The hard part was done. All he had to do was print it. This is where I became involved ...
"The printer says that it is out of paper. But it isn't. It feels one paper through then says it it is out of paper..."
Surely to goodness I am not the only one in the house that understands our computer, am I? So I went to My Son's rescue, just knowing that the solution would be obvious.
I did everything I knew how to do. But I couldn't convince the printer that it wasn't jammed and it had plenty of paper. I was just anticipating the cost of a new printer when My Son gave me a much-needed clue.
"I was eating my French fries and I thought one fell off the side of the desk but I couldn't find it..." The printer is right beside our computer desk. I think we both knew where the French fry had landed.
I had visions of this French fry being crushed beyond recognition as it had been fed through the paper-feed on the computer. The concept of a new printer in our future was looming.
I have dropped a few items into the paper feed on our printer myself. The only difference was, that I retrieved the lost item before I attempted to print anything. So I started turning the printer upside down and shaking it. Hard.
It didn't work the first time. Nor the second. By the third time, I had nothing to lose. So I shook the printer like it was never going to work again. And what popped out? But a French fry. Fully intact. Mushed potato was not ground into the inner workings of the printer.
And voila! The printer worked like a charm. No need to explain to the teacher that homework wasn't complete. All because of a missing French fry.
Had I been the next person to use the printer, several days down the road I would have had no idea how to troubleshoot our problem without the knowledge of the missing French fry. One little piece of information makes all the difference when treating the 'symptom' of a problem.
Try to remember this when you don't get the reaction that you expect when your child, spouse or a clerk in a store does not respond in the manner in which you have grown accustomed to. Someone may have just 'dropped a French fry down their paper feed'...