Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Complicating the Simple

I’m not sure why we tend to complicate things. Let me change that. 
I’m not sure why tend to complicate things. 

For example, my dishwasher stopped working. Several weeks ago. My family and I had just returned from Florida. My daughter and her family headed home to Kenosha and we all settled back into our various routines. 

I don’t use my dishwasher every day. Generally, I wash the few dishes I use after each meal. Occasionally, I entertain friends and throw the dirty dishes in the machine to simplify my life. But this time it didn’t work. Not even a light came on. I checked the breaker box, flipping the switch back and forth several times. Nothing.

I pulled everything out and hand washed the load. 

My dishwasher isn’t very old. I bought it in 2017. I didn’t buy an extended warranty. I started imagining the repairman coming, tearing the thing apart, water and grease and whatever’s inside all over my kitchen floor. 

I wondered how much he’d charge. Probably more than the cost of a new dishwasher. 

No problem. I would simply do without. A couple of weeks later I had someone over for lunch and automatically loaded the dirty dishes onto the racks of my impaired dishwasher. I was putting the last plate in when I remembered my machine was on the fritz. Bummer.

After the last fork was dry and in the drawer, I did an online search to determine what could be wrong with my machine. A “how-to-change-the-fuse” came up. I was all in. I opened the door of my dishwasher and inspected it. Yep, I located the screws. I could do this. 

I watched the how-to video. I knew how to turn off the breaker. Phooey, I’d play it safe and turn off the one above and the one below just to make sure. When it was time. I took inventory. I had all the tools required, including a tester for the fuse. 

I was feeling pretty confident...until the man in the video started taping certain wires and cutting others. Cutting electric wires in my dishwasher? Uh, I don’t think so.

Tom would have tackled something like that, but I couldn't even imagine attempting it. Besides, I had more important things to do. I went back to hand washing the dishes.

Then Sunday, I ran into my friend Randy at church. He is the builder I contracted to remodel the house when I bought it. We talked a bit about our families. When he asked how everything was going, I remembered the dishwasher. 

“I guess I’ll have to call Lowes. I mean that’s where I bought it,” I told him.

He asked me about the breaker. I told him I’d already checked that and then demonstrated my vast knowledge of what could be wrong by talking about the fuse. He listened. He nodded. Then he asked another question.

“How about the switch in the kitchen?”

“What switch?” I asked. I searched my memory for a switch. “The only switch plate on that wall is on the other side of the sink. There are three switches. The first one turns on the lights above the sink. The second one is for the disposal. The third one…I guess the third one is for another light.” I tried to sound confident.

“Well, try that,” he said. “Call me if you still have a problem. It could be a loose wire underneath. I’ll come over and check it out.”

It’s good to have friends who care. Smart friends. Randy is both caring and smart. But it couldn’t possibly be as simple as a switch. I was certain I’d be calling him. 

Sure enough, later that evening I called. “Thank you,” I told him. “Thank you for fixing my dishwasher. I guess with all the kids here, someone probably turned the switch off when they were doing something else.”
Of course…it could have been me. I tend to complicate things.

Please tell me I’m not alone!

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