This means the kitchen sink, the boiler, the fuse box, the electric outlets, the washing machine, the ripped shirt, the car, the window. Anything that we touch may break or cease to function at a moment's notice, whether or not I have struck it with a sledge hammer or tried to fill it with tomato juice. At that point, there is always someone out there whose special purpose in life is to repair the damage. We call the guy.
I say "we" call him, but more and more I am getting the impression that it is only me. Every time something goes wrong and I want to call the guy, I seem to get looks of sympathy and condescension. People (men in particular) think it is a personal failure if we cannot fix something ourselves but have to appeal to a mercenary "majstor" to come in, assess the situation, shake his head sadly, and fix it in three minutes.
Today the Sink Guy came. I have had a leaky faucet for at least a year and finally I decided to call the plumber to come DO something about it. If I put my mind to it, bought forty different wrenches and spanners, I could spend about three days to remedy the leaky sink. I would wipe my brow in satisfaction of Good Job Well Done. And it would start its insidious dripping again in 48 hours. Instead, I called the Guy who fixed it immediately.
What's wrong with this?
It's like the man who cannot start his car. He will open the hood, stare vacantly inside the motor. He will tap a few metal things with a wrench, stand back with one hand on his hip, and when no one is looking, he will close it all down and call the mechanic. I estimate that about 80% of men know NOTHING about fixing cars. I also estimate that about 90% of that 80% will pretend to try to do it themselves first. I have no such grand delusions about my Inner Mechanic - he does not exist. So, being part of the 10% of the 90% and at the bottom of the 80% of the 100%, I call the Guy.
My psycho-social evaluation of this state of affairs plays out on two distinct levels: A) all guys think they should know how to fix everything; and, B) the importance of finger-pointing.
Point A. A large portion of male humans are born thinking that they can repair a short-circuit, fix a transmission, or replace a calcified thermostat. Moreover, an even larger portion is born thinking they could fix it BETTER than their next-door neighbor. It seems to be part of our genetic code, right there next to the hunting of mammoths and slaying of sabre-tooth tigers.
I am man. I hunt. I fix.
Point B. This part I think is far more determinant. It is very important to be able to effectively blame someone for a Bad Job Done Poorly. If you do it yourself and it does not work, you can always say: "What do I know? I studied philosophy and ontology! What's a gasket anyway?" On the other hand if you hire someone, you buy yourself an instant scapegoat. You can then say, with chest righteously puffed up: "That idiot! He had no idea! I will sue him!"
Which is more satisfying?
But in the end, you are still responsible as you did pay him for the work. You did choose him and you did engage him. The best solution is Secret Option C. You get your cousin to do it. Or you get a recommendation of a Guy to do it. Mostly these people will not charge you for the work (or not much) but then they become FULLY RESPONSIBLE for the bad job they did. You are not only able to point your finger at the Guy, but also at your friend/colleague/cousin/whoever who recommended the Guy.