Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 26 seconds
Although repairing broken things is not for everyone, I have fixed some amazing things in my day. The wise among us realize that this is not always the most cost effective or smart thing to do. Even I will admit that there are un-fixable things in this world, usually right after I tear into something that I can’t figure out how to reassemble. There are also certain things that are designed to be thrown away ( like the early versions of mini-vans). Some call me cheap, some call me stubborn, but I’ll reiterate I find pleasure in fixing broken things both animate and otherwise.
- Over the phone, my all time favorite line for fixing anything broken over the phone is “Is it plugged in?” Every once in awhile I hear a pregnant pause then… “Never mind”
- In person, I try to pull out some part and say… “Well here’s yer problem!”
- Upon discovering a dilemma that is more than a simple fix, I have been known to pull a favorite ambulance extrication phrase. “Don’t worry ma’am, I’ll have you out in a minute.”
I know a guy that doesn’t care about how much flights cost as long as he gets to his destination and back quickly because he knows just how valuable his time really is. “How valuable is your time?” is an equation that deserves some serious pondering. For those of us that are not blessed with the ability to do complicated equations in our heads, grab a calculator and work it out. Calling the repair guy could save a bundle of money and hours of your precious time.
I have had my share of appliance issues over the years. I have taken the task of repairing them as a bit of a personal challenge to become good at figuring them out. I still think that the actual act of refrigeration is magical and know very little about it, but thankfully it is usually something other than that which is broken. Once, though, I had a refrigerator at one of my rental properties that had a mind of its own. It would refrigerate on its own terms and timing. It was a 7 year old freezer-up-top unit that worked right up until it didn’t.
My “plan A” was to fix the broken thing. Your “plan A” could involve doing a Google search for appliance repair service. I choose to do that as “plan C.” My position is that as long as you don’t make it worse, it could be something simple and worth trying. My “plan B” involves online research, I also have an advantage of having developed a relationship with a company that fixes appliances for a living and is willing to give me advice because I buy parts from them regularly.
In this case they recommended the “Fonzie” technique – like hitting a headlight and having it turn on. I was directed to smack the controls that were on the top of the refrigerator box and see what happened… and it worked! Like in the hands of a skilled Interventional Cardiologist performing an angiogram, the Fonzie smack was both diagnostic and therapeutic. I was told that the defrost timer was hung up and required replacement.
Sadly, $35.00 later I was no better off than I was prior to my first therapy. Full of angst and trepidation, I called back for some more “free” advice. Turns out that, like helicopter mechanics when faced with a head scratching situation or intermittent problem, appliance repairmen also replace the cheapest part first and then escalate until they get the darn thing fixed. $55.00 later, I had replaced the cooling controller and VOILA! it worked.
I was back in business and feeling my oats. Though alone in reality, my mind wandered to the North end zone of the Oakland Coliseum being flagged for excess celebration. There was plenty of chest bumping, high fives, and the entire Ickey Shuffle for a personally satisfying TA-DA moment.