Sunday, January 8, 2012

When the Wheels Fall Off

The freakin dishwasher is at it again! I hate to talk badly of it because I really love my dishwasher. Without it I would be hopelessly strapped to a sink of suds, channeling Madge the Palmolive lady, trying to make it seem like a spa treatment... "Your soaking in it!" If the ladies of my mother's generation had been less trusting they would have realized that Madge had them all standing knee deep in... well you know, shovelling more onto the pile. I can make my hands just as soft with a tube of lovely scented hand cream and my feet up on the coffee table.

However, somebody must have been keen enough through the domestic whitewash of the sixties to realise that the role of domestic goddess was overrated, that perhaps there was more to life than making things sparkle and squeak. Somebody promoted the modern day appliance the dishwasher. That person has my undying admiration.

This, our most used appliance has been a trooper, washing hundreds if not thousands of loads with only a tiny hiccup a few months back. (Thank goodness for handy husbands) but the poor thing is starting to get tired. Recently the wheels have been falling off. Not all the wheels, just the very important ones that support the back end of the bottom rack. This is aggravating because it doesn't happen with any consistency and you don't know you've fallen victim until a full rack of dishes crashes off of the track.

The crash is loud, nerve jarring and brings forth a person's rudimentary nature. That very moment of derailment can speak volumes about how each of us deals with life.

5 people live in our home (most use the dishwasher some even voluntarily) - 5 reactions when the wheels fall off...

One person will ignore the problem. This individual will pretend the dishwasher is suppose to crash and clang the dishes. They will load the rack and lift it back into place and shut the door. This is a bandaid solution, the wheels are still on the floor of the dishwasher, things look ok, but the problem just got passed along to the next person. Who actually will have a more difficult time because the rack won't even roll out to fall apart. This individual is however free to deal with more urgent matters. How important to the overall picture is a dishwasher anyway?

One person will quit. The rack will crash and this individual will walk away. This is not their problem, Not their solution to work out. The constant breakdown and frustration prevents them from performing their designated task. Seconds after the crash this person can be found in another room furthering their own interests waiting for the responsible party to deal with the issue.

One person will try to fix the problem. Bless this persons heart. When the wheels fall off they will stop what they are doing and immediately give 110% to putting them back on. They will reattach them sideways and finish filling the rack. When the rack won't roll back in and the door can't be closed they will throw their hands in the air and proclaim "At least I tried." Then they will take another stab at it.

One person will analyse the problem and make a plan to fix it. This person knows the problem exists. They have been observing and analysing the best solution. They have the best chance of putting the wheels back on with a permanent solution, they just need to find the time or wait until the problem reaches the top of the priority list.

One person will wonder why the wheels are still falling off and why no one has fixed the problem already. This individual knows the problem exists and curses every time the wheels fall off. This person, while perhaps fully capable of fixing the problem, believes that they are not the best person for the job. They are willing to keep putting the wheels back on temporarily and reminding their delegate that they have what it takes.

5 reactions and none of them are wrong. Wrong for this particular problem perhaps, but swap the problem and you have the right reaction

  • Sometimes we all need to remember that not every problem deserves our attention.
  • Depending on the problem quiting might just be the right solution.
  • Sometimes we need to be inspired to just keep trying.
  • On occasion a problem is best solved by consulting the person with the best knowledge and ability.
  • Sometimes you just have to keep putting the wheels back on temporarily while the person best suited for the job fixes the problem permanently.

Gratitude today that when the wheels fall of the dishwasher or something bigger there are people each of us can turn to to help us with the right reaction for the problem - Gratitude to the people I look to. Gratitude to the people who look to me.

Oh and gratitude again to the individual who persued the dishwasher idea and to the person who is going to fix mine.

Gratitude, hope and smiles should never be kept to yourself!