Odd places for a Microsoft Windows Crash

Image by romkey via Flickr

I’m sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday.  The day sort of got away from me due to a death in the family.  Fortunately, it was an old PC and not a person.  Unfortunately, it was the one serving as the host for all the printing on my network.  No big deal, right?  Install the printer on another PC on the network and all is well.  Well, not so much.

The deceased machine ran an old version of Windows – the new one runs XP (which is now an old version of Windows…).  While all the Windows machines on the net can print without issue, the MacBook that’s my primary computer can’t.  Oh sure – it sees the printer, it spools to the printer, but something seems to get lost in the translation since the printer just pauses and stays there.  Which of course got me thinking about business.

We assume sometimes that just because people can communicate they’re speaking the same language and everything that’s sent is understood.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  The workplace can often be a post-Tower of Babel environment.  For example, when leadership changes, simple things aren’t so simple.  Words you’ve heard before may mean different things.  In the accounting world, they impose standard definitions of specific terms to make sure that “revenue” isn’t confused with “gross revenue” or “gross sales.”  Too bad most bosses aren’t as clear.

What’s been interesting as I do research to solve my problem (and PLEASE email me if you know how to fix this) is both how widespread the problem and how no single solution seems to work.  Many potential resolutions that I’ve found are presented in a way that if you have a computer engineering degree you can apply them.  We civilians are screwed – the language is too big a barrier and there’s no translation API to plug in.

Hopefully I won’t spend another day trying to resolve this but as I’m doing so, have a think about how communications happen around you.  You may know the messages you’re putting out are being sent but are they being fully understood and acted upon?  Much as my printer sits idle even though the Mac tells me it’s sent something to it, are the folks on the other end picking up what you’re laying down?

And now, back to Babel…

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