Know How

In the middle of the night, Roshni got up to an eerie sound like a buzzer ringing in her kitchen. She was alone and cautiously made her way to the kitchen, wondering what she would do, if there was a burglar in there. But, she realized that there was no one. The sound was coming from the refrigerator. The refrigerator was ten years old but it was in perfect working order and had never demanded any repairs.

She opened and shut its door, but that just increased the sound. She tapped the side with her knuckles. The sound stopped for a while, then started again. She decided to go back to bed. But, she couldn’t sleep, for the noise was too loud in the stillness of the night. Eventually she turned the refrigerator off. She slept through the night. When she got up next morning she opened the refrigerator to get herself some milk. She found that the milk had curdled in the heat because she had switched off the refrigerator. She opened the freezer to find a pool of melted ice cream and water. What a mess it was! The vegetables in the bottom rack were soft and pulpy too. ‘Good Lord! What do I do now?’ Roshni spent two hours cleaning up and clearing away the stinking mess. She called up the customer care service. A mechanic came to address the complaint in the late evening.

Roshni explained the problem. The mechanic switched on the refrigerator. Sure enough, there was a buzzer like sound, coming from it. He pulled the refrigerator in front and examined the back. He found a loose screw. He tried to tighten it, but it was still loose. So he wound some thread around the screw, put in a rubber washer and tightened it back into place. The sound stopped.

The mechanic asked Roshni for five hundred rupees. She widened her eyes and said, “Five hundred Rupees? What for? That rubber washer wouldn’t be worth more than fifty paisa. I’ll pay you fifty rupees for your visit. That’s it.”

“Yes Ma’am,” said the young man swiftly. “It’s fifty paisa for the washer and four hundred ninety nine rupees and fifty paisa for knowing where to put it!”

That is knowhow! Every problem does not necessarily have a complex solution. In fact, most solutions are simple solutions. The point is, whether you are able to identify the problem or not. Further, how simply, effectively and quickly you are able to solve it.

What is common between a Neurosurgeon, a chef and a shoe maker? All of them work with sharp knife like instruments. Furthermore even a murderer wields a knife to slit someone’s throat. The difference is knowhow!