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May 23, 2011

The Dishwasher Must Die!

by Harley

Eastern1 Ever notice how fiction’s bad guys these days are always the Russian mob, or the Ukranians? It’s like we recycled old Cold War characters, dressing them up in capitalism and leather jackets. I’m guilty of it myself, in my 4th novel--and before you start yelling “xenophobe!” let me say that I’m half Slovak, which is just down the block from Ukraine. But now these people--my people--have shown up in my real life. Here’s how it happened.

3 years ago I moved into a “new” house, 25 years old (the house, not me) that came with elderly appliances, plus a home warranty policy that repairs or replaces appliances as they die off. When the policy expired I signed on for another year at $975, and got lucky when my hot water heater burst.

Since the water heater, no appliances have died, but many have gone on the fritz (apologies to any reader named Fritz) including—8 times—my dishwasher.

I loathe my dishwasher. Not to name names, but the brand starts Images with “M” and rhymes with Paytag.

Here’s the drill. The dishwasher breaks. I call up Crabby Home Warranty (not its real name) and a computer answers, saying, “Please state the nature of your problem. For instance, if your air conditioner is not cooling the air, you could say, ‘my air conditioner is not cooling the air.’ Or—”

            I say, “My dishwasher isn’t washing my dishes.”

            “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Please state the nature of your problem. For instance, if—”

            “My dishwasher won’t wash dishes.”

            “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Please state the—”

            “MY STUPID CHEAP DISHWASHER IS BAKING SCUM ONTO MY PLATES AND I NEED A BLOWTORCH TO GET IT OFF.”

            “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. I’ll connect you with a human being so sullen you’ll wish you were talking to me.”

The human assigns me a case number and turns my file over to Kremlin Appliance Repair (not its real name).

_40508887_brezhnev_ap_238 Kremlin Appliance Repair sends over Yuri or Yaroslaw or Mikhail. Never the same guy twice. I pay him the $60 service fee. Yuri examines the Paytag, orders a part, and leaves. A week later Yaroslaw shows up with the part, does the repair, and lectures me about liquid detergent and over-rinsing my dishes, explaining that detergent needs food particles to stick to. I switch detergents and leave food on plates. 2 months later the Paytag stops working, only now Mikhail shows up, orders parts, tells me sternly, “you must scour plates before you load. Anyone knows this.” Six weeks later, it’s Boris, who wags a finger at me, saying dishwashers are only as good as their rinse agent, but even so, a dishwasher cannot be expected to truly clean dishes.

Wha—?

Because there’s a 30-day warranty on service calls, the Paytag always waits 5 weeks between breakdowns, ensuring that I will go broke, $60 at a time. I was explaining this to Cindy, my Jenny Craig counselor, by way of justifying my need to self-medicate with cookies, when Cindy looked around furtively, then whispered, “Harley—you’re not using Kremlin Appliance Repair, are you?” the way people do when discussing Satanic cults or mafiosi. Vladimir-Ilyich-Ulyanov-Lenin-1895-Police-Mugshot-Mug-Shot And that’s when it hit me. In our troubled economy, people trained in one trade--schoolteachers, carpenters, assassins--find themselves flipping burgers and repairing appliances. Yet therein lies my solution.

The Paytag must die. Bronislav or Leonid or Dmitri must pronounce it dead, so that Crabby Home Warranty will buy me a new one (perhaps a Bosch!) I know this won’t come cheap. I know Kremlin is getting kickbacks from the appliance parts company. I don’t care. The Paytag has had eight service calls in fifteen months. I’m losing the will to live.

My question is, what's the going rate for an appliance hit? And what’s the etiquette? I’ve never negotiated with the mob before. Do I just blurt it out? And is it immoral? Illegal? Am I a racketeer?

Is there an inanimate object you’d send to sleep with the fishes? And how would you do it?

добрый день!

Harley

 

 

 

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Comments

Hi Harley,

Wait a sec . . . sorry . . . can't write while laughing!

I currently have two broken toilets. Steve flushes them with an empty milk jug while we await the new toilet that will be ordered as soon as I cash in a bond or whatever for the downpayment. I'll remember not to sign up for the service plan. Thanks for the tip!

In the past six months, I've had to replace the entire AC system, duct work included, and had to call in a plumber for the the WC in the Master Bedroom; if I'd tried to fix it, his child would now be planning to attend Harvard. On Venus.

