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When Things Are Not What We Think They Are

Mauled TV RemoteThings are not always what they seem. I was taught this very important lesson recently by a simple TV Remote Control, pictured on the left, after my puppies confused it with a bone.

Briefly the story started when my bedroom TV (a conventional CRT model) started giving problems. It would randomly jump channels, the volume would erratically go up or down, or it would turn on in the middle of the night and give me a big fright! I took it in to the local repair centre (it was out of warranty already) and the bad news was: They don’t really know but the infra-red receiver needs to be replaced and parts are very expensive because it is an old model. It might be cheaper in the long run to buy a new TV.

Not what I wanted to hear. Cash is very tight at the moment. I tried all sorts of tricks (sticking tape over the IR window, etc) and for weeks I was a very unhappy TV viewer. Eventually I gave up. I couldn’t take it any more and I put the old TV in the spare bedroom and pulled my really really old TV out of the mothballs. Not perfect, but at least we could watch movies in bed again.

Then the dogs got the remote (see picture) and demolished it, probably ate the batteries as well.

No big issue. Went to the local goodie shop and bought a “universal” remote, programmed it, and sat back to watch TV for a few minutes in the spare bedroom. Strangely the TV behaved. Yes. No channel jumping, no volume jumping, in fact it was perfect. It couldn’t be the remote that was faulty, hey, could it?

It’s been a few weeks now and yes, it must have been the remote control itself that was faulty, since the TV is back in my main bedroom and it is behaving perfectly.

I thought about this life lesson for a long long time. How we sometimes tackle an issue, utterly convinced we are trying to fix the “correct” problem. We struggle and battle, but eventually we are tired and the problem hasn’t gone away. It won’t go away because we are fighting against the wrong thing or in the wrong place.

Sometimes, by looking at both sides of the problem (the TV as well as the remote) we can see that the origin of the problem might not be where we think it is, but in a completely different place. I was lucky that The Old Man Above used a cheap TV remote to teach me a big lesson: Try to see things from both sides, you might be surprised.

In fact, a few days after this incident, a really big thing happened and I was able to apply this very lesson, but more about that in another post.


One Response to “When Things Are Not What We Think They Are”

  1. Words are all we have « Leon's Random Ramblings Says:

    […] it wrong? The cartoon on the left made me smile and it also links to my own previous experience (When things are not what we think they are). Between husband and wife this happens all the time and I came across this lovely writing by Peter […]


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