Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This struck me as quite strange

This morning at work someone called me "MacGyver." It was due to something so simple and routine that I am still kind of stunned that someone else hadn't fixed it before I did.

I was on a two-man route so we had a company vehicle. It was a Jeep that didn't have built-in strobes, so we got a mag-mount amber flashing light to put on top. As I was going out to the Jeep, my co-worker came toward me with the light, saying, "It doesn't work." I glanced at it and immediately saw that the positive lead had come undone. So I said, "Just twist those wires back together, it'll work." "What," he said, "you mean twist all of these together?" Meaning the positive and negative leads. "No, no," I replied, "that'll cause a dead short. Just twist these two together and then put some electrical tape on those exposed wires so they don't short together and blow a fuse."

He did it, and a minute later came back inside the office, saying with some amazement, "It works!"

I am in no way boasting about my own technical know-how. I am just stunned that I was the only person there who knew how to repair a simple loose wire. I'm sure there are plenty of simple things that I don't know how to do*, but I was, and still am surprised at this one. Maybe it helps that I've been playing with 12-volt devices longer than I can remember, I don't know. What have these guys been doing with their lives that they can't tell a positive lead from a negative lead, or be able to recognize a broken circuit?

It reminds me of something from a long time ago when one of my sister's first boyfriend's didn't know how to change the oil in the his car, and he was going to pay someone to change it for him. "No you won't," she told him. "I'll change it for you." And she did. That relationship didn't last very long, as I recall.

*For example, I don't know much of anything about repairing engines. But I can change the oil.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up having to figure stuff out or not have any. I probably broke more than I fixed but in the process one can't help but learn how stuff works.

    I too am surprised and dismayed how clueless young folks (Under 30) are today about simple devices and simple repairs so much so that they won't even try.