One in a Hundred

An important lesson about people and business:

From 2003 to 2005 I ran my own business fixing computers and such. I called it The Computer Guy,

I had just finished fixing a client’s broken email program (Outlook) and was packing up. I watched as he shut off his Windows laptop by simply holding down the power button until the computer died. My stomach lurched at the sight of it! I grit my teeth, and let out a breath to calm myself. I gently asked him if that was always how he turned off his computer. “Yes, it’s easier than finding that other way. I’ve never had any trouble.” I thought about the reason I was hired, to fix his mysteriously broken email program and told him there was a good chance it broke because of his bullet-to-the-head shutdown style. Then I started showing him how to shut down safely. He didn’t want to hear it, repeating how his current method was working just find. I redoubled my calm and told him, “Shutting down your computer that way is just fine ninety-nine times out of a hundred. That last time will break things but good. You’ve got my number.” Part of me wanted to shake him and make him do it right, instead I gave him a friendly smile, my business card, and left.

100 days later, like exactly 100 days later, I got a call! The computer wouldn’t boot. After I fixed everything, he was quite open to learning how to push the little “shut down” button instead of murdering his computer on a daily basis. When we were done, he gave me a very hearty handshake!

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