The Little Radio Station That Could
This is a story about the satisfaction everyone gains through work well done.
One of the things I do is fix things. My idea of fixing something is perhaps a little more comprehensive than most people: results are always preferred to the alternative.
In this case there was a small community radio station that had been told that their transmitter was too old. The manufacturer told them to get a new one while local service agents told them that it was working OK considering its age.
This all seems reasonable until you ask a few questions of the owner of the station, such as “are you happy with the situation?” Or ask the listeners to the station, “Are you happy with the signal quality?” It turns out that neither of these parties were happy at all, but the people they relied on to fix the problem were not unhappy, so nothing changed for a while until someone asked me to fix the situation.
Fix is an interesting word. For some it means apply a band aid: a quick fix of short term, maybe a bit longer. Some more conscientious types may consider a ‘permanent’ fix, which often falls short for a simple reason: Why does the need for a fix exist? Examining why a situation arises and putting steps in place to prevent future occurrences is where satisfaction can be achieved for all parties.
So what was the “why” of the little radio station that could? There were a few: age was one, improper filtering of the cooling system was another, as was a deficit of providing periodic servicing activity. Putting all these in place restored the service to a point where it satisfied both the owner and the listeners and also ensured it will stay that way.
There are two losers in this outcome: the manufacturer and their service agent. Can you see the conflict of interest that arises when a product manufacturer is approached to extend the life of their product? Don’t they want to sell you a new one at the first sign of trouble? Turns out they do. There is so much wrong with this fixation on “replacement or repair”. I don’t think I can summarise it here, but try these words ‘reduce your carbon footprint”, while thinking - I’ll buy a new one. How was that for you? That aside - what you miss out on is the satisfaction of a good ‘fix’. There is such a thing as a good ‘fix’ and you’ll know it when you get one.
Maybe you have never experienced this. If you're a replace rather than repair person, you're missing out. Try a good fix - make sure it’s a good one. Holistic and considerate of causes, not just easy and quick fixes, and you’ll enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a good fix.
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Project (EQUITY) has a great webinar. Converting to a Co operative.
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