Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Old-Time Repair Guy

Both light bulbs in the garage door opener were out, and the online manuals said to try:
1) replacing the bulbs; 2) using a screwdriver to raise the metal tabs in the light sockets; 3) cutting the power and restarting the system. No luck.

I called Brian McBride and was happy to be informed that he had not retired. Brian had installed the garage door 15 years ago and had re-aligned the track 7 years later. Brian re-examined the light sockets (step 2 above) and attacked them with more vigor than I had. Voila! the lights worked.

The fix was so quick and easy that I could tell that Brian was thinking about not charging me. That's real old school; big-time service departments always have a minimum service charge.

Partly to justify his time, I asked him to perform a maintenance check ($50) on the system and bought an extra remote control ($42) that I didn't really need. We gossiped about the neighbors; over the years Brian worked at a number of their houses and even bought a TV from one who used to work at Best Buy.

As he drove away, I didn't know whether I would ever see him again. He'll probably sell his Millbrae house ("monetize a highly appreciated illiquid asset") like dozens of retirees I know and move away.

Appreciate the old ways and the old guys, little grasshopper, you'll miss them when they're gone.

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