Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Service Call

Yesterday Laura had a friend over to play, and I was going to bake cookies from that pre-made dough. All you have to do is break it into little squares along the pre-scored lines. (Yes, it's a lot of work, but I like to go the extra mile.) But the oven never got hot. It just sat there. No gas was coming out, and it wasn't making any little noises. Just nothing.

The girls ate a lot of the dough anyway, so they were happy. Then it occurred to me to use the toaster oven for the rest. (I’m sure going to do that again—those cookies were crispy and delicious.) But I was not happy even while eating those cookies because I was filled with dread. Now if you’re like me, you fear these moments when something is not working or going wrong with the house, and you don’t really know the right person to call, and you assume that it’s going to cost a lot of money, which you will pay without knowing whether it’s too much or not. If ignoring or denying the problem is not an option, my first impulse is usually to buy something new to replace the broken thing, because I feel much more comfortable navigating the world of retail than I do that parallel world of paying people to come to your house and tell you what’s wrong with your stuff. Shopping is like home to me. While shopping, you have choice, you have power, you get deference, you get guarantees, you get free delivery and installation.

So I briefly fantasized about buying a whole new range to match the fridge and the microwave, since this is the range that was probably put here when the house was built thirteen years ago, before stainless steel had been invented. I even went to Lowes.com and took a look at the options. The options all cost $2,000.

So I gritted my teeth and Googled “appliance repair” in our local area. Then I clicked on the first non-sponsored link and spent about thirty seconds looking at the website. (I’m sharing my research methods in case they may help anyone.) The website had testimonials from what I hoped were real actual people. I called the toll-free number and in no time I was talking to a dude named Chad. Chad assured me that they would send someone today between 10 and 1, and lo, they did.

Alisa the handywoman arrived a while ago. She had a real tool belt and a flashlight and sturdy socks on. While I was standing in the kitchen telling her about the problem, I thought, “This woman is totally checking me out. I still got it!” Then she got down on the floor and went to work dissecting the oven. She explained everything she was doing to me. Turns out that, just like the internets, a gas range is a series of tubes. It’s not that complicated. These machines don't have pilot lights anymore, so they use igniters. In my oven there is one on top for the broiler and one on the bottom for baking. The bottom one was busted. While Alisa was working she mentioned her husband several times, so I thought, “Maybe she wasn’t checking me out? Or maybe she just likes my outfit?”

She didn’t have the right igniter in her truck, so she’s gonna go get one and bring it back, maybe this afternoon. She said, “There’s a woman who works at the parts warehouse who really wants me to come down there and see her, and I might as well go today.” Then she winked at me.

An honest-to-God wink! I didn’t think people even did that anymore.

The upshot is that replacing the igniter will cost $278 for parts and labor.

3 comments:

Wayne said...

Would one be permitted to think that in a mature lesbian relationship, the butcher of the two (let's pause and think of the notion that the butcher one is not the gas appliance service person) might be called "husband?"

Why not a sponsored link?

Dad

Becky said...

Yeah, if her girlfriend is more butch than her, damn. I don't really know what was going on. I'm not sure but she might have used "he" in re her husband (she was very chatty). I'm thinking that she's married but/and she likes the ladies, or at least one lady at the parts warehouse.

And not a sponsored link 'cuz, rightly or wrongly, I didn't want someone who was paying for their page rank but someone who had "earned" it, whatever that means in the arcane magic donkey Google system.

Hootie said...

The butcher of the two would be called a homophobic murderer... or am I misunderstanding the question?