Vorsprung durch Störung!



Does this man spend too long in your toilet?
I am a fixer, I’ll hook it, stick it, grease it and screw it. I can’t help myself. And if I’m in your bathroom too long it’s probably because I’m fixing your flush. Those who have worked with me will be all too familiar with my mantra of there must be a better way or surely, there is a machine for this!
 

The other day, while in the shower my corrective compulsion fixed itself on the chattering extractor fan. Its clangorous and apparently ineffectual service would be tolerated no longer. I fetched my tools and set about it with a Phillips screwdriver. Once completely removed, I tested its performance. It spun briskly and mutely and I realised that it was not the unit which was at fault but the lack of pride and craftsmanship in its installation. I routed all the wires into their proper channels and clipped the connection block securely into place. I then proceeded to screw the unit back into the wall taking great pains to ensure that the insertion was achieved without let or hindrance. The fan was now flush to the wall with no protruding wires to pose any threat and ready to perform its task as designed. I flicked the switch and the fan spun, clunked and ground to an abrupt halt. I removed the fascia and looked for fault; none. I flicked the switch and the unit tapped to life but stopped shortly after. I then loosened the screws and gave it a turn to bed it into position; nothing. I noticed that there was a correlation between the movement of the wires and its effective operation so I disconnected the wires from the connecting block, trimmed them to length and reconnected them. Still the fan refused to spin. Now with the switch left on so I could register every effectual adjustment, I stood in a bath    with bare feet. A couple of jolts later I had concluded that for some unfathomable reason the fan would not spin if the connector block was seated in its designated position so I allowed it to hang.
 
Hang it all!

I now set about reassembling the unit but each time I tried to screw it back into place it cut out with a clunk. I tried the old mechanics trick of screw it all the way in then screw out until the desired effect is achieved. Finally, with the fan held by just a few turns of the screws it spun, no more quietly than before but it spun. I replaced the fascia, hung my head low and went back to my life. 


A maintenance engineer comments

The taunting irony of this episode was far from lost on me as that very day I had spent my third consecutive fruitless morning at the tax office. 
The metaphor that hung precariously from my bathroom wall had taught me a valuable lesson. Tomorrow, with a renewed sense of impotence and abject futility I shall once again continue my quest for a rubber stamp.

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