Sometimes the most complex problems have the simplest solution: giving up.
Even though I’m the most computer-literate person in the company, I freely admit that within the general population, I’m nowhere near the upper percentile. I can make things work, most of the time, and every so often I surprise myself by solving a problem that probably should have taken more expertise than I believe I have. To be fair, when this happens, I usually don’t know how I did it, and there’s no way I could duplicate it. Back to square one, as we used to say in the days when ledger book grids were as high tech as we got.
The Boss is a very smart man. He has an engineering degree from a major university and is licensed in three states. He’s a problem solver, as long as he can solve the problem with pencil and paper. When it comes to computers, he’s as dumb as a turkey in the rain. If you try to explain something to him, his highly advanced brain turns into used coffee grounds.
So you can imagine how much I enjoyed spending a good part of the afternoon trying to explain to him why I couldn’t get the information he thought he needed. For one thing, I wasn’t even sure myself, except that the web site was broken, or appeared to be broken on the two browsers I used. I should have left it at that, but he wanted more information about the problem than he could handle. I tried, using the simplest terms I could think of, and then trying to dazzle him with fancy technical language.
At one point he asked me, “Was that a cough, or are you just frustrated?” Well, that was the noise I make for both, so I could have gone either way. I told him the truth, though.