6 responses to “Whose turn is it to fix stuff?”

  1. David Bley

    Our division of labor seems to have naturally worked out. My wife is a sweetheart and she overlooks my many faults. She is a Medical Technologist and I am a former Designer of Medical Electronic equipment. I have more time than she so I do my laundry, grocery shop, cook dinner and whatever covered dish we need for social events. Since I am handy, I do the home remodeling/maintenance, car upkeep (this does not include washing), and lawn mowing. She does her laundry, arranges our social calendar, keeps up with my appointments (I have no time sense), and vacuums (I have no patience with our vacuum. There is a small plastic piece that locks it in the upright position, that is broken. This piece costs $25 to purchase and ship. I can buy a new vacuum for $50. I just want to throw it every time I use it ). She is also the social person in our relationship. I am shy and an introvert (Meyres-Briggs INTJ), so I am content with a lot of alone time. I also take out the trash and try to keep up with the dishes.

  2. Taylor Michaels

    I also have a Mechanical Engineer as a spouse. As a Chemical Engineer, I value the diversity, but I understand your situation.

    We tend to do things together. The only problem is deciding who is the senior carpenter and who is the helper? Who is the electrician and who is the helper? Those decisions are never made explicitly. Maybe that is the problem.

    The plumber situation is a bit simpler. But after spending weeks fixing bad solder joints in the crawlspace, I still don’t get a lot of respect in that field. No competition, just no respect.

    1. kmmankad

      Though this isnt the same,but with my dad and me(Hes an EE since ~30years and I’m one in college) who both love to work with hand tools and are classic engineers(mindset wise),I face exactly the same issue with him each time. I end up being the helper most times.Most exasperating.

  3. Weekend Journal — You’re Doing It Wrong | Engineer Blogs

    […] Some people would refer to this not as “learning” but instead “hacking on something”. That might be a fair account of how it ends up being, but I’ve found this is how I learn regardless of whether it’s a classroom exercise, working at my bench (I love app notes!) or even fixing stuff around the house. […]

  4. Fluxor

    I fix everything around the house. And when I’m fed up, I pay someone else to do it. Now that I’m in China and labour is cheap, I even pay someone to change my light bulbs. It’s ~$0.50 in labour and they bring their own stepladder. :)

  5. ferd

    My wife’s not an engineer, but as a computer programmer she feels very logical and thus assumes the role of project manager / boss. It’s up to me to most of the physical work, except she’ll jump in if there is something artistic involved. Generally I’ll tolerate it, but I do get annoyed when she tries to manage me doing a project that she doesn’t understand. Too much getting steps out of order, or not understanding what’s taking so long or why something doesn’t cooperate. But we muddle through.

    I have learned that some things need to be farmed out to a professional. I might be able to figure something out, but I may not come up with the best (or even adequate) solution. Or I may not be able to achieve the final fit or finish that I desire. It can be hard for an engineer to admit, but we just can’t do it all.

    But it’s great to try, and learn from mistakes. Eventually you’ll learn where your limits are, and when to call in help. You also find handymen who don’t mind when you watch and pester them with questions. I can end a project just as satisfied if I watch somebody else do it, learn how and why they did what they did, and maybe feel more confident to do it myself next time – or know to call a professional before I waste too much time and resources.