Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How Not To Change a Watch Battery

I don't always try to fix things, but when I do, I make things worse.

I am the most klutzy person in the world.

So when the woman at the jewelry counter told me I could change my own watch battery, I should have run out of the store as fast as I could with my fingers stuck in my ears.

Instead, I have today's blog post.  That's the beauty of blogging (and writing in general) - nothing that happens to you goes unwasted.  Hence, my true, embarrassing, confession.

My spouse and I completed a road trip from upstate New York to Northwest Arkansas, and back.  Along the way, I began to realize that my watch didn't seem to be keeping the time any more.  I reset it a couple of times but at some point, I vaguely became aware that no matter when I looked at my watch, it read four o'clock.

Now, time should stand still in a good vacation, but I eventually figured out that having a great time on vacation (or my watch deciding it wanted to be on vacation, too) wasn't the reason for my watch's lack of time keeping.  Did I have the battery changed in Arkansas? Of course not.

So, yesterday, back home in the Triple Cities, we were exercising on the Vestal Rail Trail.  We were near Kohls, where we bought the watch last Black Friday.

So, rather than take it to the mall, where I normally have batteries changed, we decided to try Kohls.

We brought it to the jewelry counter, where the conversation with the sales clerk went something like this:

AM:  Do you change watch batteries?
Clerk: Only if you bought the watch here.
AM: I did (handing watch to her).
Clerk: (looking at some kind of list):  We are out of a lot of batteries.  Let me check.

So she checked, after prying off the case to see which battery I needed, and sure enough, they were out.  But, no worries!

"There's a Radio Shack down the road", the helpful clerk said.  "They will sell you this battery, number 377, for about $6.00.  And it's easy to put the back on - just see this little notch?  Fit it over the stem, and click it into place.  You won't need any tools."

So, fool that I am, I took her advice.

Now, I need to stop and explain that I have various talents.  Repair isn't one of them.  My father fixed things.  My son loves to fix things and earns his living using his hands.  But the "ability to fix things" gene skipped me.  It isn't lack of confidence.  My fingers just don't do what my brain wants them to do. 

But here spouse and I were, at the Radio Shack, and sure enough battery #377, with tax, was about $6.77.

We got home and I - well, I turned to my spouse, who has a cataract in one eye (which will be operated on later this week) and said "I can't see the little notch too well.  Can you?"

That's another thing. When you are nearsided at age 60, you Don't. See. Little. Things. Well.  Like, my spouse, with his cataract, could see better closeup.  Believe it or not, he can.

So he tried and tried, and couldn't do it, and handed the watch back to me.

I tried and tried. Then I got a bright idea and went to You Tube to find a video on How to Change Watch Batteries.  We watched one and we seem to be doing everything right.  But the case won't snap back on.

Finally, spouse turns to me and says "Boscovs (downtown Binghamton, where I work, has a department store) has a watch repair place, RIGHT?" (insert glare here).

Right.  I can't wait to see how much they will charge and I will have to pay every penny, like the person who decides to fix his/her plumbing and messes the whole thing up.

Anyone want to make a house call?


  1. I have never changed a watch battery it sounds like a bit of a mission!
    Hope the cataract operation goes well XX

    1. Thank you!! The changing process was too much of a mission - next time I let the experts do it.

  2. I decided DECADES ago that paying $ 10 to have the battery changed in my watches (which I no longer wear, but that is a discussion for another day) when the battery was $ 3 was $ 7 well spent!

    1. This is my first - and last - foray into the world of changing watch batteries. Lesson learned!

  3. Dear AM, this is my first visit to your blog, and I love it and intend to make lots more! This post reminds me a bit of a jerry seinfeld sketch - and it gave me a good chuckle. Cheers, from a fellow klutz.

    1. Alas, I don't always write humorous pieces. I try to mix it up. Tomorrow (which is your today there in Australia, just to get confusing) is the anniversary of a grim day in our history here in the United States. But I'll be back with something light soon. I also sometimes write about gardening - or post flower pictures. I hope you do come back soon. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Oh, Alana, I do love you! I took a watch back to Wal-Mart for a battery change, and the lady who did it damaged the watch to the point where it couldn't be set any more. Now I just buy cheap watches and promptly lose them. I am that lady who is forever asking strangers if they know what time it is. By the way, I loved your line "That's the beauty of blogging (and writing in general) - nothing that happens to you goes unwasted."So true!

  5. Isn't turning real life into a blog post one of the beauties of life? (Thank you for the complement). I had two choices (1) Cry or (2) Blog about it. So here we are. My husband (after suggesting tonight that I use duck tape to tape the back back on the watch) thinks that maybe our son will take pity on us and give it a go. I chickened (no pun intended)out on going to Boscovs, so maybe we'll see if he tackles the project, or not. He's more into big machinery, like cars, so maybe not.

  6. I have a wind up watch :)


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