Friday, May 18, 2007

Jen = Customer Service Nightmare

Home improvement is no easy task.

Not just because it's a lot of work to do home improvement, especially if you are do-it-yourselfers like we are, but because sometimes it's hard to know when to stop.

For instance...

We are replacing our carpeting with hardwood floors.

We are replacing our 1-inch baseboards with custom 4-inch baseboards.

We are painting the inside of our house.

We are replacing our front door.

But then, I started looking at the door frames and decided that if we are going to have these beautiful 4-inch baseboards, it would be nice if the door frames matched. Infact, it would be nice to replace our hollow interior doors with solid core doors. And if we're going to do that, maybe we should also consider doing a nice frame around our windows. And maybe, we ought to just replace our windows.

Because I had no idea what this change of scope would do to our budget, I decided to go on a fact finding mission. So this afternoon, after convincing Charlie that I could go off with one child while he took the other two on a bike ride, I took William to a custom window, door and molding store.

My first tip of the day is to never, ever go to a custom window, door and molding store with a 2.5-year old child when you are 8-months pregnant.

Infact, even if you're not 8-months pregnant, taking a toddler to a custom window, door and molding store is a bad idea.

A really, really bad idea.

Unless you have the ability to strap your child in to a pint-sized straight jacket.

Or, unless you find enjoyment in watching your child unintentionally knock over an 8-foot door, which hit another 8-foot door, and another, such that 3-inch solid wood doors, that weigh no less than 200 pounds each (approximately as much as you do), come crashing down on the floor.

It was like watching Stonehenge fall.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. But if there was ever a time I wish that I could be invisible - it would have been this afternoon at approximately 4:17 PM.

Right after the dust settled and I stopped screaming "Oh Good Lord ... NO!!!!!"

We returned home and while I inspected the pile of dishes that had accumulated in the sink, and the clean dishes that were littered across our counters "drying", I remembered that tomorrow is Saturday and that means we are going to get our dishwasher repaired.


All through graduate school, Charlie and I didn't have a dishwasher and although it was something that we got use to ... it was always something that we missed. I specifically recall promising myself that in our next house, and all of our houses forever more, we would have a dishwasher. It is by far - my most relied upon appliance.

Rivaled only by a washing machine.

A dryer.

A refrigerator.

And a stove.

Not having a dishwasher for the past few days has been really tough. Even though I normally wouldn't complain about washing dishes, this is a particularly daunting task when you have an 8-month pregnant belly that severely hinders the functional distance between your hands and the faucet.

So tonight, once we had sat down to dinner, I reminded Charlie that in 24-hours, we were going to have a fully operational dishwasher.

Double Yippee!!

It was a moment of joy, just knowing that by tomorrow, at that very time, we wouldn't be eating off of paper plates and our counters would no longer be covered with random utensils. That our children would pull off the counter before they would dry. And run through the house with. And we would end up washing the same exact item five times before it was ever put away.

For a moment, a clutter-free feeling of euphoria settled over us.

And then, the phone rang.

My hat truly goes off to customer service representatives whether they work in a custom window, door and molding store where pregnant women stand dumbfounded as their 2-year old child knocks over massive doors ... OR ... if they are the unfortunate soul who has to make a call at 6:30 PM to inform a customer that the technician who was suppose to be at their house the very next morning to repair their defunct piece of crap Kitchen Aid dishwasher that has broken four times in four months, is unavailable and the soonest they can schedule a repair would be Wednesday.

Working with the general public - particularly if they are in the third trimester of pregnancy - can be a tough job.

Hence, my second tip of the day is to never, ever call an 8-month pregnant woman, who has 2-year old triplets, when she has been without a dishwasher for five days and tell her that it is going to be another five days before someone can come out and complete the repair.

Or if you are in that unfortunate position ... at least once during the course of the conversation, throw in a "I'm really sorry for the inconvenience." And say it like you mean it.

After listening to me on the phone - Charlie decided that he is going to handle the repair calls and fact finding missions from this point on.

Apparently, he didn't think it was *appropriate* for me to tell the customer service representative that I was going to sue them all the way to bankruptcy if they didn't find a way to get someone out to our house before Wednesday of next week.

Funny, I don't recall saying that.

Although everything did go kind of white after I heard the words, "No technician available ... reschedule ... next week." The only thing I remember is "Oh Good Lord ... NO!!!!!"

So, I've resigned myself from doing just about anything ... except incubate. After today, my husband has endorsed my decision to stay at home and keep my feet up.

It's so relaxing, you know.


  1. Jenna--
    Use the dishwasher as a drying rack. You can shut it when the kids are tempted to pull out the cups. That's what we do. We wash everything in the sink (I know, you think we're crazy for not using a pefectly functioning dishwasher, but I have my reasons), then load the wet dishes into the dishwasher to dry, shutting it as necessary. If we leave it open, my trio likes to sit and run their matchbox cars on the open door. It makes a great car table. That should get you through to next week's repair appointment. Good luck!
    -Debbie H.

  2. I know a good lawyer! He's a genius... I'm glad you liked Shayna's video! I've posted it on my Blog with the explanation! LOL! Can't wait to visit with you guys! :)

  3. So funny...before I even read what happened in the door store, I was htinking to myself, "Uh.Oh. She took William." And not because I know William, but because I know little boys. And those kind of slow-motion disasters...phew. I'm just glad no one was hurt.

    The drying rack idea is great - we have a dysfunctional dishwasher as well right now. Killing me. But it does help to get the clean dishes off the counter...But I hope Wednesday comes quickly for you!