answer the f**king phone!

in preparation for moving to my new house (expect some choice rants about that in the very near future) i’m constantly coming up with a long list of new and expensive things that i will absolutely need to buy in the coming weeks.

up until now, i’ve either shared a house or lived in an apartment, so i’ve never had to own these things, such as lawn implements, lawnmower and such, or a barbecue grill – an absolute essential to me – or any number of other grown-up, homeowner-type things.

i did manage to buy a washer and dryer not too long ago, because saving up my quarters for a month to be able to to truck off to the laundromat and do a week’s worth of laundry was really starting to get to me. i still let my laundry pile up for much too long before getting to it, but i can do laundry in the dead of night if i want, and use my quarters at the arcade.

now i’m in the market for a refridgerator, a purchase that, in its importance, as well as its expense, easily shames the simple washer and dryer. but, i’m prepared. moreso than before, when i was at a loss for how to shop for the best prices on major appliances.

now i know. now i have experience dealing with salesmen. now i have the time to spend working out where to get the best deal. now i have substantially more credit.

and, being cash poor in anticipation of dropping a mean chunk of cash on a house down payment, that’s the only way i’ll be buying anything that costs more than the change in my pocket. credit. beautiful word, that. let it roll off your tongue “cred – it”.

so, with gleaming store credit card in hand, i went to a local superstore that stocks appliances, electronics, and computers of all varieties. i won’t mention their name, because i won’t be accused of doing a commercial for them – and i wouldn’t for reasons which are hopefully painfully clear – but suffice it to say, they claim to have the best buys in town. ’nuff said.

here i am, lost in a white and beige stonehenge of refridgerators of all makes and models, ranging in price from the very afforable (almost pocket change these days for a dorm-sized fridge. if only i had had even that kind of money when i was in school…) to the ungodly expensive side-by-side beasties with brushed steel exteriors and enough storage capacity to hold the entire Donner Party.

i liked one in the middle. an over-under jobbie with a nice big freezer. the problem was, to get any kind of specific information, i had to wait on a salesperson.

there were about ten of us, wandering the gleaming appliance aisles, and one salesman. let’s call him “Rick”

Rick was at one of the two computer terminals, desperately trying to work out how to print a receipt for an impatient, and very vocal customer. let’s call her “the Bitch”

she was yelling at her husband and son, who were understandably halfway across the store, and thus just out of normal shouting range, from the Bitch. this did not dissuade her from vocalizing above the din of car stereo demonstrations her disapproval of their checking out the big-screen televisions while she was stuck waiting on Rick to get his thumb out of his ass and print her receipt.

and all the while, easily twenty minutes from my arrival in the appliance maze to an actual salesperson contact, the phone rang. incessantly.

it would ring for several minutes, everyone else seemingly immuse to its wailing, ringing, beeping (it did all three at once) entreaties. i asked a few times if Rick might answer that. please. for the love of Mike.

he ignored me.

then it would stop. whoever was calling, probably transferred to that extension by customer support, had finally given up the ghost. then it would begin again.

finally, amid the din, i was finally able to get Rick’s attention long enough to ask him a couple of pricing and maintenance questions about the refridgerators i was considering for purchase. i was a little distracted by the phone, and i mentioned this. Rick ignored me again. Rick wasn’t being very helpful anyway, only reading the little signs plastered on the ‘fridges to augment his information on them.

anyhoo, i eventually ended up picking out a new Amana bottom-mount model – one of the new ones with the freezer on the bottom and the main fridge section on top. they’re more convenient for folks like me who only use the freezer for ice and frozen pizzas, plus it’s about twice as economical as a top-mount fridge, and infinitely less hassle and trouble than a side-by side. it’s a little more expensive than the run-of-the mill Frigidaire, but i thought it was worth it in the long run.

it was confided to me by another, better informed salesman on a previous price-scouting mission that all the refridgerators in their inventory were, in fact, Amana mechanisms with other companies’ logos and shelving in them anyway. it was also made clear that the repair and warranty calls on side-by-sides are about ten times more than those on over/under models – the icemaker and water dispensers in the doors, as well as the cramped quarters for the cooling mechanism wreak havok, you see

so, i’m filling out the paperwork, making sure i get the financing, the free icemaker, the free delivery, and my 10% discount for being a preferred customer, good only this weekend, and only on items of $399 or more, not valid with any other offer, please read the fine print gibberish on the back of the coupon. and the phone was really messing with my head. i couldn’t concentrate, and kept writing my phone number wrong.

so i picked up the phone and lay the headset on its side until i was done with my transaction. if Rick wasn’t going to answer the phone, i would make sure i didn’t have to deal with its noise.

so now all i have to do is wait on the delivery truck, some time between sunrise and sunset on the appointed date of delivery a week from now. i expect i’ll have some choice words about that, too.

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