Friday, June 27, 2008

Technical Difficulties

I know, you are expecting and looking forward to Susan's regular Friday night post, but tonight she is enjoying a special family gathering. Susan will be back tomorrow evening!
So here's another slice of life from, as my friend Dave would put it, "Belinda-land."

It was two weeks ago that our Whirlpool Gold dishwasher had a breakdown. Up until then it had purred along with a discrete and polite swooooshing, but suddenly no more swoooosh! Instead, a nasty gasping, coughing and choking sound was coming from my trusty mainstay.
At the same time a puddle of water spread over our wood laminate kitchen floor and dripped through the ceiling of the apartment below.
I sopped and mopped as quickly as possible but the wood laminate planks still rose up in protest at the flood.
It happened on a Sunday, and that evening when the folks who meet here for the Sunday night small group study heard about it, two of the guys, Roger and Mark, were on it like sour cream on a baked potato! They studied the appliance with eyes narrowed, and asked serious questions like doctors diagnosing a patient.
"It's ok," I assured them, "I'll be calling an appliance repair man first thing in the morning." Ha!
AAA Appliance Sales and Service, was the first name I found in the book. Andrew arrived on Monday evening. He opened it up and looked around inside and said, "It says Whirlpool on the outside, but this is a Bosch." He spent an hour and a half on the patient looking for the serial and model number and diagnosing the problem. It needed a new hose. I had somehow misplaced my owners manual, which I had been looking at just that morning, and we could not find the model or serial number anywhere on the machine. This was a problem, but Andrew left saying that he would do his best to find a replacement hose.
The next day Andrew's wife called to say that without the model or serial number it was a hopeless situation and to give her a call back if I found it.
Over the next week I had other distractions but kept looking for the book intermittently. Fortunately, the two of us don't make piles of dirty dishes.
Sunday came and the small group guys wanted an update. How was the dishwasher? Did I get it fixed? I was amazed at their kind concern and realized that some guys just can't stand to see something broken. I gave my report on the mystery of a Bosch inside a Whirlpool case. Roger nodded sagely and muttered something about globalization and takeovers. He recommended a parts place that has "every thing."
On Monday I moved some papers and there was my owners manual. Yahoo! I called AAA Appliances again and gave them the two numbers written in the book. They weren't the right numbers. Rose (we were on a first name basis by now) suggested that I call Whirlpool and kindly gave me their number. She said she knew of the parts place that had "everything" and they used them. I asked her to send me a bill for the time Andrew had invested. "Oh no," she said, "We didn't fix it, so there's no charge."
I called Whirlpool Canada and ended up in one of those horrible automated phone mazes. I did get two pieces of information from the robotic voice at the other end of the line though. A) There was no point at all going further into the maze if I didn't have the model and serial number and B) these are located on the side of the rim around the dishwasher door!
So this morning as Paul was leaving for work I told him where the numbers are hidden. I had already looked and realized that it wasn't going to be simple to read them. That edge of the door is in a corner and the numbers hard to read.
Paul got down on his hands and knees and called for reading glasses. I stood by like a nurse in an operating room. "These glasses aren't strong enough, pass me the other ones," he said, and I handed him another pair of the dollar store glasses that are scattered over our house.
He started to read out numbers and I wrote them down. We had no idea what they meant, but we had numbers. After Paul left for work I got the magnifying mirror that I use for putting on makeup and studied the numbers again. It wasn't easy, as all of the numbers and letters were in mirror image, but I made sure we had them all and had them right.
I thought about the phone maze at Whirlpool and my list of 7 different numbers. How would I sort out which one they wanted with no human being on the other end?
I called Rose at AAA Appliances again! We laughed about dim eyes and she confessed that she has a ruler that she bought from the dollar store. In the middle there is a line that magnifies numbers. She uses it to do the books. She promised to give the numbers to Andrew and see what he could do with them.
The dishwasher is still not working, but folks, if you need repairs, go to AAA Appliances, they are nice people.


Susan said...

Your technical difficulties are amazing...

I"m so glad I was busy tonight. I loved hearing how things are in Belinda-land.

And, hey, now we both have dishwashers that don't work. :o)

Angcat said...

Like sour cream on a baked potato! I love it.
I'm sorry about your dishwasher, but what an enjoyable story. Hopefully something in those numbers will get you where you need to go to get it fixed.

Angcat said...

Hey Susan,
Caught-cha blogging.
Hope your family event was wonderful.
Love Ang

Dave Hingsburger said...

Always enjoy a missive from Belinda-land! For years when we lived in Quebed Joe complained about not having a dishwasher. Now we've had one for several years and he thinks it's too much of a bother to use! Ours may be broken too, but we'd never know!

Brave Raven said...

I have a new serenity moment for my daily life after having just returned from my first voyage to Belinda-land. What a joy to read. You are to blogging what Martha is to home-keeping. Being part of the study group that arrived just moments after the rebellious appliance spewed its contents, I got to witness true grace under pressure; calm during crisis. Such a domestic calamity in my home would have probably resulted in a moment of rage as well as the cancellation of the study group. This is not how things are handled in Belinda-land. There was no outburst, nor were there any words that are often spelled using the symbols row of the keyboard. There was just a quiet but troubled question: Belinda asks gently, "Is it bad?" to which Paul answers, concerned but still smiling, "Well, it's not good." These adventures (misadventures) are an opportunity to learn about life. I will from now on endeavour to handle things like they are handled in Belinda-land. The Bible says, ["if you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed."] It seems I have much to learn.....indeed.

Belinda said...

Ah, Brave Raven, if only things were always as calm in Belinda-land as they sound! :)

I'm so glad the story made you smile.

Welcome to Whatever He Says; we will do our best to keep you smiling and serene.