I keep reminding myself about the American Dream: "Own your own home! It's the American Way!" But I have been remembering, with a sense of longing nostalgia, the Apartment Days, the days something went wrong, a phone call or two, and it was fixed. At no charge.

My recommendation, Miss H, is just bite the bullet and replace the Dishwasher from Hell. As Nike says, "Just Do It!" and get it over with. Life is so much easier that way....:)

Unhappy because of not working appliances? Smile you are in Los
Angeles and here LA Appliance repair will aid you in everything.

Is it just me, or does the LA Appliance Repair spam bot have a sinister eastern european accent, almost as if LA Appliance repair's true agenda is to get moose and squirrel...

Oh, my GOD! They've found me, Joshilyn! And I've led them right to the blog.

Quick, everyone: head for the mattresses.

Jeeze... you made me spit my coffee. This was hysterical, Harley! I love your humor.

I am on deadline and surrounded by house painters and an electrician my husband--who thought it was doing me a favor---hired to install a ceiling fan. You can imagine the mood I'm in. If my dishwasher quit now, even the Russian mob would be afraid to approach this house. Lemme talk to your dishwasher people, Harley. They'll have that new Bosch installed in a jiffy.

I had a Maytag just like the one in the picture. It worked perfectly for 12 years w/o a single service call. And then it died. I tried to replace it, but can't find one with that configuration of the sloping top basket, which made loading tall platters and pans on the bottom so easy. As for repairing things, my husband's favorite tool is the telephone. He found a wonderful local roofer a few years back and now we call the roofer whenever anything in the house goes wrong and the roofer recommends someone competent and trustworthy. My advice, Harley, is find a good roofer.

Harley, you're a riot.

I say one look at Brezhnev's unibrow is enough to kill anything, even a dishwasher.

Nancy
http://nancylauzon.blogspot.com
The Chick Dick Blog

Oh, Nancy, Nancy. That's what I need right now. A tough-talking pissed-off on-deadline Pittsburgh girl.

Margaret, I think you're onto something. My Maytag has passed its expiration date.

What do Brezhnev's eyebrows represent? Stalin's moustache at a higher level.

Years ago, my aunt wanted a new refrigerator. My uncle said the one they had was fine, but they would get a new one when it quit working. He came home one day and the refrigerator wasn't cold at all. They got the new one that my aunt wanted. She had simply unplugged it.

Genius! Katherine, your aunt, and Paulina, your facial hair observations.

Harley, you need to call Fred at Miracle Appliance Parts in T.O. and ask Can This Dishwasher Be Saved? because he's will tell you the truth and probably won't charge you to do so. Colleen Cason wrote a great piece about him. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/may/01/at-this-parts-shop-the-fix-is-always-in

Katherine, I find your aunt delightfully devious!

Oh, Harley. No one should have to put up with that kind of runaround. And eight service calls at $60 a pop? That's almost $500 you could have added the $195 to and bought a halfway good machine with.

My first stepdad was a GE repairman. He taught us to scrape the big stuff off, but to leave something on the plates. However, my Bosch, now 12 trouble-free years old, does better if I rinse the dishes, since the two of us don't generate enough dirty plates, etc. to run it daily.

Omigod, how did they find you so quickly? LOL

Too funny! I just had a service person come for my dishwasher, which I haven't used in months, because the coffee cups looked gross so how clean could the rest be? I realized it was still under warrantee when a renewal notice came. He didn't find any mechanical, fixable problems, but filled me in on the reasons newer dishwashers can't match the older ones, mostly water temp. issues. We upped the temp. on the water heater. He also advised insulating the heater and the pipes, and some people buy auxiliary heaters for under the sink. He recommended brand-name powdered detergents instead of eco-friendly, and said that unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid would clean up the accumulated soap residue.
After he left, I thought about doing all that, and then decided that it doesn't take all that long to just wash them in the sink (and let them drain in the dishwasher. My daddy used to say he had five dish washers in the house and didn't need to buy one . . .
I did like the one I bought for the condo in '98 or so, stainless steel interior, might have been a Maytag. The dishes actually got clean.

Aacck, it was $975! You could have bought an even better dishwasher!

Another thing my stepdad taught us: Don't buy the extended warranty. If the thing is going to die, it will surely show signs of expiration well before the manufacturer's warranty expires.

Mary, if your BRAND-NEW house doesn't have the latest energy technology, then no one's does.

That's why I like the Bosch: it heats the water on its own. Very energy efficient. I think KitchenAid has one that is similar.

