I had just reset my router.  Everything should be working perfect now.  Upon plugging the router back in, I realized it was dead.  Dead, as in gave up the ghost.  Wow!  That was shocking to me.

I began double-checking all the usual suspects such as Windows network diagnostics, system formatting, cables, and the modem.  I even made a call to my ISP to be sure it was not something funky with them.  They assured me my home was receiving a solid signal.  Next I set up an appointment with my IT person.  Simultaneously, I researched the best strategy for a new router purchase.

That is when it happened—I suddenly realized I was the butt of the proverbial IT joke.  The router power switch is tiny, black, and precariously located next to the black power cable on the black housing.  Failing to even remember it was there, I had accidentally toggled it off when I thought I was simply unplugging the power line itself.  Silly me.  Time to cancel my IT person!

I am reminded of a Dilbert cartoon in which Dogbert is in a phone technical support role.  As he answers the phone he immediately states, “try rebooting” and hangs up the line.  The final frame has Dogbert stating, “This job is going to be easier than I thought.”  Similarly, anyone who has watched the British series, The IT Crowd, well remembers Roy’s and Moss’s practice of consistently answering the phone with, “IT Department, have you tried turning it off and on?”

These situations are matters we can all relate to because we have all been there at one time or another.  The valuable lesson of course is that we should never discount the basics.  Just because we have been doing something for a long time does not guarantee perfection.  The next time something seems to not be working as you expected, remember to review the basics, even if that includes an on/off switch.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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