Some people steal the knobs off appliances. They could be knobs from stoves, washers, or dryers; the knob-stealers don’t care. Discovering this odd human trait has been a revelation to me, not unlike finding out that some people are seven feet tall, or albino. It’s really odd and inexplicable.
This strange proclivity for knob-stealing revealed itself to me at the recycling store where I work. We take in, test, and clean used appliances. We also take off the knobs and save them in numbered bags. Usually we do the testing and knob-saving in the back workroom, but recently a couple of things happened to upset the normal routine.
The first was that I put out into the store a range hood. It was a relatively new stainless steel appliance, and I spent about twenty minutes cleaning and testing it before putting it on the store shelf. I completely forgot that someone might steal the knobs. I thought knob stealers only stole from larger appliances. Never assume. Someone stole the small range hood knobs.
Then, we took in a very new washer and dryer pair in a fashionable colour, in good working order. While we were actually in the process of testing the washer and it was hooked up to our sink faucet, one of the knobs disappeared! We were dumbstruck. It hadn’t even made it out of the testing area yet!
As gobsmacked as I am that someone would steal knobs, I am also outraged that anyone could be so selfish as to steal anything from a non-profit store. The whole enterprise is based on community activism and trust. But the grinches who would steal Christmas will also steal from a charity.
In case you are reading this, knob-stealer, when you take a knob off an appliance, we can no longer sell it for its full resale value. We don’t have the resources to spend time and money tracking down and buying knobs. We have to practically give the appliance away. That means that about $100 that would otherwise go to helping a very needy local family, doesn’t.
You stole a $100 knob.