Electrozoid Monkey

I tried playing electrician, yesterday.

Normally, I’m quite averse to electrocuting myself, but I needed to keep our reno on schedule.

A good friend of mine is an electrician. I asked him to help me out, even though I know he’s busy. “A trained monkey can do electrical,” he said. “Put the circuits together, and I’ll come by and make sure everything is up to code and will pass the inspection.

I’ve done a few things, electrically speaking. Changing things here and there. Adding a plug or whatever. Never anything of this magnitude, though.

Well, I thought, I’m a smart guy. I’ll get a couple of books, talk to my friend, and all will be well. And if I really get stuck, Uncle Google is always around to take me to a Youtube video.

Piece of cake.

I don’t know what piece of cake means, but it was not cake. Or pie. Not even something a bit nasty, like meat that has turned.

It was a total disaster. My circuit wasn’t … circuiting. Flipping the breaker did nothing except give me exercise. And concerns that my house was about to burn.

So I called my friend and asked him to come over. He did. When he saw what I had attempted, he gave me a look of pity.

Apparently I was on a lower rung than a trained monkey.

I’m glad he came over. As we tried to see if what I wanted was going to work, we both realized that my panel was too small.

To be clear, I mean my electrical panel was too small. Too few whatchamicallits and too many thingamagigs. As soon as he can get Saskpower to come out and do whatever it is they do – cut the power is how I think of it, but I think it has a different name – he will install a new panel.

And, I hope, make sure I don’t burn down my house. Hopefully before it goes to -400 degrees.

It’s interesting, to me, how we don’t value the things we do. My friend has been a journeyman electrician for years. Electrical work, for him, is like breathing. Do this, do that, and everything works.

Even though he was a bit tongue-in-cheek with the trained monkey crack, I think that idea – that we don’t value what is easy for us – is pretty common.

Since something is easy for us, we assume it is easy for everyone. And therefore has no value.

I don’t know why we don’t value ourselves more. We put on a brave face and say to the world “I’m worth at least 5 bucks an hour … but I’ll work for 1.” Hmmm … those rates may have changed since 1976.

Is it humility? Is it humble to say that what we do – or who we are – isn’t worth much? I don’t know, but something smells about that one.

Maybe it’s some kind of self-delusion. Everyone else is doing it, so I will, too.

I don’t know what it is. Too be truthful, I don’t know much of anything, right now. In fact, my monitor is fading in and out.

I’m pretty sure it is working fine. Must be me. Maybe too much activity and not enough rest.

Maybe I’m not valuing myself enough.

Ha. Trained monkey.

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