The vacuum cleaner is probably one of the greatest inventions ever as far as I am concerned. It is right up there with the automatic dishwasher, washing machine and modern ranges. Over the last century these fantastic inventions have revolutionized the way accomplish daily chores saving us countless hours of intense and backbreaking labor. And I for one am a woman who would not want to go back to the old way of washing clothes or cooking over an open flame.
So here's the question...what to do when one or more appliances manage to die at the same time. Appliances today are not cheap...most of them typically cost somewhere in the range of $500- $600 for a middle of the road model, and that is a hard one to swallow if two or more of these modern day miracles needs to be replaced.
Well with that being said, here is how my appliance dilemma has come about...
About 3 weeks ago our automatic dishwasher, which is just short of 9 year old, totally crapped out on us. It was like the thing had a mind of its own and simply quit. There was no warning of any kind...no odd noises or inconsistencies in performance...it just stopped working. So fine...we can deal with that for a while...we have two able bodied children who can step up and assume the task of washing and drying dishes. As soon as we can pull the money together we will purchase a new dishwasher. This is rather reasonable way of thinking isn't it? We made the decision that we can live without this wonderful appliance for a few weeks until we can buy a new one.
It was only two days later that one of the burners on our kitchen stove refused to turn off. Me and hubs frantically played with the dang thing for about 15 minutes or so trying turn off the burner as to avoid the unthinkable of unplugging our entire stove from the wall leaving us without anything to cook on or in. Finally the burner was off and not to be used again. So now I am down to 3 working burners but thankfully the oven is also operational. But this is a prelude to the fact that a new stove will be in our not too distant future. Sometime after we pull the money together to replace our dead dishwasher we will have to tighten up the purse strings and begin to save so to replace the now dying stove.
Then last Friday I pulled out our 5 year old Miele to vacuum up the crumbs on the kitchen carpet from a biscuit the dog had eaten, and I realized that it was not picking up a thing! I flipped the vacuum upside down to make sure the beaters were moving and nope, they were as still as can be. Making sure that they were not accidentally turned off, I flipped the switch for the beaters on and off several times but still no movement. Dag...must be the belt I thought. I made the call to the closest vacuum cleaner repair shop which is easily 35-40 minutes away and ask if they repair Miele brand. "Yup" the man said and within minutes I was in the car with my Miele in hand making the trip out to drop it off. He told me just to open up the thing was going to be $40 but that money will also be applied to whatever repairs need to be made. "Call back on Monday morning and it should be ready for pickup" the man told me. I then asked for an estimate and he quoted "$129 to $149 roughly". Not so bad a price and then I can minus the $40 already paid to open up the vacuum. This we can live with and have no real setback in purchasing a new dishwasher, or so I thought.
Monday rolled around and I called the repair shop. I was told it was not ready and that they want to replace the chewed up electrical cord before they gave it back to me. Only one problem...they couldn't get the handle where the cord originates from to open. "Did you or anyone else glue this handle shut at one time?" the man asked. My reply was no and never. The only thing I have ever done was to change sweeper bags. "Call back on Wednesday to see if it's ready" the man said and that is what I did.
So today (I waited until 4pm to give them ample time to to work on my machine) I called the shop to see if it was ready. "Well no it's not" was the reply I got to my question. I explained that my vacuum had been there for a week already. "Can you hang in there another day or two and maybe I have a loaner here and you can just swing by to pick it up." Swing by...what is he kidding me? I told the man that I was about 40 minutes away from his shop and that if the sweeper will be done by the end of the week I would just rather wait to pick it up. "Let me ask you...did you ever glue the handle of the thing shut for any reason?" the man, obviously not the man from Monday, asked. No and never was again my response. "Well I worked on this for about an hour today and can't seem to get it open. How about I give you $100 on a trade-in on a new Miele?" A trade in??? What the heck!!! All I did was drop it off for a simple belt replacement and now we're talking trade in on a new vacuum? "You see I really can't give it back to you with the cord like this. It is a hazard, God forbid it causes a fire with these wires all exposed." OK...I get that, but really how can we afford to buy a new sweeper when the dishwasher has to be replaced? "I can give you a new Miele originally priced at $699 but has been reduced to $599 plus $100 dollars off for the trade-in, with a 2 year supply of bags, a lifetime warranty on the motor, and I'll even throw in a bag of vacuum accessories which is an $89 value." Now my head was flipping spinning off my shoulders. I told the man that I can't just make that call because we currently have other appliances to replace and that I will need to confer with my husband.
I called Mr. Rosemary Lane at work and explained the entire situation. I asked him what he thought we should do and his response was to go out and buy another vacuum only a different, less expensive, brand. But I love my Miele...this is my second one in 12 years and I have to tell you that I am not exactly easy on any of my appliances. With 2 kids and a dog and cat that both shed I need a good brand when it comes to vacuums. Also I am not exactly impressed with this repair shop's inability to replace a simple electrical cord. They have my machine but with no idea of how long it is going to take them to fix the thing, AND they won't give it back to me with the cord's wires exposed.
So here we sit with no dishwasher, 3/4 of a stove top and a vacuum cleaner being held hostage in a repair shop, a questionable repair shop, 40 minutes away! Boy when it rains it really does pour and I am usually a pretty positive person. I'm just hoping...scratch that...praying that nothing else appliance-wise or anything else-wise gives out in the meantime. At this point we have decided to mull over our options but let me ask you...
What would YOU DO??? Cuz I'd sure like to know!
I sincerely hope your day as far as appliances working is going at least a little bit better than mine.
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