My salad dressing days


Dead rats and washing machines
January 12, 2006, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Duller still than dieting, our washing machine* is broken.

‘It’s the module,’ proclaimed Mr Service Engineer (SE) after a thirty second inspection.

Sorry? The module?

That sounds to me like Service Engineer Speak for a complicated-sounding part whose name (extensive in-house market research has revealed) will most likely befuddle your common-or-garden British housewife, bringing on a short fainting fit and necessitating a house-wide search for Great Aunt Florrie’s smelling salts.

SE: ‘Is your parts warranty still valid?’

Me: ‘No, ran out about three weeks ago…’

SE: ‘Well, a new one is about twenty five quid, so you’re looking at a hundred all in, what with the call-out fee.’

Me: ‘Right…’

SE: ‘Although, it might not be the module…’

He seems to be backtracking now. Aha!

Me: ‘How will we know if it is or not?’

SE: ‘Well, we fit a new module and if the machine still doesn’t work, then it’s probably the motor.’

Me: ‘Right. And that costs how much?’

SE: ‘About a hundred quid. So you might not want to bother, what with the cost of a new machine.’

Me: ‘OK. So you can fit a new module now?’

SE: [a small smile breaks out on his otherwise expressionless face] ‘Oh no. I’ll have to order one. If we’ve got one in the warehouse, then I might be able to come back in a day or two. Otherwise we’ll have to place an order and that’ll take about a week to ten days.’

Me: [rolling eyes and issuing quiet tutting noises] ‘Riiiiiiiight…’

So I call the helpline later in the day:

‘Ah yes, Ms Sweet. I’m afraid it was out of stock so we’ve ordered one and it’s going to be ten days as the part is coming from Italy.’

Good grief.

If I had known my washing machine was Italian, I would have demanded a British replacement, which would have had the added benefit of supporting our ailing economy. Although it occurs to me that I don’t know a British washing machine brand (‘Will jolly well clean your togs’ or ‘Gosh, those ketchup stains have come out a treat!’??).

Well, the module had damn well better look well-fed on Mamma’s penne arrabiatta not to mention snappily-dressed (on account of it coming from Milan).

*******

Meantimes, I am madly inviting myself to tea at friends’ houses, humping large bags of laundry with me and commandeering their washer-dryers for whole afternoons.

Then today I spotted Mr Service Engineer crossing the street in front of my house and skulking back towards his van. So I ran to the front door and yelled: ‘Hello? Did you just knock on my door?’.

He looked as if I had just pushed him against the wall of a disused alleyway and pressed a revolver against his skull.

‘Er, no. I was at your neighbour’s place.’

Oh.

Oh! So the washing machines in our identikit, Stepford-wifely, high-density homes have conked out at the same time, just a few weeks after the parts warranty ran out.

Now, I ain’t no Sherlock Holmes, but a distinctly rodent-flavoured odour is overwhelming my nasal passages…

* whose brand name may or may not rhyme with Girl-Tool

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