Thanks to my Dad I now have a list of unenviable (or enviable, depending on your point of view!) skills. I can
- Temporarily fix an extractor using a match stick.
- Re-pressurise a household boiler.
- Wire a plug.
- Hang a picture properly.
- Change a fuse.
- Disengage the electrics to different parts of the house (easier these days, thank goodness).
- Change any kind of light bulb.
- Change the oil in a heating system (haven't done that one for a few years, thankfully. It was messy!).
- Fix pretty much any computer/printer/fax machine/photocopier/gadget
- Calibrate new gadgets.
- Mend the hole punch.
- Unjam the stapler.
- Stop the paper guillotine from squeaking.
- At a push, I can probably fix your car engine as well.
It was something which was brought to my attention recently at the day job. We rely a lot on modern technology and, yet, very few people seem to have the know how on how to fix the most minor of faults. Take our photocopier for example. When something goes wrong with it, it flashes up a message saying exactly what's wrong and how to fix it. Yet very few people follow what are seemingly simple instructions, often leaving it and hoping that someone else fixes it. It's the same with our outdated fax machine. It often doesn't dial out. The good old switching it on and off tends to fix it. I couldn't believe it when, several months ago, someone asked me to show them how to use a photocopier. While we have a maintenance man at the day job, when he's away on holiday fixing minor problems tends to fall to one person.
And you know what? I don't mind! I love it! It's a challenge, a break from my normal job, and a chance to put my brain to good use. I enjoy going digging through the tool box looking for whatever I might need. The most recent call was to hang a fallen curtain pole and, if I'd been able to find the wall plugs, I'd have done it. That was my first failure but we live and learn.
Those little skills we all have are amazing and you never know when you're going to need them. It's incredible how often they can be used!