Pay attention.

It’s been a long week.

This morning, Erika filled the sink with soapy water to soak the dishes. She did this because our brand-new dishwasher is sitting, disconnected, in our living room.


The dishwasher installers were supposed to come between 11 and 3. I called the Home Depot to ask where they were. They said the men had been delayed, but if I didn’t hear from them by 3:30 to give her a call back. 3:04, the guy calls, apologizes, and he’ll be there in about half an hour. Something about replacing a 1950s-era appliance. I understand.

So when they show up, I let them in, show them to the kitchen. We go figure out which breaker to flip off (they’re all labelled crazily so this is always a hassle—one of these days…) and then I go back to work. In about 10 minutes, the guy comes to tell me that they cannot install the dishwasher. His finger is also bleeding so could he have a rag.

I get him a rag, and a bandaid. He explains that they are not allowed to install anything if they can’t shut off the water locally. And the kitchen sink shut-off valve won’t, actually, shut off.


Now, that’s funny. Because a plumber put in a new kitchen sink and disposer about three weeks ago. They were leaking, and old. Actually the faucet was only ten years old. Moen. This time it isn’t a Moen. Anyway. The plumber had to deal with this same valve. The dishwasher was already on the fritz at the time. It didn’t occur to our plumber that we might be replacing it, and if so, that the shut-off valve should be replaced. He had to work around it, but that’s what a competent plumber can do.

But Home Depot has this policy: no local shut-off, no installation. They don’t want you to be without water if something goes funky during installation. Great policy in theory, but kind of a pain in the ass, if the homeowner can’t sign a waiver allowing them to skip ahead.

If he’d paid attention, maybe he would have said to me, “this part will cost you another half hour of my time now, but I see you’ve got a funky dishwasher, and it will make your life better down the road.” But he didn’t do that.

After the plumber was gone, we had the dishwasher repairman come out. Who established that the problem required a licensed electrician. Then we had the electrician. THAT was not cheap. That’s another story entirely.

This morning

The dishwasher is sitting in the living room, because the guys couldn’t disconnect the old dishwasher and put in the new one.

They did take care of unhooking the drain hose from the old dishwasher from the disposer, though.

And here’s where we get back to that sink full of soapy water. Erika wasn’t, of course, thinking much about the hole in the disposer, because last night we had seen what happens when you run water into the sink—it drains just fine, and even though there’s an open hole, the water is going right past it.

Except when you’re draining an entire sink.

No big deal, a bunch of water in the wrong place. Except some of it was gunk from the dishwasher hose that had sat there for eons. Or at least the month the dishwasher has lain dormant. Smell was super-nasty.

If either of us had paid attention, we could have recognized the possible problem there, and skipped it.

I got another plumber to come over later this morning. He has installed a brand-spanking-new shut-off valve. Another chunk of change later, we’re ready to go.

Guys installing said they could probably swing right back out today.

Lady at Home Depot says the first possible time is Wednesday.

The web is like plumbing

Wednesday night I got an email. I didn’t look until Thursday a.m., and it turns out that a form was broken. This form is the ONLY point of the entire website, which has a social media campaign driving traffic to it.

The form was working when we launched two weeks ago. I had no idea, at first, how long it had been broken.

There’s someone else working on the project who has admin access to the WordPress site. He had logged in three days ago to make a backup of the site. Looks like there’s a plugin which helps manage the site which he had in place before I started working. And I think it auto-updates other plugins. Handy! Unless the update breaks your site.

The guy had no idea this happened, but he did notice a funny-looking configuration message. He ignored it, though, because he figured I knew about it.

I didn’t know about it.

Details matter. All the time. How do we know which ones to ignore, and which ones to keep an eye on?

I don’t know.

But pay attention.

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