Oddly enough, I lunched with people who were shopping for a dishwasher yesterday (as I'm sure you will be soon) and they said the feature you want is steam before the wash cycle starts.

Also, I am very smitten with Wave high efficiency dishwasher detergent. They sell it at Whole Foods and Fresh & Easy, and I think Target has it now. The trick is to use very little. Over the course of the first few weeks, I saw my dishes get shinier and the haze I thought was permanent is gone.

Appliances:

The only appliance I have to pay for is the washer and dryer. They came from Sears. The washer has needed service twice in the last 11 years. The techs have always been on time, with the part and friendly. Best of all, they fix it the first time and it stays fixed.

The down side is the 800 number. I start with the year model and serial number. They start with what is the code of the LCD display. I finish with there isn't any **** LCD you idiot. Find someone who can call the truck out to the house. I asked the last tech about it. He hears that every day. He gave me the local number. I don't mind calling India or West Virginia. I mind idiots in India and West Virginia.

Katherine, your aunt was too clever! My mother did something similar once, when my brother and his wife and two children were living in her house "temporarily" (the visit that never ends, it just goes on an on my friends) . . . Mom didn't use the oven in the summer, why heat the house? My ex-SIL didn't agree as she loved to bake. Mom's stove had a tricky little switch that put the oven out of commission (maybe a timer?) "Oh no, the oven is broken! Well, no need to fix it until fall."

My niece's husband put a timer on their DSL connection to get her away from her on-line addictive game and back to paying attention to him and their five children. It worked until the youngest told her about it . . .

Hitmen:

I learned strange things in college. The law courses were taught by the Hon. John J. Hoban, chief judge of St. Clair County, Illinois. Mayor Daley got Illinois to pass a law allowing county judges to be appointed for life. He was one of the five and the only one not from Chicago appointed before the law was changed. He also outlived the other four. He taught us to never hire the cheapest hit man, he's a cop.

Then there is the Mike Danton case. If any of you mystery writers gave this to your editors, it would come back asking why you were switching to fantasy writing. Goes to show, you should not allow 19 year old junior college girls to hire hit men for you either.

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2009-10-21/news/mike-danton-saga-continues-mouse-found-can-mountain-dew-dignitaries-turkmenistan-learn-really-st-louis-education-system-kmox-regain-no-1-title/

Yes, the thing needs to be destroyed! There is no need to contract out for a hit when you know people who will do this for you at no charge. I'll bring the shotgun and a few slugs; problem solved.
If you prefer not to have the carcass left in your kitchen, I'll send the guys over to remove it and we'll add it to the pile of office equipment scheduled for execution at the range.

I'd like to send my GE wall mounted oven to become an artificial reef. It has two temperatures: off and burnt to a cinder block set the house on fire.
But not before popping the circuit breaker in the garage which involves trying to climb over the washer and dryer in the dark because you have to set up the 6 foot ladder to change the florescent bulbs in the light fixture. It reminds me of the strobe light disco days when I do the laundry.
There are NO handy men in Miami Springs. You have to import them from Hialeah which sometimes seems like another planet but trust me cost a lot more if they can even find your house. Sign language only works if you can see the person, ya know?
So I bought some plastic fish and turned my oven into an aquarium. At least the light still works.

I've got a freezer that's giving me trouble.

Xena, this is the problem with insisting that every high school graduate go to college: We no longer have people who know how to, or are willing to, fix appliances, cars, plumbing, electricity, or HVAC. And so many young people would do much better if they were trained to do this kind of stuff! Those trades make as much as $100 an hour. Where else can you find that kind of moolah?

No dishwasher...didn't come with the house and when we did the kithcen over we didn't have space for one...oh well. If future buyers want to tear out some storage space, so be it. My electric stove is the culprit...or used to be before we got a new one. The burners would die out...always one big one and one little one. Replace them...the others would follow suit. Replace them and the new ones somehow wouldn't quite heat. Arghh. We gave up and got a new stove. So far, so good...and this one has a self-cleaning oven. That works. So far. My heart goes out to you Harley...

Just checked yesterday's, and Hank, I'm proud of you for telling the truth . . sort of.
Xena, "boss's? boss'? I need grammar check people!"
The latest I've read says that both are acceptable (but maybe add a comma before people).
As for personal trashy behavior, does stealing rhubarb from a neighbor's garden count?

Karen, the dishwasher guy said the same thing about repair people, and he said it's a good living also. Of course, he also told me of having service calls in gang member's homes and other unsavory aspects, so maybe not for the faint of heart. Our FHN students who made the cut to go half-days to Lewis & Clark Tech were very happy about it. The students there even build a house each year, which is always in demand because of the high quality.

