Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Mr Maytag

Isn't the New York Times in trouble? Low circulation or something?

Maybe this is why.

Maybe because this is their idea of news*:

Recently, Sibylla Waters, 46, a homemaker in Odenton, Md., who has two children living at home, hired Landers Appliance in Baltimore to repair a plastic detergent dispenser** on her Roper dishwasher for $179, even though the machine is seven years old and could be replaced for about $400. Since buying her home in 2005, she and her husband, James, who works as a computer technician for the state, have repaired a washer, a dryer and a water heater. Why not keep this machine running, Mrs. Waters asks, “especially if it will most likely last a few more years or so?”

Yeah. That's right. They ran an entire story on people -- gasp -- repairing broken appliances rather than replacing them!

They go into the drama of waiting for the repairman to show and how he doesn't and how one woman actually took the guy hostage until he completed the repair and how the repairs can be so expensive, which I imagine they could be.


This is where it gets really dumb.

Seriously. What world does this reporter live in?

They never mention the most obvious solution. Which is to do the repairs yourself.

Which I have done.

And if I can do it, anyone can do it.


If I, an English major, can diagnose the problem, order the part (for $15.99), and then find the online reference sheet with photos on how to do the repair, then pretty much anyone can do it.

Full disclosure: I wouldn't have known I could do this without Harpo and I didn't do the repair alone, SH did most of it and I helped, in the first major gallant move of our relationship, when I had told him I needed a break from seeing him, because he was all I love you! I want to be with you! and I was, Slow down, cowboy, I just lost my job and finding a new one is my priority right now. I said go away for a month, don't call me, don't email me, don't come here (he lived in Milwaukee, I was still in Memphis).

Then my washer and dryer broke ON THE SAME DAY and I diagnosed the problem and ordered the parts and blogged about it and was going to fix all myself when I got a message from SH saying he'd gotten a cheap flight from Chicago to Memphis and was leaving in a few hours and he'd even rented a car and if I didn't want him to come I'd better call soon, but he was coming to fix my major appliances, which was just about one of the most romantic things I'd ever heard, so I didn't tell him not to come and I even made brownies and I went to the Sears warehouse to buy the parts instead of waiting for them to be shipped.

So he came and he fixed my machines in two hours, which is a way better record than Sears just delivering our washer and dryer last summer, and then we lived happily ever after. The End.

* Although maybe it is news. Maybe that's why some people are in financial trouble now? Because instead of repairing the washing machine for $15.99 five years ago, they bought a new one for $400?

** Isn't there a pretty easy free workaround for this one? As in, just put the detergent in before you put the clothes in?

The artist formerly known as Harpo just pointed out that most people do not put clothes in the dishwasher.


TosaGuy said...

I have been around tools my whole life and it has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. I have been around people who can't fix anything and I feel sorry for them. Not teaching one's kids some basic fix-it/problem solving skills and how to use tools is a huge disservice.

People who can't fix things are a huge portion of the the NYT's demographic. It's the same mentality that gov't is needed to fix all problems.

class-factotum said...

TG, my dad fixed things. My husband fixes things. Isn't fixing things part of what A Man Does? I don't think I would have married SH if he couldn't fix things.

PS My dad taught me how to fix things, too.

John0 Juanderlust said...

RE: the last ** footnote--who puts clothes in the dishwasher, with or without detergent?
The way around that is to wash dishes manually, avoid hosting dinner parties and keep procreation to a minimal, manageable level.

class-factotum said...

Oops! That's how closely I was reading!