Friday, August 14, 2009

Karma Will Get You Every Time!

Ok this is a roundabout adventure we had in the last couple of months and boy, did it teach ME a lesson. It's a little long and convoluted, so bear with me!

Before I disappeared at the beginning of summer, I wrote about two things regarding The Happening Dude, my nephew who is now living with us. You can scroll back to read it if you like.

One was about how we had him completely evaluated psychologically and physically. He has monthly psychiatrist appointments, although it's basically a med check for the one remaining medication he has to take. The doctor doesn't provide therapy, just monitors how he feels physically on the med. But the appointment is way down in the city, over an hour drive each way, and doesn't last more than 5 minutes.

"How are you feeling?" Doc asks.

"I'm ok", says THD.

We've been trying to set up "phone appointments", but apparently Medicaid (he has Medicaid because he is a foster/adopt child) frowns on that.

The second time I wrote about him was regarding an ethical situation---the difference between stealing and "borrowing". We talked about Karma and the variations on that.

"You reap what you sow", we've warned him. "What comes around goes around".

Before we did our "Extreme Makeover" (which I blogged about) of kitchen and bath a couple of years ago, we bought new appliances and had our kitchen counters raised 3 inches because we are a tall tribe.

When I first met Hubby, he owned a successful restaurant/bar. Once in a while he had to fill in as souse chef, prep worker, whatever, if people didn't show up, quit, were fired, etc. Eventually he learned enough from the head chef, so that he filled in as co-chef when they got slammed.

In our home, when we did the appliance makeover, he was the "expert", and went to some scratch and dent/discontinued item discount floor show and brought home HIS fantasy fridge, stove and dishwasher.

None of them are particularly practical for day-to-day use with a busy family. Like they're going to stay looking great forever. There's a reason they've been discontinued---doh!

The dishwasher works great. Except when it's Hubby's turn to wash the dishes. He thinks that for the amount of money we spent that it should automatically clean the baked-in crap on lasagne dishes, the rock-hard congealed melted cheese between fork tines and on spatulas.

He just loads whatever is in the sink and gets mad when after they don't come out clean, I put them back in the sink with instructions to "use a little elbow grease" since it's all been baked back in like concrete during the hot dry cycle.

Really. I'm a busy woman, and I'm nobody's housebitch. One day a week Hubby does the dishes, and dammit, he better get them right! I've trained the other guys to apply the scrubber on tough stuff when it's their turn, but between you and me, I believe Hubby prolly thinks the dishwasher should fold his clothes and give him a blow-job as well. ;-)

The flat top stove is well----a flat top stove. You can't keep it pristine unless you do all the cooking and automatic mess cleaning yourself. And I don't and I won't. It gets used by other people in the household. Sometimes things boil over and/or get burned.

The worse thing is the fridge. I understand why it's been discontinued, because it's a logistical nightmare.

The picture above is representative to the style we have. It's not the same brand, however. For the last couple of years, this fabulous stainless steel fridge has been a humongous thorn in my butt.

First off, any time ANYONE touches it---it gets fingerprints on it. You can't polish it up with a spritz of Windex, because that will ruin the finish. You have to use water, Dawn and an extra dry polishing towel, or a special Stainless Steel cleaner.

The top half is the fridge, the bottom is the freezer.

The fruit and veggie crisper drawers are on the bottom of the fridge section. Which is placed on the very top of the automatic ice maker in the freezer section, so all the fresh fruit and veggies freeze. No matter how we tried to adjust the temperature controls located in the top half of the fridge, any salads or fruits would freeze and then limp around when we tried to defrost them.

So ultimately, the drawers have been used to store things that could get frosty without care.

Like Bacon. And beer. Which practically never moves because Hubby drinks like 3 beers a month.

I resent it. Hell yes, I do. The rest of the fridge is cluttered up with bags of fruit, heads of lettuce, etc.

The freezer has a pull-out drawer on the top. The ice-maker is attached at the top on the left hand side. It has one of those wirey lever things that is supposed to move up with the accumulation of ice and stop when it is moved up to the top.

Except that every time you pull the drawer out, unless you consciously reach way in and make sure the lever is in the top position first, the very act snaps that little lever off and it flies to wherever in the freezer section.

And until you open the freezer again and notice it, it continues to make ice. Overflowing ice. Ice everywhere. Filling every nook and cranny.

My guys aren't terribly conscientious and forget constantly. So frequently when I open the freezer drawer, gallons of ice comes pouring out.

So back to my story. Yes, yes, I digress!

Early in the summer, the refrigerator seemed to stop being cold. We called the repairman, who came and said that the defroster in the main part of the motor in the freezer section had stopped working, and the vents got covered in ice, so that the cold air couldn't flow to the fridge part. He defrosted it, so the cold would flow until he ordered the part and came and fixed it in a week. No biggie. Just a 200 dollar repair bill. Heh. One of many.

I've been all caught up in getting rid of my step-dad's record collection. I had a buttload of records to clean, grade, scan, list and specially pack to ship when we got a call on a Tuesday reminding us of The Happening Dude's appointment down in the city for a med check on Thursday.

Now mind you, it wasn't urgent. He had 5 freaking refills. I was really tired and not looking forward to packing and shipping about a hundred records in the next few days. I rarely miss or reschedule appointments for any of our guys, but the thought of wasting 2 hours to drive down to the city for basically a BS appointment just got the better of me.

Ok, yes I was justifying my bad behavior. I admit it.

So I said, "something's come up, can we reschedule?"

The receptionist said, "well what's come up?"

