Friday, February 24, 2006

Lessons from an electrician extrordinaire

So I don't normally consider myself very 'handy' know, the type of person that can fix just about anything. I am usually the person that will either throw something that isn't working properly out, or simply live with the defect until it begins to bother me so much that I eventually discard it.

I have to admit, that I am generally intimidated by anything electrical or mechanical.
This likely comes from a healthy fear of electricity... (I got a big shock from an incompetent hairdryer one trip to the UK).

Maybe it's some sort of genetic defect. One of my sisters once told me how she re-wired a lamp. I remember listening in awe as she explained how simple it was.

Maybe it's the frustration of trying to figure out how all those little pieces fit together to make something.
One time my previous roommate and I spent a lengthy, hot afternoon trying to assemble a bbq - it was only after several frustrating hours and a six pack of beer that we eventually got the bbq standing and operating - there were plenty of pieces left over...but we could cook our burgers and that's all that mattered.

Although to be fair to myself, I once replaced a phone jack (yes there were instructions on the box...but I still had to cut the wires) in my old apartment and did so quite successfully.

Ok, so my 'fix-it' gene is obviously a little dormant, but every now and then, it wakes up from its long years of hibernation and lets me do something that I deemed impossible.

For the last several months (holy $*&@ has it been that long?) one of the lights in my apartment has been ...well...on the fritz. It began kind of making a humming sound one day and then it eventually progressed into a rhythmic blinking each time I turned it on. Since it was the best light in my tiny apartment I was pretty annoyed. But not annoyed enough that I did anything about it.

So, one dreary winter day, desperate for some proper lighting, I attempted to take the light cover off to get a closer look. As it turns out, one of the light bulbs appeared to be the culprit and as far as I can tell (being the whiz-kid that I am) if I replaced the bulb then the problem would be fixed. Ok...easy right? Not exactly.

Now, you are likely thinking...oh my god, she can't even change a light bulb. Not true. I have changed plenty of light bulbs in my life. However, this light bulb seemed to be somehow attached (maybe hot glued. I don't know) onto light fixture. Let's just say, it wasn't your typical light bulb.
It consisted of two long fluorescent bulbs that were attached to each other and then to the light fixture.

So, after my so-called thorough inspection, and not wanting to break the bulb if I pulled to hard (or dare I say, somehow electrocute myself) I replaced the light cover and for the next several months didn't use it. I had mentioned to my director the problem, and he said something about having to get an electrician to come and fix it seemed really technical and beyond my abilities. But no electrician has ever come and I haven't exactly pushed the issue.

Then, this I was lying in bed wishing it was the weekend, I had an. epiphany.
Perhaps, it was inspiration from reading "The little engine that could" with my kindergarten class yesterday, I am not sure.
I guess I just figured I would have one more go at it.
I got up onto my bed and pulled the light cover off. After double checking the light switch was off and reassuring myself that electrocution was unlikely, I pulled the light bulb and with one snap, it was off.
It was surprisingly easy.
No need for an electrician, no need for all the fuss....just needed to pull a little harder.
Now, I will go pick up a new bulb and 'install' it (yes...I like to use the proper lingo now). dear readers....lesson for today: never think anything is impossible...don't say you can't do something. Today I changed a light bulb...anything is possible!


At 12:56 p.m. , Anonymous Kelly said...

Hey Colleen!
You're handier than I am for sure. I still remember you fixing that phone jack. If it'd been up to me, I probably would have injured myself (or I'd still be phoneless..)


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