Thursday, January 14, 2010

In Perspective - The Hard Reset

By Rodney Hays
"If this doesn't work, then you may have to do a hard reset."
That was the advice I got from a 19-year-old kid working on my Mo-Bile phone the other day. I was having a few issues with it and took it in for some professional advice.
As usual when you take things in for service, my phone worked fine for him. It was only a problem for me just five minutes before, but when I showed him the problem, my Mo-Bile phone worked perfectly.
The whole thing went like this:
Me: I'm having a hard time with my Mo-Bile phone. I was hoping you could help me.
Teenage Professional: What's up with it?
Me: I don't have any volume when I try to listen to my Barry Manilow playlist.
TP: So is the problem with the volume or the fact that you still listen to Bar ... that other guy?
Me: No, I WANT to listen to Barry Manilow. I just CAN'T listen to him because the volume doesn't work.
TP: (Rolling his eyes) Let me see if I can fix it.
Me: Thank you, sir.

For some reason, I felt like this kid had all the power in the world. He is the keeper of the knowledge. Albeit his knowledge was limited to Mo-Bile phones, computers, computer games and something called Farmerville on Facebook, but still he had the power. I might have known all the words to "Mandy," but this cat knew how to make a broken phone like new ... or at least I hoped he did.
He was gone for about five minutes -- just enough time for him to play "Copacabana" for all of his little teenage buddies and get a big laugh. And maybe hit some magical button to fix my Mo-Bile phone problem.

Me: I think he's looking for me ... Hey, here I am.
TP: (rolling his eyes even harder) I think I fixed it.
Me: (I'm thinking "sure you did, there wasn't a problem with it when I brought it in. There was a problem with it 10 minutes before I brought it in). That's great I can't thank you enough, your Highness, the Keeper of All Mo-Bile Phone Knowledge. What do I owe you?
TP: It's a free service, sir.
Me: Well, thank you again, Most Magnanimous One.
TP: You're welcome. If that doesn't work, you may have to do a hard reset.

He said that and walked off while whistling the tune to "I Write the Songs."
I'm not sure what a hard reset is, but you get that a lot when things go wrong in the information age.
Is your computer hung up with that little pinwheel spinning out of control? Try a hard reset. Does your phone keep hanging up in the middle of a conversation? Try a hard reset. Is your video game stuck while your opponent's team celebrates in the end zone after the game-winning score? Try a hard reset. Is your Dungeons and Dragons game stuck while trying to play "The Scourge of the Howling Horde"? Well, then a hard reset may not solve all of your problems.
But it does seem that 99 percent of all computer problems can be solved with just a simple click of the "hard reset" button. I started to wonder if that worked for humans as well.
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and can't find a way out. Our lives seem like that constant-spinning pinwheel with no real purpose and nothing new on the horizon. If we stay like that, we -- like computers -- are just going to be sitting still, wasting energy and not accomplishing much.
So what if we could do hard reset? Can't we just go back, clean our memory banks, start over and do better the next time? If we could, it would do a world of good.
Our work would have meaning again. The spark would return to our relationships. The joy of existing would fill our spirits. All would be right with our world.
If you're going through a rough patch and need a different view, maybe you should try to find that "hard reset" button and give it a whirl? I think I'll try to do a hard reset just to see how it works.
(Pushes button)
Hello? What am I doing in the middle of this column? Who am I? Where am I? Why do I have a huge "Mandy" tattoo across my chest?

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