A friend has a wonderful flat-top stove that is only hot if her special (steel?) pans are atop a burner . . . no burning one's hands on a hot burner. Mine is a flat-top, but not quite as advanced, and the HE washer "dances" when it spins. I think I could have made better choices . . .

There are so many commercial ads for appliances that seem somehow unreal.
The couple who stands at a washer and dryer display and celebrates the new purchases while trying to apologize for booting out their old appliances is not too believable.
The slogans "Lowes Knows" and Home Depot's "Let's Do Something Together" are kind of creepy. I am wary of getting too intimate with these guys.
The bells that go off when the dishwasher is finished drying the load is unnerving.
I am intently watching NCIS and a signal from the kitchen goes off. DH asks me what that sound was, I tell him and he asks what I am going to do about it.

The microwave and the oven beckon to me and I must get off my tush and attend to them or they might punish me by not shutting the signal off.
I have lived in my home over thirty years and I guarantee you that we must have replaced our dishwasher every 3 to 5 years. It's a given.

OMG, Big Brother (LA Appliance Repair) really IS watching, and it's your fault we know this now, Harley!

If I were to to try to install a dishwasher in my current apartment, I might as well just invite someone to pound on my door at 4 a.m. every morning and deliver a new, bad, joke to my bleary-eyed self. The little building was in place before city sewage lines, apparently, and the 'outgoing' line from the city is several inches higher than our drains . . . .

We had a refrigerator (brand new) for an income property we remodeled. One year later, it broke. It took a month to get the first warrantee repair guy, so we had to provide the tenant with a mini fridge which we bought. When the repairman finally came, he ordered a part. It took two weeks to come in, and when they came back to install it, they sent a different repairman who said the first one was an idiot and ordered another part. Five repairmen, five parts, three months, and many irate calls later, the company replaced the refrigerator. The model we had in the kitchen had been discontinued (no big surprise there), so they sent the replacement model. Which was great except that it was slightly larger and wouldn't fit though the kitchen door. They wouldn't exchange it. It is now in the living room. We no longer have the tenant, but we have two refrigerators.

None of us would have any of these problems if the inventors of the world got off their collective asses and invented the Robot Maid. How many freaking times do I have to say this???? Robot Maid! Sheesh.

(Harley, it is too bad you are not on Facebook, because I'm posting about lying on a beach with Daniel Craig and Johnny Depp, and a roasted pig. The only thing missing is you. And a Mimosa.)

Omg, your post and these comments are both hilarious and horrifying.

I don't currently have any inanimate object I long to attach to cement blocks and dump in the East River. (Long drive to do that, anyway.)

But I would oh so happily strangle the computer woman for T-Mobile. She's the only "person"I ever scream at. She has the MOST infuriating tone to her voice. It hits every MANIAC button I've got. After dealing with her, *I* need a repairman.

Brunonia, I am withdrawing my entry from the Worst Appliance Nightmare sweepstakes. You are now the front runner.

Nancie-the-Gun-Tart, this is why we love you. A no-fee execution and free carcass removal? No one can top that.

I'm feeling better and better by the minute. Even though it's time to throw on the rubber gloves and go do some dishes.

Ramona, bless you, but I bet if I showed up, you'd keep Daniel and Johnny and make me share the beach blanket with the pig.

Yes, Nancy T., thank you. Who invents these computer voices? I too scream at them. And then I wonder if they have humans monitoring THOSE calls for "quality control" and how often they hear customers verbally abusing the computer voice? And if they're then adding me to some Customer Service Abuse database?

Mary, your friend has what is known as an induction cooktop. They work through magnetic fields, somehow, but only with flat-bottomed steel cookware. Glass, ceramic, copper-bottom, and aluminum won't work.

They're pretty cool, though, and can boil water as close to immediately as any method I've seen. And yes, you can put your hand on the burner when it's on and not even feel the heat, unless you're wearing steel knuckles or something.

I always try to do my patriotic duty and wash only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher,
However, the plea for some clothes washers that wash twenty-six pairs of jeans only leaves one alternative but to become a modern washerwoman.
The Craig's list ad, "Send me your tired, your hungry and your dirty jeans" is a real possibility,
Other than snatching all the dirty jeans in the house to fulfill the correct number for the washer I can only can succumb to jean night. Similar to Blue Bloods I can only coerce grandma, grandpa and all the kids to come to the dinner table sans jeans. They must bring one dirty pair of jeans. Grandma and Grandpa have the pull-up type and of course there are plenty of mom jeans although all the women in the family aspire to be Tom Selleck's daughter and receive that obligatory kiss on the cheek.
I know it can happen..can towels and bedsheets be far behind?

