Recognizing a Problem Practice Exercises (page 2)
Review the lesson for Recognizing a Problem Study Guide.
Recognizing a Problem Practice Exercises
Three problems arise at work simultaneously. In what order do you solve the following?
a. The printer in your office is down.
b. You need to finish writing a report to meet a 3:00 p.m. deadline.
c. Documents must be dropped off at the post office by 5:00 p.m.
The most sensible order is a, b, c. You can't print the report without the printer, so it must be fixed first, and if a repair person must be called, this task could take the most time of the three. Then, write the report. When you're finished, print the documents, or if necessary copy them on disk and take it to a printer off-site, and then take the printed material to the post office.
You invited friends over for pizza and a movie. Before they arrive, you preheat your oven to keep the pizzas warm and put the movie in the DVD player to fast forward through all of the coming attractions and advertisements. However, the DVD is damaged and will not play. As you head out to exchange the tape, you smell gas coming from the kitchen. What should you do?
A natural gas leak is a severe problem and must be dealt with first. You should turn off the oven immediately, air out the room, and take great care not to light any matches. Then you should call the apartment superintendent to report the leak so he can check out the oven. The other problems aren't severe. You can call your friends to have them wait until the apartment is safely aired out, if the problem can be fixed quickly, and then choose another movie to watch. If the gas leak can't be fixed quickly, you can get out of the apartment and change the get-together until another day.
Which, if any, of these problems is severe?
- Leo's baby has had the sniffles for several days, but she doesn't seem to have a fever
- Erin discovers a hole in her favorite shirt, which she wants to wear that day to start at her new job.
- Will's rent is two months past due, and he doesn't have enough money to pay it.
- The bus company is on strike, and Sandy has an important interview at 3:00 p.m.
Choice c is the most severe: Will might lose his home. If he calls the landlord immediately to explain and make arrangements, he could ward off eviction, or he could get a roommate to share expenses, using that person's first payment to help hold off the landlord. Choice a might become severe if a fever starts, but it is not necessary to take a baby to a doctor for every sneeze and sniffle. Choices b and d aren't severe: Erin can choose another shirt, and Sandy can find some other way to travel—walk, drive, ask a friend for a ride, or call a taxi.
Rank these issues in order of importance to you, from most important (1) to least important (5).
the economy, global warming, universal healthcare, crime, education
How you answered depends on your opinions and life circumstances. If the economy is weak, with unemployment and prices of everyday goods high, you might rank the economy most important. If someone in your family is ill and struggling to pay medical bills, healthcare may be your top concern. But if crime is on the rise in your area, or the education system is shortchanging students, including you, you might rank one of those issues as most important.
You are planning a family vacation at a resort 800 miles from your home. Here are some of the details you will need to take care of:
- purchase plane tickets
- research restaurants in the area around the resort
- make reservations at the resort
- suspend delivery of mail and newspaper for duration of trip
- find a pet sitter for your cats
In what order should you complete these tasks?
Which is most important?
While there is room for various answers based on personal preference, here's the most common ranking by importance:
- Make reservations at the resort—many places are crowded and you run the risk of having no place to stay unless you take care of this detail first.
- Purchase plane tickets—you need to reach your destination, but if you can't get a flight, you might decide to rent a car.
- Find a pet sitter for your cats—this shouldn't be difficult, but you can't go on vacation without finding help for the cats.
- Suspend mail and newspaper delivery—a stuffed mailbox and piled-up newspapers are a sign to potential thieves that no one's home, but you can always call a neighbor after you get to the resort to ask for help if you forget to plan ahead.
- Research restaurants—you'll have plenty of time after you get to the resort to read local publications and ask resort personnel. That kind of advice will probably be better than what you can research from home.
Perhaps you find that your car needs a new muffler the day before you were going to take your air conditioner in to be repaired. You do not have the money to do both right now. Make a list of the reasons each repair is necessary, and decide which should be done first.
- Car Repair:
- Air Conditioner Repair:
Your lists will probably include many of the following:
- car will be too noisy without a muffler
- could be stopped by law enforcement and fined without muffler
- can't drive car without muffler
- need car to drive to work
Air Conditioner Repair
- AC running inefficiently—wasting electricity
- heat wave predicted for later in the week
- have trouble sleeping without AC
- live on fourth floor—too hot without AC
Conclusion: the car should be repaired first. While it may be uncomfortable without an air conditioner, you need your car to get to work, and that is your top priority.
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