Thursday, September 24, 2009


It's been a week of annoyances, which resemble tiny insects buzzing around your head. Actually, that was one of the annoyances: very small creatures were suddenly coming from everywhere. The place was like a zoo of the insect world. It took a visit from an exterminator to pinpoint the cause: an open garbage bag left festering on the back porch since Labor Day by my loving family. Garbage having been taken out, peace ensued between us and the insect world. Cost: $175.

My computer dropped dead a couple of weeks ago so I went to Best Buy and ordered a house call. I felt stupid doing so, because a new laptop costs about $600, and the house call costs $200. But this computer was only purchased 15 months ago, and it was too new to fail. My thrifty nature made me incapable of trashing it without a struggle. So I waited all day for the Geek Squad guy. At 4:30 I called the local Best Buy--it only took 15 minutes of talking to robots to find someone to complain to--and the customer service person told me that the repairman had gone home sick. Cost: nothing. Result: also nothing.

Borrowed laptop to pay my bills. Discovered laptop could not connect to the Internet. Called Verizon, who told me the internet connection was working but eventually relented and sent Chuck out to fix whatever it was. Cost: nothing but aggravation and time spent waiting for Chuck and wishing the entire staff of Verizon collectively had only one neck so I could wring it.

Went to Staples and ordered a house call. Repairman showed up, fixed the computer. His diagnosis: I hadn't shut it down correctly. However, his fix only lasted 48 hours. Back to Staples. They sent their own guy, Mohammed, who had a bit of an attitude; his analysis of the problem: loose cables. He more or less insinuated that some mysterious someone had opened the computer and loosened the cables simply to ruin his day. Cost: $175.

Washer refuses to draw water. Turn water off, then back on again. Nothing. That exhausts the limits of my expertise. GE sent a repairman, eventually, who fiddled with the valve and told me a new valve would cost over $200 with parts and labor, and the washer wasn't worth it. Cost of his sage advice: $89.

Downstairs phone, the one that's hard-wired to the wall, develops problem: it works perfectly, but no-one can hear us when we talk into it. Purchased new telephone at Target, went home to hook it up, discovered that it needed three batteries and we only had two in the house. Purchased 16 batteries for $9. Phone works. Cost: $15 for new phone, $9 for batteries, which will come in handy anyway.

Everything is humming along nicely now, but I question how long this will last.


Anonymous said...

But the washer still doesn't work, right? Maybe it's better to call a plumber than those big corporate behemoths.

I hope BestBuy returned your $200.

miriam sawyer said...

The repairman fiddled with it and it works now, temporarily.

But nothing works forever, including this damn computer.