Gah! That threw me for a loop. Didn't think she'd actually ask.

Mindful of Karma, I didn't say---well, my mom's sick, or I'm sick, or my kid's sick, or my car's broken down, etc....didn't want to wish harm on any of us.

So I blurted out, "My fridge is on the fritz and the repairman can't come until Thursday morning."

And we rescheduled. The Happening Dude was there during the conversation, and he said, "Why did you lie?"

I was on my justifying streak and replied, "Well.....I figured that since I didn't ever have to use the excuse to cancel anything when the fridge broke down a few weeks ago, maybe Karma would be on my side."


Friday morning, it was apparent that there was no cold to the fridge OR the freezer. The lights worked, but nobody was home.

I called the repairman's office. "He was just out here a couple of weeks ago,", I wailed. "Now NOTHING is working!!"

He didn't service our area until the following Wednesday. Luckily, we could put all of our freezables out into the freezer in the garage. Everything else went into coolers with a lot of ice.

And The Happening Dude gave me crap all weekend..."see! it's Karma!"

I bribed him to keep his mouth shut, and Hubby and I spent the next few days trying to jigger our budget to figure out if we could just buy a new fridge, because this one has been more trouble than it is worth. Who knows how much the new repair bill would be? Would it be worth it?

So the repairman comes up on Wednesday, looks it all over and says, "well, everything's turned off."

What? No it's not. I showed him the control dial in the fridge. It was set on high. Nothing. No game.

"Oh those aren't the controls," he said. "Look here".

He pulled out the bottom freezer part, and got down on his hands and knees. I got down there too.

"See?" he said. "These are the controls." And pointed deep into the freezer.

No sh*t. There was an actual control dial down there that regulated the temperature of the entire unit. You have to get down on your hands and knees to even see it. Apparently not only did pulling the top freezer drawer in and out snap off the ice maker lever, but whatever we had stored in there bumped against that control over time and finally turned the whole thing off!

What about the control dial in the top of the fridge that seemed to be the "obvious" control? That's to regulate the amount of "cold" that passes through the top half of the freezer to the veggie and fruit boxes. We had it set at a medium-high level all this time and THAT'S what made them freeze.

After I paid the repairman (60 bucks for the visit), I pulled out the manual that came with the fridge. We apparently got a general one for the "type" of model we purchased. Nowhere does it say that the temperature control is way back in the bottom of the freezer. grrr.

So Karma got me, for good or for bad. On one hand, now we know how to make this monstrosity work. It just took 4 years of repair bills and spoiled produce to figure it all out. On the other hand, it saved us from spending another thousand plus for a better unit.



Clippy Mat said...

i have just checked out MY malfunctioning stoopid fridge to see if there was a control dial hidden someplace i didn't know about because it's always freezing the wrong things in the wrong place, but no. mine's just a piece of sh*t!

Anonymous said...

Well, on the bright side, you don't have to spend a ton of money now on a new unit. It does seem strange that the control dials were hidden at the bottom, I wouldn't have any idea.

Our fridge is about to die, you have given me some good ideas about what not to get. I was sold on stainless steal, until I read your post.

Hopefully, this last visit from the repairman will be the last, at least for several more years.


Rootietoot said...

Sometimes I think kitchen appliances are designed by people with maids.

Brenda said...

That karma can be some bad shit sometimes, fer sure.

Anonymous said...

I coveted SS fridges until someone clued me to the print factor--white is FINE, thanks. But the rest of it--sheesh! Appliances shouldn't be that stressful! Nor should husbands!

Chris H said...

If that had been my fridge I would have taken a sledge hammer to it~! But then, I have a frightful temper when things like that keep crapping out on me!
Like my sewing machine, it's so luckly to still be in one piece I tell ya!
Karma.. yep, jumped up and bit you in the arse! lol

Joanna Jenkins said...

Any appliance that requires me to get on my hands and knees to check a control would be kicked to the curb a month later-- which is about how long it would take me to get back UP off my hands and knees :-)

And you are right about stainless steel. I have a SS dishwasher and it always looks like the dog licked it... but we don't have a dog.

You know THD will never let you forget about karma, right?


Formerly known as Frau said...

Don't ya just hate karma!!

ntsc said...

We have mostly SS apliances, Garland stoves don't come in anything else. I don't care, the wife likes it and she cleans them.

I do the dishes and my wife does most of the cooking, almost all of the shopping, the menus and the like.

I've never found an automatic dishwasher that really gets baked on food out, regardless of what Consumer Reports says. I have had dishwashers that would go down on me, but they weren't automatic.

Attila the Mom said...


Green-Eyed Momster said...

Karma is a bitch! Sorry for all your troubles.
I would love a stainless anything!


stinkypaw said...

My husband often tells me "RTFM", and in this case it would have killed me to find out about the controls being where they are... That said, let me go see on our fridge since we seem to have a similar model which I'm wondering if I should be worried about now or just assumed that Hubby did Read The F*cking Manual? Hmmm...

ntsc said...

If you have to read the manual, odds are the equipment has serious problem.

Beth said...

When even your appliances make for great blog fodder, you're leading a wacky and wonderful life!

Michelle Flaherty said...

It sounds like the appliances are great to look at and admire and then to curse under your breathe for not performing.

Sounds like a guy I once dated. ;)

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Seriously....Kharma is a pain in my arse!

Hope it doesn't bite again soon! :)

St Jude said...

Well my dear you certainly seem to have been a busy girl whilst I have been away... lovely to 'see' you again, I've missed you.

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