This weekend I had a very nearly transformative life experience involving the repair of a wash machine. Last weekend our wash machine quit operating when it would reach the rinse, spin and drain cycles. The agitator still worked but the machine would quit entirely afterwards.
My first reaction was stress and anxiety. I thought about calling a repairman but then estimated repair costs would run me close to $200 (this was my own guess, I have no idea if this is really how much it would cost). Considering that the washer is seven years old, I figured the repair costs wouldn’t even be worth the investment. So I started looking at new wash machines and then the stress level really went up… on average I was looking at $500 and up! Delivery not included!
In spite of the price I was still on board. But then I had a hard time finding a recycling program for it. I just couldn’t justify in my mind taking this much valuable scrap metal to the dump. That’s when I started doing research on how to repair it. Eventually I felt like I had a good diagnosis and ordered the suspected faulty part for $8 online. The repair was a little involved considering I’d never taken apart a washer before, basically removing the electrical panel from the top and the body housing in order to gain access. But I did it. And now that I have, I realize that there’s very little on that machine that I couldn’t repair (timing of the wash cycles may be another story).
The weird thing about this story is that I’ve been riding high on this achievement for days now. It wasn’t until a conversation with a coworker earlier today that I started to realize why. At my job, nearly everything has been centralized. I have to file a ticket to get the simplest things fixed by people who are hundreds of miles away. It’s extremely disempowering, especially when I feel that not even a small part of my skill is being utilized any longer. When I was presented with this wash machine issue, I changed my perspective from anxiety to empowerment. I had complete control over the situation. Environment is everything.