Ever since Home Depot made the scene in 1978 a popular three-letter acronym came into play, DIY. This is short for ‘Do It Yourself’ and I must admit this practice has been the catalyst for many marital disagreements between otherwise harmonious partners.
Some DIYers are more skilled than others, while there remain a few people that should not be allowed to buckle up the old tool belt or even attempt to climb a ladder… no less screw in a light bulb. (I’m just saying.)
Personally, I have been known from time to time to analyze a home-based project before determining that it is well within my mechanical capabilities.
There are two areas, however, that even the most talented card-carrying home fixer uppers should shy away from like the plague. That goes for me and that goes for you. You know what they are as well as I do, but that does not stop many macho-types from rolling up their sleeves and giving both disciplines a shot.
From my side of the keyboard, this is known as a “Double D.” (Dumb Decision.) But it has been documented in every hospital across America that “dumb” is what helps keep both doctors and nurses scurrying through the halls of the Emergency Room. It often is the catalyst for many fire departments to enter the scene with axes and hoses at the ready.
Non-licensed DIYers should never attempt to save money when it comes to (1) water and (2) juice. In this case, juice refers to electricity. Smart people with at least a grade-school diploma know this. The pivotal word here is “smart” not “diploma.”
Plumbing and electricity are two areas where the smallest miscue can result in a great deal of major discomfort. And, yes, it could become a major catastrophe if a silent oversight goes undetected for lack of patience or knowledge. (Allow your mind to wander.)
But there is another area where the uneducated novice can screw up the immediate future with nothing but good intentions. This area involves planning, researching, and managing one of the most important activities of a family’s year. Yep! I am referring to the “CV”… the cherished vacation. After all, other than one’s domicile and personal health, there are not many things more valued than the family vacation.
And yet, there remains a number of “amateurs” who feel that they are capable of “Googling the unknown,” analyzing a brochure, interpreting fact from fiction on the Internet and analyzing currency exchanges as well as the next traveling amigo. What was that word again? Oh yeah. Dumb.
How hard can it be to connect two little wires to that little screw on the left of the GFI receptacle? What’s so difficult in cementing two PVC #40 pipes together to form a working P-trap? Buying six tickets on the TGV Fast Train from Arles to Barcelona is a piece of cake… or is it?
Full disclosure: I awoke at 3 am this very morning thinking how these three areas are similar. All three should be left to the experts.
Of course, we can accept the challenge and still manage to live long enough to celebrate another anniversary. Lucky is a word that comes to mind. “Dodging a bullet” may be the phrase that pays. But the silent snag, shortcut and oversight can prove to be a debilitating move. It can even prove to be your last move.
Is it worth the risk? I don’t think so. If given the choice, don’t be “dumb.”
Mike Marchev is a down-to-earth motivating sales trainer, author and business coach who specializes in the travel industry. Mike’s column is made possible by AmaWaterways.