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Is anyone not Handy?

EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
My mom is older and everyone expects me to help her out by fixing all the stuff that is breaking around the house or the small things on her car. I don't mind doing this stuff but really, I am a fuck up when it comes to fixing anything besides computers. Anytime I try to fix anything I make it worse or she doesn't like the job I did. One of the lights was going out so I replaced the ballast and that didn't fix it. Turns out it was a ground wire, so I fix that but now the fucking ground wire keeps coming loose causing the light not to work correctly. So I replaced a ballast and lights that didn't need to be replaced then on top of that I break the fucking cover putting back on incorrectly. Three days later the light is acting up again.

Then today I really fucked up my moms car battery went out and I have replaced many with no problems. Well I decide to get a good battery like the one in my car. An Interstate batter which is about 130.00 with 5 year warranty. Well I pick up the battery and the guy says it will fit, just make sure the wire reach. I get home put the battery in and before taking the seals off make sure the wires reach and they do... Well guess what her car is the only fucking car that goes postive on the left side and neg to the right of course I don't find this out until I had taken the seals off. All the other batteries I have ever put in go neg on the left pos on the right. So of course after picking up a 130.00 dollar battery and it does not fit it turns into a fight. I say give me a chance to fix it. My solution was to pick up longer wires but she though that was ghetto.. Everyone is like why did you buy 130.00 dollar battery in the first place.. Well I have had 130.00 dollar battery in my car for 5 years vs the 40 dollar battery that fucks up every 1-2 years.

I just feel like I shouldn't even touch anything anymore but I feel bad because if you have to pay people to do stuff like this then they rip you off. Not only that I always here why don't you do this stuff for your mom... I AM NOT FUCKING HANDY I BREAK ANYTHING I TOUCH.

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EliteLamer on

Posts

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You have run into a problem which I find is a constant; people bitching at you while you try to fix shit that they are too lazy/inept to do. My solution is to simply not listen to them when they complain and fix what you can and call in for what you can't, (I don't know how much I would have done so far as the rewiring and grounding efforts you went through as usually that doesn't end well for me either).

    But, honestly, this kind of stuff has to extend into the computer work you do. Once you handle an object in an effort to fix it then anything that goes wrong with it in the distant future is going to be blamed on you and that you don't know what you're doing etc. So, how have you dealt with this kind of stuff in the computer department? It will probably help in the fix-it department as well.

    I'm pretty sure this is why our grandfathers had workshops and the such; being alone helps and taking however long you need to get things right helps as well.

    Uncle Long on
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    1. Longer cables is a perfectly acceptable solution to the problem.

    2. That battery will last years. Hell, I've had cars go 7-10 years on one with a good battery.

    3. In terms of handiness. Electrics are tricky. Honestly I don't think theres any shame in going to a repair place or calling an electrician.

    MuddBudd on
    There's no plan, there's no race to be run
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Uncle Long wrote: »
    You have run into a problem which I find is a constant; people bitching at you while you try to fix shit that they are too lazy/inept to do. My solution is to simply not listen to them when they complain and fix what you can and call in for what you can't, (I don't know how much I would have done so far as the rewiring and grounding efforts you went through as usually that doesn't end well for me either).

    But, honestly, this kind of stuff has to extend into the computer work you do. Once you handle an object in an effort to fix it then anything that goes wrong with it in the distant future is going to be blamed on you and that you don't know what you're doing etc. So, how have you dealt with this kind of stuff in the computer department? It will probably help in the fix-it department as well.

    I'm pretty sure this is why our grandfathers had workshops and the such; being alone helps and taking however long you need to get things right helps as well.


    Well with the computer stuff its my stuff so I take as long as I want and I don't worry about the cost of parts so much.

    As for the workshops people my age don't have them anymore everything has become a service industry. I always find my self not having the right tools for the job alot. lol the fucking ground is loose on the light again.

    EliteLamer on
    SEGA
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    1. Longer cables is a perfectly acceptable solution to the problem.

    2. That battery will last years. Hell, I've had cars go 7-10 years on one with a good battery.


    3. In terms of handiness. Electrics are tricky. Honestly I don't think theres any shame in going to a repair place or calling an electrician.


    Yeah I know I never have to worry about my battery ever in my car because it is a very good one, an Optima not only that I think it is dry cell so it will never leak. Anyways we took back the battery because it didn't fit and it turned out the battery was not causing the problem at all :/ Sometimes the car starts and sometimes it does not even with a new battery. I assume its the started but yeah I am not touching it.

    EliteLamer on
    SEGA
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  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I tired looking, but somwhere there is a comic where Gabe talks about nto wanting to be responsible for fixing his families PCs, so he acts semi-retarded. The punchline is "If I have pants on, they think it is a good day."

    On advice, if you decide you don't want to do it, become incompotent at it. If nothing you fix works, she will stop asking you to fix things.

    If that is not your desired outcome, start picking up how-to books and learning to be a jack-of-all-trades. Take your time, don't start a project unless you have unlimited time to finish it. The handyman's motto should be, "measure twice, cut once."

    meeker on
  • SliverSliver Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    meeker wrote: »
    On advice, if you decide you don't want to do it, become incompotent at it. If nothing you fix works, she will stop asking you to fix things.

