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Sometimes it’s best to rely on professionals

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, short, rambly

As a homeowner, I know that there are many tasks around the house that I can do myself rather than hiring a professional. I’ve tiled a bathroom, built way too many bookcases, repaired toilets and more. I also know that there are many tasks that I should leave to professionals. For example, the last time I tried to install a garbage disposal, I not only spent way too many hours of my time and made a huge mess, I also managed to break the connection of the disposal. Now I make sure to hire a plumber for those kinds of activities.

In most cases, I make the right decision. But not always. Let’s take the other night as an example. Someone got a blanket caught in the ceiling fan [1] and pulled it partially out of the ceiling. I’d helped install that fan, so I thought I could fix it. It was also in the evening, too late to call out an electrician, and I didn’t want to leave it in that shape for a night. I should have waited.

An hour later, I was close to getting it into place. I’d found a new screw to attach it. I’d screwed it into place. I was getting ready to reattach the remaining pieces. Things felt good. Then I realized that I had not put the receiver for the remote in the right place, which entailed detaching it from the ceiling again. At that point, things started to go wrong.

It took thirty minutes to find the right way to get the receiver and wires in place. It kept getting harder and harder. I eventually realized that we were letting the fan pull things too much. But even after dealing with that, I was tired enough [2] that I kept dropping screws and more.

Then I lost my balance and fell. I was lucky. Michelle helped balance my fall and I landed on my feet. But my knees and ankles are still feeling it a few days later. And I knocked my helper over, too. As you might guess, falling also ruined all of the work.

At that point, the fan was in an even more precarious state than when we started. But I was in no shape to go back on the ladder. We made sure the power was off to the fan and left it for the night.

The next day, we called an electrician. As he was trying to put things back together, he noted that the box we had attached the fan to wasn’t designed for holding a ceiling fan [3].

Let that be a lesson to me: There are reasons to hire professionals.

[1] You know how flap a blanket open in the air when you’re making a bed? That’s not such a good idea if you have a low ceiling and a fan going.

[2] Or incompetent enough.

[3] He attached it to the beam above the box.

Version 1.0 of 2018-08-05.