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Scary Error Message

A client called me recently to say she got an error message when she tried to send an email.

“What does the error message say?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. I didn’t read it. (It said that the email contained an invalid email address and could not be sent.)

I’ve done the same thing when an unexpected message pops up: panic.

My advice (to all of us): Read the message first; we can always panic later. Many error messages look scarier than they are.

Another client was trying to update a software program and thought he was doing something wrong; the “update” button was greyed out. When he clicked it anyway, he got an error message that looked so intimidating he cancelled the update.

The scary-looking error message told him he needed to check the “Accept the Terms and Conditions” box before the program would update.

So my message — which I am glad you are reading — is to put your fear of an error message aside, take a deep breath, and read what it says. You might find that it is relatively benign and even gives you the answer you need to move past it.

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