A screw has broken on the upper rack of my dishwasher (a Maytag that is about 8 years old and hasn't caused any problems...so far). I called about getting a replacement piece to pop into the rack and get it back on the track. Uh uh. They don't replace that piece, it is the entire rack...for $220. We only paid $399 for the damn dishwasher. The next one will be an LG or Bosch or KitchenAid/Huskavarna. It will be close to $1000 but it will be worth it.

Dear Hubby can fix anything. He has put in the toilet, tub, sink, build the cabinet around the sink. He has put in the garbage disposal, attic fan, dishwasher, and our brand new a/c system (including the ductwork). But he takes ForFuckingEver to get it done. We were without a dishwasher for 3 months. It was in the box in the garage. We still have a furnace in the basement that he bought almost 20 years ago but never installed. Of course, when we had to replace the a/c he bought a BRAND NEW FURNACE. The one that had never been used was too old.

Alan, I have never understood why that girl got off as easily as she did. She was the one that went looking for the hitman. I guess they figured she was too stupid to cause too much trouble.

Harley, you need to see if there is a "Lemon" clause in the contract. If after so many attempts to repair something doesn't work, they have to replace it. Here in Missouri they have that for used cars, lol.

We have an appliance dishwasher, and it works fine, but we only run it every month or so. My husband is the human dishwasher. He will put the rinsed plates into the dishwasher until 6 of the 8 are used. Then we just use the last two plates over and over again until the rest of the dishwasher slowly fills up. I sneak in my cereal bowls until we run out of bowls, too. Then we run the appliance.

Pam, if I didn't have so many dishes to do, I'd go dig out that contract and look for the Lemon Clause. But then I'd see that my file cabinet is screaming to be tidied up because there are so many unfiled papers proliferating, and I'd stop to clean it up, and there goes my day.

And now I have to go rent a car in order to pick up the kids from school because my own car--which just last week went in for maintenance -- has a stuck window that won't roll up. And now the car itself is stuck in the Toyota service center.

Is it too late to start life over as a Native American, living in the U.S. before Columbus came over and brought appliances with him? Some days I'm just tired of electricity and batteries.

Storyteller Mary, I have some neighbor's rhubarb ready to use today. To avoid being trashy, I will take them some rhubarb bars!

You all make me so glad I am a renter! I have a basic 24" apartment fridge & stove, both work fine. We have a laundry room with 2 washers/dryers and they work fine as well. Worth the coinage to use as well. I don't have a dishwasher or microwave or even a toaster so I have nothing to break.

My dad died in 1993 and in the 2 years after he died my mom had to replace the dishwasher, stove, hot water tank, dryer and furnace . . . Talk about accumulating stress! Crap this makes me realize that all those appliances are nearly 20 years old. She has also replaced the fridge and washer in the ensuing years. Again, so glad I rent.

You know, I'm actually fine washing dishes by hand. It's my laundry room I can't live without. So now I have a new question. If I let my dishwasher sit there, relieved of its dishwashing duties, perhaps I can use it for some interesting new purpose.

Thoughts?

I realized as I was about to clean house that there is one appliance I would like to throw off the balcony - my vacuum . . . or should I say vacuums. I have 2 second had vacuums, one that works for the hardwood and one that works on the area rugs. I don't like either of them but too cheap to get a new one, oh well, house work awaits.

Harley, in the early 1970's I baked a pumpkin pie in the dishwasher, and some friends used to make baked fish in theirs. (I know; we were weird.) As long as the dishwasher heats up, even if it doesn't wash, you could use it for cooking.

Your dog seems to think it's a dandy spot for a nap!

Gaylin, I feel so strongly about my Miele vacuum cleaner that it's like a family pet. Ditch those cheapo vacuums.Go Miele.

This post is too funny. I too am having dishwasher issues. Mine is a BitchinAid...That's cause is gives me reason to bitch.

When we built our house, we put in one of those gorgeous kitchens with all matching paneling...and I bought all Bitchinaid appliances. 2 weeks after the one year warranty ran out, the light in the microwave blew out.You know one of those lovely micro/oven combos. Well you cant change your own light in the BitchinAid. I called in the people that installed it and it was ...are you all sitting down? 140$ for the lightbulb, and 175 $ for it to be changed because the location of the dang light was too complicated!! I gave the salesman who sold me that microwave a talking to...and I also bitched to BitchinAid. Too complicated my ass.

