Saturday, January 13, 2018

Do You Have a Contingency Plan?

Most people eventually draft their Last Will and Testament knowing that one day they will die and be unable to take all their earthly possessions with them. It's good practice and saves a lot of angst for those we leave behind.

Sliding Gate - Stuck Open
But, few if any, have a Contingency Plan* for other things that can go wrong about the house. This was highlighted to me recently while house-sitting a friend's house while he and his family are on holidays interstate.

The house is full of electronic and equipment whizz-bangery; a water softener, swimming pool filter and Dolphin machine that runs about on the bottom of the pool picking up leaves and seeds that have blown into the pool. There's an external video security system and last of all, an electronically operated sliding gate. It's with the gate I ran into challenges.

The gate decided, for some reason better known to itself, to begin operating erratically. Instead of pushing the open button and having the gate slide right open, it would jerk forward about three inches and stop. So it took dozens of presses of the remote to get the bloody gate open.

Press close and it closes one time and doesn't the next. Now it won't go anywhere. (See photo above).

I rang my friend to find out where he keeps the key to the controller box and to ask if he has a user manual. He has no idea where the key is and no user manual. Not to worry, I quickly accessed an online manual (ain't the internet wonderful?) which was of little use because I can't access the controller box.

Probably because I'm a pedant and highly organised, I have a special folder where I store all of my user manuals. And I mean all, from wristwatches to washing machines. When I no longer have the product, I give the manual the flick so that I don't get bogged down with a lot of useless stuff.

I have a special place for keys and each has a tag identifying what it unlocks.

When something goes amuck, I can find the manual and if there is a key or something else associated with it, like spare blades, I know exactly where to find them. It's not exactly a Contingency Plan, but it works as a Contingency Plan.

The point is, I can't do anything to rectify the gate issue and will need to leave it open until the house owner returns.

Do you have a Contingency Plan for something that may unexpectedly go wrong in your life? Although you can't prepare for everything that could possibly go wrong, you can still have a plan to deal with high probability events eg, like a flat car battery.

Better to be organised than inconvenienced.


* A plan to deal with something that might happen unexpectedly

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