On Tuesday morning, my washing machine broke down mid-cycle. Bearing in mind I had mountains of laundry to get through before we go away tomorrow, this was less than ideal. The door was jammed shut with a huge load of washing inside the machine, all soaking wet, just to add to the inconvenience.
I phoned Dyson (who have always been ultra helpful in the past), and explained what had happened, and that I was going away on Friday lunchtime for a fortnight. The ‘customer service’ woman (and I use the term loosely), tapped away at her keyboard and said ‘no appointments until next week’.
So I explained again that I was going away on Friday lunchtime, the door was jammed, the washing machine was full of soaking wet washing, and I really couldn’t leave it like that for a fortnight.
Customer Service Woman: Well, the engineer can come next week – can’t you get a neighbour to come and wait in the house for him to arrrive – he’ll be there sometime between 8 and 4?
(Now, although I know some of my neighbours well enough to pass the time of day with, and we even went to a New Year’s Eve party at one of their houses last year, I don’t think I could even ask a VERY good friend to spend the day from 8 till 4 sitting in my house waiting for the washing machine repairman to turn up, while I sun myself on the beach in Antigua – it’s just not reasonable, is it?)
Me: No, I don’t think so. Look, I understand that your computer is telling you there are no appointments, but would it be possible to phone the engineer direct and see if he can fit me in – I know he only lives in the next village from me, and he’s been round LOTS of times before when the thing’s broken down, and always been very obliging. I’m sure he’d try and fit me in. I’m happy to pay a bit extra if he needs to do overtime.
Woman: No, we can’t phone engineering direct. We have to make an appointment for next week, then we can ask them to phone you to see if they can come earlier.
Me: Riiiight, OK then.
Woman: So, which day next week would you like?
Me: Weeellll, it doesn’t really make any difference as I’m not going to be here.
Woman: How about Tuesday?
Me: It’s as good as any. I’m still not going to be here.
Woman: OK, would Wednesday be better?
Me (wondering if I’ve entered the Twilight Zone): I don’t care what day, I JUST want somebody to open my washing machine before I go on holiday on Friday so I can get the wet washing out.
Woman: Wednesday it is, then.
So, I then spent a fruitless half hour phoning around local repair companies – as I expected, none of them would touch Dyson washing machines with a bargepole.
Followed by a further half hour on the internet (what a wonderful thing it truly is) where I found a way to put the machine into ‘diagnostic mode’, which would unlock the door, by pressing a sequence of buttons. Which worked! Hey presto!
I then spent the rest of Tuesday trying to dry a huge load of wringing wet washing, and doing two more loads of washing at my friend Annette’s house.
During the afternoon, I discovered that the bank had paid a £100 direct debit which I’d cancelled the previous week, which took the best part of another hour to sort out.
On Tuesday night, Ashley was away. I took myself off to bed quite early as I was tired, and was rudely awoken by the cats fighting downstairs at 2 am. I went downstairs, chased them out and went back to bed, where I couldn’t get back to sleep. Which was quite fortuitous, as at 3 am, the cats brought in a mouse and starting howling and growling again. So off I went downstairs again, chased the cats out, got rid of the mouse, and locked the cat flap so they couldn’t get back in.
Back to bed, still couldn’t sleep. Eventually got back to sleep sometime after 4.30. Cats woke me bashing at the cat flap to get in again at 5.30 and at 6.30. Ignored them and put pillow over my head. All too soon, the alarm went off, and at 7 am, I staggered downstairs to make tea. Where I came upon two cats sitting on the rug waiting for their breakfast, and the cat flap door snapped in half, where they’d bashed it until it broke. Little thugs.
So, guess what I’m doing today? Going on the hunt for a new cat flap to replace the broken one, which we bought about ten years ago so probably isn’t made any more. So guess what Ashley’ll be doing tonight? Making alterations to the woodwork to fit new cat flap.
I tell you, it’ll be a bloody miracle if we leave on time tomorrow!