Welcome to Girl on Wire’s very first column! As I promised in my introduction last week, I will be sharing some of the little things I’ve learned during my relatively brief experience with a technology-focused company.
For the most part, leaving your work behind when you go home for the day is essential; it gives you that time to recharge and relax a little bit, but every once in a while you’ll come across a work skill that’s useful in the home environment.
The other day I found myself in a bit of a tailspin during my morning ‘get ready for work’ routine. I was in the midst of blow drying my hair when my hair dryer and air conditioning unit simultaneously shut off. It was a balmy, humid day outside already and my bedroom began its transformation into a rainforest-like environment.
Instinctively, I ran to the basement to check the fuse box. Nothing was tripped, so I started randomly shutting down and restarting the breakers and managed to bring my house back to the dark ages, but not restart my very necessary AC and hair defrizzer. Ladies, you know the gravity of such a situation!
Panic set in as I realized I didn’t know what to do next. Then I took a breath and thought to myself, “What would a Teltek technician do in this situation?” I reached for my cell phone to call one of them (since they all love getting calls from me about how to get my personal problems back on track) when I realized I was not thinking like a tech, I was thinking like a helpless little sissie. What I needed to do was troubleshoot the issue by isolating the problem.
This is a skill I am learning as I triage Teltek’s service calls. If a phone is not working, the best thing to do is try different things to figure out exactly where the disconnect is occurring. You can begin by unplugging the phone and trying it in another jack. If it works, the problem is probably the original jack. If it still doesn’t work, it’s most likely an issue with the phone itself.
I went back to my bedroom and studied the set up. Both non-working items were plugged into a surge protector. I unplugged the surge protector and plugged it into another outlet; nothing came on. Then I plugged my hairdryer directly into the outlet and it started working. Elated, I realized that the problem was not the circuit or the outlet, but the surge protector itself!
So the next time you want to jump the gun and call an electrician, plumber or carpenter, stop for a minute and try trouble shooting the problem yourself. Channel your inner MacGyver or MacGalver 😉 You may not be able to fix it, but at the very least, you’ll have more information to provide to the professionals.
Please Note: I am not suggesting you try to fix something yourself if it’s a dangerous or emergency situation. I personally may consider a non-working hairdryer to be an emergency, but I know it’s not!
Have you ever surprised yourself by fixing something you thought you couldn’t do on your own? Please share your stories of empowerment with the rest of us!