Naturally I fought that one, and only ended up paying for the light. 5 years later and the light is gone again..so we don't use a light It's also gone in the stove...oh well, have to open it, and the baking part of the oven doesn't work right..- oh well again. The convection works just fine... a Year ago, the dishwasher stopped closing. Apparently the lovely panelling we have on the front , causes springs to sprung. So my appliance guy (Hartman Appliance in orlando FL; I love him) re-engineered the door to close. Cause to replace the door was $400.

Now my electrical panel in the dishwasher doesn't work. My boys have been doing dishes by hand for the last three months until I find a dishwasher I actually like...

And I do love my Oreck. Cost a pretty penny 11 years ago but still going strong. But shhhh, don't complain about your appliances too loudly. I am FIRMLY convinced that if your other appliances hear you talking to much about another appliance, they break down too ...for the attention.

If you aren't using your dishwasher to wash dishes (Karen, you never fail to amaze and amuse), and it stays nice and dry inside, consider it as a place to store awkward-sized cookware to free up cupboard space, or dishes, manuscripts and tax documents that you wouldn't want to have crunched in a possible earthquake. (Thereby saving the problem of being distracted by your filing if you tried to place said ms's and tax docs in file drawer.)

And WHY does everything break at the same time?

I use my dishwasher as a large dish drainer. The repairman said that was a new one to him, but it seemed an obvious choice, and my Aunt Yoko has been doing it for years.

Storyteller Mary, can it be that you've been holding out on us the news that you are the niece of Yoko Ono?!?

And Hank, I think it's as Lora in Florida says: one appliance hears about the broken ones getting visitors and they think, "hey, where's MY repairman?"

And Karen, I wish that were my lovely dog, but that's some random internet dog that appeared when I googled "Paytag dishwashers" . . .

Our dishwasher is broken right now too... Not on the fritz though it was for months. You could turn it on my changing the cycle (light, normal, or heavy) and then pressing start but now it is just dead...

The repair man came with the landlord to fix it last week and when I got home there was an orange cat sitting in my kitchen. I have 2 grey cats but no orange cat. After heart attack and scaring cat out of house the dishwasher is still broken. Notice the LANDLORD. Yeah, I'm a renter and it's still broken... At least we're back to just our two cats...

Ha, when we remodeled our kitchen we decided to replace all the appliances with Maytags. That was only 7 years ago. Piles of junk. We just replaced Maytag dryer last month along with the stupid Electrolux vacuum that was only 9 months old. The lonely Maytag repairman should be shot. I have a Bosch dishwasher which I love and is only 4 years old. For Christmas last year, the circuit board went out in it. I had to have that repaired along with buying a new washer. I have the absolutely worst luck ever with appliances.

I think I need to start praying to the appliance God more. Is there one?

It is, of course, a plot to keep us buying more. My friend Sue is tricking them by buy vintage appliances -- of course she, her husband, and her children all know how to fix things. http://www.grannysu.blogspot.com/
My Aunt Yoko is waaaay nicer than that Yoko . . .

So funny...and true! Every time our dishwasher has broken, the estimate to "fix" it has *always* been more than the cost of a new dishwasher. Grrr.

But we haven't met such...um...intimidating service personnel yet, so there's that.

Er, uh, dare I mention "sink"? No motor, no moving parts. And oh, so quaint.

Harley, it's time to wave the white towel and then throw it in. Retire the Paytag and buy yourself a dishwasher that works. Hmm, in L.A., that could mean a struggling actor, right? Nobody said that your new dishwasher had to be a machine, did they?

Yes, Skipper. I'm on very good terms with my sink. The kitchen sink, that is. The upstairs bathroom sink, on the other hand, has a stopper that won't come out once it's in, unless -- and I've gotten very good at this -- you take a needle, a very thin sewing needle, to pry out the stopper. Of course, after awhile one grows weary of this and just yanks out the stopper and leaves it by the side of the sink, but then things disappear down the drain. Dogs, children, etc.

Too bad Bob can't earn his blue tuxedo by doing the dishes for you, Harley.

We have a built-in microwave that keeps acting wonky. I'm babying it along because they don't make that kind any more, and the opening is just size.

It's enough to make a preacher cuss, isn't it?

