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Fixing a broken drawer

March 27, 2011

Today is a bright sunny, Sunday and normally, I’ll just watch CBS Sunday Morning or go bask in the sunlight. But today there are a few nagging things I need to fix. I need to clean up the oven that has spills from cooking macaroni and cheese (with ground chicken and mushroom) and my computer desk’s drawer is breaking:

first drawer needs fixing

Drawer took out for fixing

I thought this will probably take just minutes and some pennies, but instead it took hours and and a full $5.13.

nails/screws and brackets

These screws and brackets cost me $5.13

See that black plastic corner strips?  Those are used to hold the sides of the board of the drawers together and they are cracking.  After fixing by screwing the metal brackets, I felt like my hands are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.

special screwdriver

Special Screwdriver

Why am I doing this? Isn’t it better to just fork out that few hundred dollars and buy a new one?

While “buying a new one” is probably a quick fix for most Americans, fixing it yourself gives that sense of satisfaction that is hard to describe. Even if the fixing was done poorly. ( It’s usually done poorly, after all, we are not the professionals with the proper tools and skills.)

power drill

This drill was not used. I don't have the drill bits small enough

While on the topic of satisfaction, a friend of mine just got a surprise present from his college going son. See, the son is working for the school and even at $7.25 an hour, he is only allowed a maximum of 20 hours a week. I knew that because I work my students to grade all my papers and homeworks and I sign their timecard. So even if he worked a full 80 hours per 4weeks, the amount of money he takes home after tax/social security is barely $450. And yet he took out all those money, topped it up with some of his savings, and buy his father an iPad ( 64 GB of memory w/o 3G) as a surprise because the father likes to read from the internet before he sleeps.

Would I do this to my first income? Normally kids at college age only thought about themselves. Maybe they’ll buy their mom or dad something small but not with all their income. My hats off to this friend of mine, he taught his children extremely well.

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