I think every CPS tech gears up for a checkup event. Mentally we prepare for what we may see at the event: the type of parent we may encounter, the types of restraints and errors we may see, and think about stock phrases we may use to get points across to parents and caregivers in a way that is easy for them to understand yet not condescending. We also prepare by dressing for the part. Perhaps it’s a favorite pair of old jeans or shorts and a t-shirt that identifies us as a technician. I usually get ready for a checkup event by putting on my cargo shorts and stuffing the pockets with all kinds of goodies, like a small bottle of Purell, Chapstick, my iPhone, rubber bands for tying up tethers, and my pen. Sometimes I’ll attach a hemostat to my shirt if I know I’m going to an event where I’ll be working with a lot of convertible seats, since those are helpful for pulling harness straps through slots.
Last Monday the kids and I had an errand to run, so I threw a load of laundry into our 3 month old front loader, started the machine up, and we left. We came back an hour later to an error code on the machine. Uh oh. We’ve gotten it before, it’s an annoyance—something about there being a problem with it not being able to drain—so I unplugged the washer for a few minutes and restarted it, just like I have in the past when we’ve had the same code. (There’s never been a problem with the hose or the drain.) Now, why do we have this error code on our 3 month old washer, you ask? I ask too. The best I can come up with is, “What can you do?” Anyway, nothing happens. I try several different things, all that happens is the motor ends up humming. Not good. Not good at all. I immediately call for service and the soonest they can get someone to the house is Wednesday afternoon. Nooooooo! Not after I’ve taken the past 3 days off of laundry duty! In the meantime, the water-saving washer is full of water—did I mention it kept filling with water due to my previous attempts at trying to fix the problem—and has a load of our laundry in it with the door locked? Fortunately there’s Google and dh. The water remained in the washer, but the laundry took about 2 hours to dry in our new dryer. At least dh had underpants to wear for the next day.
When the repairman finally came, he quickly found the cause of the problem. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a warranty repair. Somewhere along the line I had forgotten to rid my pockets of all rubber bands and one had tried to swim its way to freedom through the washer’s drain. How long it had been rolling around in there is anyone’s guess. It had been at least a month since my last checkup event, but we’ve been getting that error code for longer than that. Perhaps the repairman took pity on me when I admitted my fault, but he didn’t charge for the visit . My lesson learned.