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A Familiar Refrain

Posted by TestOut Staff on

No definitive or comprehensive origin is known for the seven-note musical couplet associated with the phrase "shave and a haircut." The words "shave and a haircut," of course, align only with the first five notes of the couplet, or the section known as the "call." The two-note "response" is typically matched up with the words "six bits" (or sometimes "two bits" — it would seem that inflation is into everything these days).

Shave and a haircut ...

Depending on where you are in the English-speaking world, the response is sometimes rude, or even vulgar. There's no need to get into the details; just consider yourself warned. When encountered in pop culture, "shave and a haircut" is often used to illustrate the difficulty of resisting something familiar or ingrained, as Christopher Lloyd memorably demonstrates in the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

The point of this little diversion into widely noted musical miscellany is to remind our readers that sometimes in life we encounter a scenario so familiar that we don't even have to think through what the proper response should be. It's already right there, on the tip of one's metaphorical tongue. This can, of course, lead to problems. There are many instances in which it's important to stop and think before taking action.

In other circumstances, however, it's not at all inappropriate to act instinctually in carrying out a task or confronting a challenge. On many career paths, it comes with the territory that you'll encounter the same problem over and over again. IT is far from immune to such recycled dilemmas. Just ask anyone who has ever work in an IT support role: You'll spend plenty of time solving the same problem for different clients.

That's one strength of the IT training that we provide here at TestOut Continuing Education. Our courses are scenario-based and task-oriented. You'll learn how to solve actual IT problems, whether that involves troubleshooting a malfunctioning printer or installing a new motherboard. The best way to learn is by doing, and the more you do something, the more ingrained it becomes. You'll get IT right the first time AND the 43rd.

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