When all else fails, do it yourself?

8_30_11_-_1In the real life – that’s the weird place outside, away from keyboard – there’s a saying “When all else fails, read the fucking manual”. At least I’ve been told that much. Actually that’s how I’m used to work. One could say I’m the local businessmen -dream.

Let’s say my bike needs the rear derailleur to be changed. Or at least adjusted. No big deal. I take my screwgie and start turning. I almost get it done. Almost. Then I readjust it. And finally look at the youtube -video where the guy puts it in order in like 15 seconds. So, how hard can it be? I continue minging around. Finally after few hours I got the rear derailleur so misplaced that I get max 4 gears changed on the 9 -gear shift and everytime I’m worried I’ll break the cable while changing the gear. So all I can do then is to take the bike to ‘The Guy’. Who then will fix it in approx 45 seconds and give me a bill of half an hours work. Nice.

That seems not to be, however, the case when you work with software. At least not for me. It is more or less limited knowledge plus tons of googling and other supporting tools that gets me around the problems I face in my everyday work. That’s at least how it works when dealing with open source applications. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m a big fan of the whole open software -movement.

With paid applications you get to have the support more or less easily available. With the free ones you get to be stuck for whatever tools and knowledge you have and can get all by yourself. Some of the open software vendors do actually provide the possibility to pay for the support, and that is more or less great.

But then that comes to the collision with my ego. I don’t know why it is so, but I still do have problems to swallow my pride and make the request for help. Unless I’ve been bangin my head to the wall for few days or so. And that is always few days of wasted time. Needless to say that it would be ok to do so at home, but at work it’s not only my time; it’s also company time I’m wasting.

So what should be done? Should I admit that I don’t know a bit earlier, swallow my pride and make the call? Or should I find the solution all by myself (Which is actually one of the best ways to learn.)? Or is there a ‘best of both worlds’ -solution available? What I mean is where’s the actual tipping point here? When should I realize I’ve gone too far? After 3 repetitions that leads to nowhere? Or after 10? I suppose that, as always, it depends.

I’ll have to admit here that I actually did not take the bike to the guy because of the rear derailleur, that’s something I got fixed together with manual, a video from youtube and few days practice at home. But as said, the time was spent, even though now I can adjust my gears without any problems at all. With the fork with suspension, however, I realized that the lack of knowledge together with lack of tools would’ve ruined my self confidence together with my economy, so that I took to the guy. Who did excellent job, by the way. And only charged me one third of the forks price for mounting it 😀

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