    Oh God how I wish that were true. :(

    edit:

    I felt this quote would be relevant.
    Bill Cosby wrote:
    Fathers are the geniuses of the house because only a person as intelligent as we could fake such stupidity. Think about your father: He doesn't know where anything is. You ask him to do something, he messes it up, and your mother sends you: "Go down and see what your father's doing before he blows up the house." He's a genius at work because he doesn't want to do it, and knows someone will be coming soon to stop him.

    Sliver on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you are a college student, head down to the theatre, find the scene shop, and talk to the tech director about getting into a stagecraft class. Learning about tools and using them for credit is a great way to learn alot of basics.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Welcome to my life when I lived with my parents. Some families are just like this.

    You do what they ask and it's either not good enough, not quick enough, not cheap enough, or they just don't like the way you got it done.

    If it breaks, even after months/years, it's your fault.

    If you don't do something, you're lazy.

    I'm afraid there is no real way out of it unless you move out and are sufficiently far away enough/busy enough that you are no longer expected to do such things.

    I live over 200 miles away from my mother and I'm still called up to fix computer issues, tv issues, phone issues, general electronic issues, and given guilt trips about my not being around to mow the lawn, move furniture, and other various mundane tasks... and I've been gone for years.

    EclecticGroove on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I've got 0.000 handyman skills too, but now that we own a place, got to fix stuff.

    Any sort of carpentry/structural stuff completely baffles me, but I'm starting to get the hang of electrical and plumbing.

    Turns out they're actually not kidding about shutting off the power when replacing a wall switch. Got a permanent mark on my hand after touching the live line.

    So guess I'm saying just keep working at it, just like compuers, all it takes is practice and knowing how the pieces work together.

    Home Depot has some pretty good books on Electrical and General Home Repair. Plus, you know, them tubes.

    MichaelLC on
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm in your same position, basically.

    If someone complains I say "Sorry. I guess you'll have to pay someone next time". Different members of the family either started to shut the fuck up about it, or got someone else to do it.

    Wow, you screwed up some light? That's pretty bad. It's not like people to go to college for degree in that sort of thing, or have a guild, or get paid large amounts of money to do it.

    Wow, you screwed up some automotives? That's pretty bad. It's not like people to go to college for degree in that sort of thing, or have a guild, or get paid large amounts of money to do it.

    But, I feel your pain. I've been dealing with this shit for years.

    Carnarvon on
  • unilateralunilateral Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you are a college student, head down to the theatre, find the scene shop, and talk to the tech director about getting into a stagecraft class. Learning about tools and using them for credit is a great way to learn alot of basics.

    I learned to use so many tools in set construction in high school. Also, whoever said that when you have your own place, you will learn to fix stuff is absolutely correct. But since you can't really just move out, you could either ask knowledgeable friends or look things up online. Good luck!

    unilateral on
  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    While I can't offer much help, I can certainly commiserate with you. A few years ago, my sister was dying to get her computer upgraded. She was rocking a Compaq running Windows 98 and an original Celeron processor. I'm technically inclined and, since I'm always bailing my dad out with his computer problems, I offered to upgrade my sister's computer as a birthday gift. I went out and bought her a new case, a new motherboard/CPU, new ram, etc... All in all, I only spent about $200, but I made her computer way nicer and perfect for her uses. So, I gutted her Compaq which is no small task. (Seriously, getting all of the parts out of this case took several hours and a roll of gauze for my horribly mangled hands.) I took the parts I needed and used the new parts to build her a nice system with a shiny new copy of XP. Five months later my dad bought her a Dell (or something equally ridiculous) because he didn't believe that the computer I made for her was built to last.

    The point is this: tell your mother to either put up or shut up. Also, I wouldn't have even mentioned the longer wires thing. If you know that something will fix the problem, you can probably just do it without them noticing and avoid a fight entirely.

    LoveIsUnity on
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  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I, too, bear the curse of not being handy.

    I tend to just tell people up front that I'm not good with the shit and don't really know what I'm doing. If they still want me to help or to do it then that's fine, but I'm done as soon as they harass me if/when something goes wrong. Fortunately for me, everyone I know realizes I am not handy and accepts it and leaves me alone. The downside to that is I actually want to be handy, so I get harassed when I decide I want to fix something myself.

    One thing that helps a lot is having the right tools, enough time, and a comfortable place to do the work. Stick me in 95F heat in a cramped place with 3 hrs of sunlight left and it needs to be fixed tomorrow and just a generic set of tools and you can bet it'll go wrong. Give me the right tools for the job and we're usually on the right track and I'll get it eventually. Give me somewhere comfortable and indoors with lighting so that I can take as long as needed and I'll probably get it fixed.

    Jimmy King on
  • Spacehog85Spacehog85 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    As a HVACR mechanic, i just want to take this time to remind everyone that we as service people, enjoy fixing all of your Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration needs. we may be on the pricey side sometimes, but hey, do you really feel like freezing/sweating your balls off?

    Spacehog85 on
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