Mary Stella, you minx.

The Paytag has had eight service calls in fifteen months.

Dear Harley! This greeting from your fans from Russia. However, today we are without a bouquet, but with the best wishes.

Dear Harley!
Welcome to the club of Victims of Kremlin Appliance Repair!
You are awfully lucky that Fortune had been keeping you from knowing them for so long. But there is always a first time.
A Kremlin Appliance Repair worker is a separate species of Homo sapiens, it’s a mutant of the civilization. Geographic range – spread out everywhere. Interior – variously limited. He is located on the top of the food chain as omnivorous (no canibalism facts have been noted, but it is possible that mass media kind of hide them). Externally he looks like Homo Vulgaris, but there are also some particular features.

Here are the main attributes, which may indicate to you that "something in wrong".
1. Не enters your life spontaneously and goes away leaving an indelible mark.
2. Не is dressed either very slovenly or too cleanly. But no matter how he is dressed, he will bring on his shoes into your house all the charm of a farm and of an urban rainy day (dirt, clay, oil, and God knows wherelse he was hanging around).
3. Smell of yesterday or the day before yesterday or three -day-ago hangover . From time to time addes some booze more.
4. He carries a suitcase with tools, which is usually missing : a screwdriver, pliers, an adhesive tape, a wrench 8x10 and lots of other things. Be ready that he will ask you to give him all this stuff.
5. Нe’s not got a telephone with him, but even in case he’s got one, the battery will be flat or the phone’s got a zero balance. And he needs badly to reach someone somewhere (the foreman of his company, his Mom in Mariupol, a friend in Nizhny Tagil).
6. By the way, he’s not got any gloves and towels to dry hands with him either. Therefore, he tortures your phone with his hands smeared in ... depends on what he has just repaired at your place.
7. This guy is a fountain of wisdom. He knows all the answers.Being too modest, he doesn’t participate in the show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?". He thinks it’s his duty to give you a piece of advice concerning the stuff you’ve never asked him: "Before leaving, turn the lights off ", "Wash your hands before eating", "You must scour plates before you load them into the dishwasher."
If Fortune is gracious to you, this will be all. If not, then get ready to hear about nine ways of pickling, a method of making an ointment for corns, and several ways of cleaning sink without purchasing detergents.
8. And the last one… Sometimes they are back.
I might have missed some specific features, but usually two or three of them are enough to understand that I'm screwed.

So what to do with the Dishwasher? Definitely Carthage must be destroyed! The question is how. If we draw a parallel with our Russian reality, we must fight the enemy with his own weapon.
If we consider the company «Sweet FA Warranty» as an enemy then the weapon is the only one (or maybe two, for the greater success) : it’s a worker of Services, an employee of the company. He has to be a slav, this is an essential requirement.
So sneaky Dishwasher’s broken again. We call the Service, make an order and start preparing ourselves for the meeting very actively.
To start : we send children out of the house. No matter to where: to neighbors, school, summer camp, to their grandmother to eat pies. The scene of the offence is not a place for children.
After that we go shopping. The question is : a bottle of vodka and a simple snack to match. This snack can be boiled potatoes powdered with chive and salted herring carved with your own hands, because these villains - hardworkers of service are awfully choosy and they perceive the herring carved in industrial way as personal insult.
Don’t buy an expensive Vodka, buy a delicious one! If you don’t know what kind of it is delicious, ask the security guy, he may turn out to be one of the brothers-Slavs.
After having prepared on the table a still life in the style of Petrov-Vodkin “ Food and alcohol”, cover it with a towel, it will be used for wiping hands of Yuri / Jaroslav / Michael / Bronislaw / Leonid / Dimitri afterwards.

