New French Press question

Sometimes (only sometimes, maybe half the time) I find it impossible to push the plunger down (and thus pour coffee out of the Press). If I try too hard, coffee gushes out all over the counter or (as just now) I break the entire plunger part.

What causes this to happen?
Can I do anything to prevent it? Or to speed the process along? (Usually, ten minutes or so allows me to pour coffee.
Is this a problem with the press, with the coffee, with me, with the universe?

Any ideas?

Coffee ground too finely, blocking the screen.

needscoffee is right. If you grind your own coffee, set it to the coarsest setting possible. If you have it done at a coffee place, like Peet’s or Starbucks, ask them to set it as coarse as possible. I noticed that even their coarsest setting might still be too fine, though. But grocery stores’ coffee grinders seem to always get it right.

Or better, use the James Hoffman Ultimate French Press Technique (Link to YouTube Video)