You are trying to edit user profiles, either from your profile page, or perhaps in the User Profiles service application in Central Administration. You notice that some of the profile properties have the rubric: "There was a problem retrieving data for this field. Updating values in this field is disabled temporarily. You can still update values in other fields." Oh, well; at least some of the properties work. But it would be really peachy if we could get rid of those pesky red messages.
This problem occurs because some of the properties use the Managed Metadata Service Application to provide term sets. That means that these properties are dependent on the Managed Metadata Service being set up properly. There are a few reasons why this might not be the case: