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Home Repairs (get me down)

Vrecknidj

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I don't know if this is a Dave thing or an INTP thing.

I'm aiming at the older folks (I'm pushing 50) on this forum, and, in particular, those who find coping with "things going wrong," specifically, mechanical things (or electronic things) to be very emotionally off-putting.

Here's the tie in to the topic title. Today I had a minor problem. The washing machine hose was leaking at the shut-off. Like usual, I don't have all the right tools for things, and don't have a good sense of what needs done when there's something wrong. I have friends, and one of them is a contractor, and I pester him regularly. (Last summer it was the mower, this fall it was a broken main drain pipe in my basement, etc.)

Anyway, I got the things I needed to fix it, and I've since taken care of it. But, in between finding the problem and getting it fixed, I was in a foul mood. And, I know myself, and I know that the foul mood is attached to these sorts of problems.

When the car won't start, or there's a leak in the roof, or (once upon a time, back in the days of DOS or early Windows OSes) the computer stopped working, or whatever, that is, when the things that I prefer not to think about but rely heavily upon, stop working properly, I get frazzled.

I suppose people of all types and stripes are put off by problems. But, given where the F function is for us, I would suppose that even if we're of mature years and generally have learned how to operate in the Feeling world, we're still prone to being knocked off balance in the feeling realm.

Thoughts?
 

Jennywocky

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When I have issues like that, I actually get kind of angry. I view them as a huge inconvenience of my time, even if I know how to resolve them (either myself or who to contact to resolve them.) They just seem stupid to me, and I feel like I have better things to do "but now I have to deal with <THIS> instead." It's almost like I view it as the universe shitting on me and wasting my time, and I can't do anything constructive while that problem exists, so ... yeah. Mad.

Broken computers really piss me off. I get frustrated and angry as I try to troubleshoot what happened, I'm in a foul mood, and I get obsessed with getting it fixed and will spend hours at one time looking at it just to get it done. I've even hopped in a car and driven to three different stores near closing looking for elusive parts because I'm mad and want it fixed. Then I usually get mad at the stores because most of them today suck (it's nothing like the small computer shops I used to be able to find 15-20 years ago where they carried buckets of parts) -- at least the chains suck, and the small stores are harder to find.

I'm aware of my emotional state and part of me finds it amusing because I don't understand why I take it personally.
 

Vrecknidj

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My wife (currently an INFP, once upon a time an XNFP; also, she's an aspie, so that's fun) tends to take everything personally. It's really, really tiring sometimes.

Alas, when these sorts of things happen (and, I must add, that it feels like they happen to me), I tend to take them personally and get angry as well.
 

TMills27

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Yes, because it never ends.

There is no amount of resistance that can end the infinite breakdowns, and resources are limited.
 

Architect

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Completely understand and agree. I'm pushing 50 too, or "late 40's" as I prefer. It's the intrusion of the physical world. Working on them takes precious time (life) away from what I want to do. And I already have a million time drains. This is why we waited and spent more than I wanted to be the second owner on a new house. The first owner fixed much of the stuff that breaks right away, and has to put in all the landscaping.

Don't know what to tell you other than it's not a problem that money won't fix. Even then though it will suck time, as you still have to manage the problem. So for me the issue isn't one of type so much as one of taking time. Well there is a type element, I get bored and frustrated with dealing with fiddly boring stuff. But mainly it's time.

BTW your wife wasn't "currently an INFP, once upon a time an XNFP", that's mixing wrong ideas about Type. She's whatever type she is, but her psyche/personality changed in the meantime.
 

Yellow

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I get that way too. The feeling is usually along the lines of "I have X things to do today and now this." I think the underlying issue, at least in my case, is that I see the things I have to do as the obstacles to doing what I want to do. So adding something to the list (even if it's inconsequential) is like telling me I have to work overtime when I'm about to walk out the door. If I had some warning, I could work it in without getting fussy.

You would thing that having an INTJ would help, but he makes it worse. He wants to tackle each thing head on and not rest until everything is set to rights. But I'm the handyman and the "idea machine" of the two of us, so that just means he's nagging me to deal with everything immediately.
 

Vrecknidj

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Completely understand and agree. I'm pushing 50 too, or "late 40's" as I prefer. It's the intrusion of the physical world. Working on them takes precious time (life) away from what I want to do. And I already have a million time drains. This is why we waited and spent more than I wanted to be the second owner on a new house. The first owner fixed much of the stuff that breaks right away, and has to put in all the landscaping.
Yeah. My house was built over 100 years ago. The former owners tended to fix things...very creatively.
Don't know what to tell you other than it's not a problem that money won't fix. Even then though it will suck time, as you still have to manage the problem. So for me the issue isn't one of type so much as one of taking time. Well there is a type element, I get bored and frustrated with dealing with fiddly boring stuff. But mainly it's time.
Agreed.
BTW your wife wasn't "currently an INFP, once upon a time an XNFP", that's mixing wrong ideas about Type. She's whatever type she is, but her psyche/personality changed in the meantime.
Yeah, I know. You put it far better than I did. Thanks.
 

manishboy

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I have similar a experience, though I'm very young still (barely broken in). It's taken me a long time to get over the fact that things break and need regular servicing. Took a few blown tires and the like before I begrudgingly began to give attention to the maintenance of mechanical devices. I can be somewhat handy when forced to. But impatience usually gets the better of me and I turn instead to diagnosing the root causes of whatever particular problem I'm facing. Maintenance just feels wasteful. I know it's not, but there's something distasteful about it.
 

