I just had a repair man work on my kitchen stove and oven. The stove is almost twenty years old–hard to believe. We bought it after our home suffered a fire. The fire was the most frightening moment in my life. The repair man is Marty Smith. His company is Aspen Engineering. He works on commercial food equipment and the repair and maintenance of electrical, mechanical, gas and steam appliances. I mention all this because of a comment he made.
Marty said that current training and current practices do not teach repairing things. They teach replacing things. Thus, there is no craft or art any more; just cut and paste replacements. Of course, replacements cost more, so the consumer suffers.
“I like to fix things,” Marty said to me. “It’s a skill, and I am proud of it.”
Pride. You don’t see much pride in craftsmanship anymore. Too bad. I like repairing things, whether it is an old toy, a gas stove, a marriage or a relationship with my children. I prefer to repair rather than replace.