1. What do you do if you’ve said ‘yes’ to a job because you think it can be done using photoshop, but it turns out you have to use illustrator, which you don’t have and don’t know how to use and you start work the next day?
2. What do you do when you stick your fingers to a tub of super-glue in a professional working environment?
3. How do you follow important instructions if you don’t understand them?
4. What if while you’re away working on this job, the roof blows off your studio and the other job you’ve been working on for three weeks gets rained on and swells up and doesn’t work anymore with only three days left to finish it?
5. What if you fix it and then the next day you paint it and because of the paint it stops working again with only two days left to finish it?
6. What if it’s all finally painted and working with only the most expensive part left to go on and even though you’re being extra careful you still manage to break it, on the day that you’re supposed to be installing it in another city?
7. What if your parents go to see it two days after you installed it and a bit has already been broken off and the whole thing doesn’t work again, but you are back in the first city trying to do the other job again?
I used to pride myself on being good at problem solving, but I see now that I am only good at solving problems which I already know the answer to. These other problems, ones which I can’t foresee and which I definitely don’t have an answer ready for, they are really hard to solve. The answers I ended up going with were –
1. Say you are working from home, download Inkscape for free and spend the day learning how to use it, then spend the weekend doing what you were supposed to have done on Friday and turn up on Monday acting like it went fine.
2. Pull off one finger at a time and after a while the sensation in your fingertips comes back.
4. Fix it quickly.
5. Fix it again, drawing on your recent experience of how you fixed basically the same problem the day before, and don’t go anywhere near those bits of it again.
6. Don’t fix it – there’s no time – just sand it down so nobody hurts themselves on the pointy bits and accept that anyone who looks closely will see that you messed up.
7. Leave it to your dad, who could have made it better in the first place anyway, and he will fix it over the phone and point out other likely problems which you missed and solve them too. (Thanks dad)
Well, what exciting questions will April have in store?