Its not always the laptop. Sometimes its the projector

I have been running some inhouse courses for a client recently.

I  turned up a one of the offices I had been at before and got told that I was using room x that I had run the training in before.

It was modern, well equipped room so I was pretty happy.  I plugged in my laptop and looked up at the screen to see only part of my presentation.  Some setting in the screen size was wonky.  So I played around a bit and then went to see the receptionist.

“Yes” she said, “a whole bunch of people have had that problem this week for some reason.  You need to change the screen settings in powerpoint”.

After explaining that my laptop had worked there before I eventually gave in and we reset my laptop.  Apparently several people had to do the same that week because all their laptops changed their settings to “stupid” the same week.  It must have been a delayed Y2K thing.

Then the next week, I turned up at a different office with the same company.  This time I had no luck with the projector – no lamp came on.  So I went for help.  This time the receptionist and we went through the menu to turn it on.  Then I noticed that the screen said “lamp hours remaining = 0”.  But their was also a button for another projector in the same room that was pointed at the side wall and the receptionist pushed that button,

We then wandered over to my laptop and she started pressing buttons.  When she hit control-f8 (which disables my mouse pad) the projector light came on.  So she explained that in company laptops you have to press control f-6, but on my laptop you need to …..

I started to explain that there was just a delay between her hitting the on button for the projector and the light coming on, when she repeated her helpful explanation.  So I let her go.

Apparently in that company they have a lot of staff and consultants turning up with bad laptop settings and so they helpfully reset the laptops each time.  In fact their seems to be a blank space in their perception that it might not be the laptop but the lamp in the projector or the settings in the complex room computers.

On a completely unrelated note,  I  read a very interesting blog on teams treating customers like spoiled brats:

http://annaforss.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/do-you-use-the-spoilt-brat-pattern/

After reading the blog, I was reflecting on how some poor  teams have a whole host of spoiled brat customers who ask for the wrong thing and then complain when they get it.

Customer after customer seems to come in with the same internal defect while the poor hard working (but highly Agile and intelligent) suffers from thier inherit dumb=ness.

I wonder what would happen if some of those teams did what the blog suggested – and started to think about their customers as customers instead of spoiled brats?  Maybe the would find out the problem wasn’t always the customer.

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About James King

I coach organisations in how to better make use of the untapped talent they have in their people and to explore new ways of understanding and solving new and old problems I live in Sydney with my wife and daughter and have no real hobbies beyond the usual boring ones of reading, writing and watching tv.
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