Finally he rings your door bell…
As soon as his foot steps on your territory, take the bull by the horns, that is to say go straight forward "Are you going to eat?" or "You, bald, wanna somme booze?"
If he replies "No" , you’d rather slam the door before his face and let him go home. Or otherwise let him in, stoically get through all the torments, walk him back to the door, friendly grinning at his back, then put the vodka and snack into the fridge until the next successful hunt in five weeks.
If he replies "Well, I have to think it over", then this is 50 to 50. You can try to carry out your plan with him too. But no guarantees. Therefore you’d rather let him in, stoically get through all the torments, walk him back to the door, friendly grinning at his back, then put the vodka and snack into the fridge until the next successful hunt in five weeks.
If he says:"Yes!", "Sure!", "Of course I will!" or "If the doctor is full, then the patient feels easier!”, this means that this is what you need! Grab him at his ... (no, it’s better not to grab, these workers are sometimes so shy). Just smile at him with a female tarantulas smile inviting potential husband to dinner with her in her burrow. If he wants to work before lunch, do not contradict: you do not care anymore, and he is pleased. Dishwasher’s hours are numbered.
During the dinner be ready to listen to the story of his difficult childhood in the Soviet Union, about his youth full of hardships, about difficult family life of the hero with listing of all the relatives up to the fifth generation, including his wife’s line. Do not forget to keep smiling gently and adding vodka. If it is really hard to listen, take a glass for yourself …but not really for bending your elbow.
When the bozo reaches the desired condition ... - it will be obvious due to the change the nature of the conversation: from monologue he goes to questions usual for any Russian "Who is guilty?", "What to do?", "It's hard, I suppose, without a man?" At this very point, you should sigh plaintively and say quickly:
"Excuse me, could you help me?"
"Easily." (he thinks you need to twist a light bulb in the nursery, or to change the spark plug in your car, or, at worst, hang a shelf in the bathroom).
"You see, this dishwasher, because of which I actually invited you (stress your voice so that he would have no doubt that you asked for him, not Boris / Sergei / Nicholai / Anton), disturbs me. I would like, don’t understand me wrong, to get rid of it."
"What do you mean «to get rid of»? For good?"
"Yes." You sigh devotedly looking into his eyes.
"It's impossible! It’s under warranty! You cannot throw it!" It seems, he is too smart beyond his years.
"I know! That's why I beg (emphasize this too) for your help!"
"No," he would say. "I can’t break it! How can I, I’ve repaired it! It's practically family ties!"
"No need to break it." You cannot stand it anymore. "It should disappear, just disappear off the face of the Earth. There is a dishwasher - there is a problem. No dishwasher - no problem."
And here comes his mighty Slavic mother wit:
"And if I stole it?..." He says the phrase you have been trying to extract from him for two hours.
"Yes, I want it," you reply.
"Five hundred!" he says to you.
You calculate in your mind that this is only a year of repair and understand that you got off cheap. You give him a five.
"Well, I’ll come tonight with my brother. He is single by the way! I can introduce you to each other. He also works with us."
You waving your head in different directions in a horror. "No, no, don’t worry."
"Eh... Ma’am then ... this ... add something else you don’t care for, otherwise the cops will get curious why only dishwasher has been stolen."
You agree on everything.

By evening, you collect for "thieves" two bales with old stuff which nobody had not worn for ten years but you didn’t have the heart to throw it away. You’re nervious just like before an important exam.
Finally, under the cover (ooh, the Stones) of night they arrive. Five minutes of shame, and your headache disappears into the bowels of an old minivan. You watch them leaving with tears in your eyes.

The most difficult thing is to call the cops in the morning. To lie in the eyes of a kind inspector, he looks so much alike Cruz Castillo. But a year spent under the yoke of the dishwasher, gives you strength. The Inspector leaves assuring you that he will find the stuff, certainly in less than forty years . This duration is perfect for you, and you are looking again with tears on your eyes this time at the cops’ car leaving.
There is only one thing left now : calling, where the heck you rented this monster ? You tell them with a broken-hearted voice about the robbery. You are indignant about the criminal situation in the country. You lament the mountain of unwashed dishes in the kitchen. They comfort you, hope for the help of the police, promise to help themselves if they can.

It does not take even an hour, that your door bell rings again . After your joyful question: "Who's there?", you hear no less than joyful response: "Sweet FA Warranty!". Feeling that something terrible will happen, you open the door and see another Service worker, Russian of course. There is a box beside him. Its size seems suspiciously familiar to you.
"Our company found internal reserves and decided to organize delivery and installation of a new dishwasher for you, absolutely free of charge, that is a gift."
You are confused by the word "new" and you trustfully let him in.

An hour later you hear long-expected "Ma’am, it’s over!" from the kitchen. You go there with your heart in your mouth, and ... Oh, a horror! You see the exact clone of your "stolen" torturer. Dumb show.

P.S. A few days later the kind police officer, who looks exactly alike Cruz Castillo, calls you up and tells you good news. Your dishwasher was found unharmed. And with it two bales of old stuff. "Perhaps, tomorrow, if everything is OK, they will drop you all stuff. Unfortunately, the thiefshas not been detected yet, but it is a matter of time... "

P.P.S. Now you have two dishwashers.

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