Architect

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Yeah. My house was built over 100 years ago. The former owners tended to fix things...very creatively.

Yeah, that was my first house. By the time they get to that age its a maze of owner inspired remuddles and 'fixes'. I talked to a friend who found out his dryer vent was installed so it vented into the wall. Maybe the idea was the lint would add to the insulation.

Anyhow it sucks, sucks, sucks. My sympathies.
 

Jennywocky

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... I talked to a friend who found out his dryer vent was installed so it vented into the wall. Maybe the idea was the lint would add to the insulation.

Still laughing at that.
"It sounds crazy, but it just! Might! Work!"
 

EditorOne

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It's the imposition, not the actual work. I enjoy MacGyvering stuff, and I got a lot of experience with construction, plumbing, electric, etc. when I was a young fellow, but I want to do stuff when I want to it; when a pipe leaks or a window breaks or a door lock stops working and can't be ignored, I resent it as much as I used to resent bosses. And in an old house, you never know where it's going to stop. Old cars, too. My worst experiences: A leaky kitchen faucet that saw me progressively going back through bad pipe and valves until I'd replaced everything, including the pump, back to the wellhead; switching out a transmission in a 68 Ford pickup, in below-freezing weather with eight inches of snow (yes, rocking it out of a snow drift was why the transmission broke); moving into a house and immediately having to dig out a hundred feet of blocked sewage pipe to find the cracked pipe the previous owner had "fixed" by covering it with a roofing shingle (it sent a geyser of sewage a dozen feet in the air when I hit the bad spot). I look at those things now and wonder how on earth I muddled through. "No choice" seems to be the reason.
 

Architect

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Still laughing at that.
"It sounds crazy, but it just! Might! Work!"

Silicon Valley house too. Don't know what it cost but it was in the million(s). Total piece of crap, dirt is expensive there.

It's the imposition, not the actual work.

I betcha that is only true when the labor is more figuring out a solution rather than grunt work. For example, putting up sheetrock is probably not high on your list.
 

EditorOne

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"I betcha that is only true when the labor is more figuring out a solution rather than grunt work. For example, putting up sheetrock is probably not high on your list."

Correct.

Sheet rock is a good example. It's also not high on my "good at it" list. I lack patience to invest time in details that result in, at best, a boring flat expanse of wall. :) I very much approved of those Venetian plaster wall finishes back in the 1990s, they cover a multitude of defects with the illusion of artistry.
 

manishboy

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After some thinking I've found an analogy that might help. In software development there's an idea that might be relevant here: leaky abstraction. It's where you define something at one level of abstraction, but that somethings details poke little holes in the abstraction and force you deal with the details. Example: you have "files" on your computer and you are happy to treat them as the contiguous named data structure they seem to be, but every so often, you have to deal with the fact that there are no actual files; maybe the file is badly fragmented and you have to consolidate, or you thought you deleted the file but only the data is still on disk.

Seems something similar is happening in this case. It's not that I'm not handy enough to fix a mechanical or electrical problems. It's that my conceptual model has broken down and I become frightened, then irritated. I think all types deal with this experience of irritation at a failed conceptual map, but those of us who tend to invest more time and faith in building conceptual systems are harder hit when the maps fail. The basic feeling is "that's not supposed to happen!"
 

Vrecknidj

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I have similar a experience, though I'm very young still (barely broken in). It's taken me a long time to get over the fact that things break and need regular servicing. Took a few blown tires and the like before I begrudgingly began to give attention to the maintenance of mechanical devices. I can be somewhat handy when forced to. But impatience usually gets the better of me and I turn instead to diagnosing the root causes of whatever particular problem I'm facing. Maintenance just feels wasteful. I know it's not, but there's something distasteful about it.
One of the reasons I end up in the fixes I end up in is that I ignore routine maintenance. I've gotten better, but, I've also spent so long ignoring things that there's a terrific backlog of things to go wrong...
 

Vrecknidj

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It's the imposition, not the actual work.
Yes.
I enjoy MacGyvering stuff,
I do too.
... My worst experiences: A leaky kitchen faucet that saw me progressively going back through bad pipe and valves until I'd replaced everything, including the pump, back to the wellhead;
We had the well replaced a couple years ago -- but, water issues are the bane of my existence.
... switching out a transmission in a 68 Ford pickup, in below-freezing weather with eight inches of snow (yes, rocking it out of a snow drift was why the transmission broke);
Yikes!
...moving into a house and immediately having to dig out a hundred feet of blocked sewage pipe to find the cracked pipe the previous owner had "fixed" by covering it with a roofing shingle (it sent a geyser of sewage a dozen feet in the air when I hit the bad spot).
Oh God.
I look at those things now and wonder how on earth I muddled through. "No choice" seems to be the reason.
Agreed.
 
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