My close friend's step-mom is a sharp-witted, amazing storyteller, and one of her famous lines is "interpret". Whether she said something completely wrong or somewhat close to what she wanted to communicate, she simply says "interpret" with a smile. Somehow with her, it works every time. If I tried it, somehow I doubt I'd have quite as much luck!
However, she is correct. I was listening to my nephew ask questions about his homework project, and he seems to think that if the exact situation hasn't occurred before, he wouldn't know the answer. It is a learning process as he is still young, but it reminds me of some work colleagues as well. Don't give up if the situation or problem isn't one you've experienced exactly the same previously. THINK and INTERPRET as Marjorie says. Take a 94-year old's wisdom to heart.
One tip to implement this week:
The next challenge you come across, interpret. Meaning, don't give up. Instead, think about how you could get the answer. Break the problem into pieces. Most likely you know at least one piece. Start there. Look on the Internet for an answer to the 2nd or 3rd piece. Ask a colleague. Soon, you will likely have enough of the problem understood to interpret successfully — and find your answer!
If you don't know why the system did what it did, stop and think about possible reasons. If you don't know why Shipping is requesting a change or concerned about the product you delivered to the warehouse, think about possible reasons. If your customer poses a challenge that seems out of your area of expertise, don't respond without thinking about whether it relates if you can break the problem down into smaller chunks. In essence, think before you leap to "no".