Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bucket hole #4 & 5

I know, I know, those of you who have been really into my life via the blogosphere since the very beginning (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) will be scratching your heads saying "but what about #2 and #3?" Suffice to say that some things that upset me in real life regarding this ongoing saga have not been blogged about. Don't worry, I will probably (and at great length) precis those dramas here.

Oh, and for you that found me post the very beginning, here is the drama that shall henceforth be referred to as

Bucket hole #1:
(abridged in case you don't want to wade through the 1,700 odd words)

Way, way back in my blogworld beginning, newly arrived at Paradise, I had a little laundry problem. To quote:
But now – well, Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine, thy name is DISENCHANTMENT. It seems that there is some little inner thingy that checks that the door is closed, and until that condition is met nothing happens – and that little inner thingy has decided that the door is always open, even when it is definitely shut, darn it.

Oh, I blathered on and on, but basically it was a bit about how disorganised I was that I had not found the paperwork and how I had to rely on a clapped out 20yo Simpson which worked 300% as fast and gave about 10% of the results. I must admit I also went into dramatics about phoning various companies and - well, it was pretty futile. End result - use the one that sort of works and procrastinate for 4 months and several days really on my Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine.

Bucket hole #2:
(previously unblogged and I promise not to extend to the grosse words on this)

Nameless Appliance Guy (who actually does have a very French name with a very Aussie accent I have found - and a wife who is a definite hand on the iron judging by his uniform) read the serial number on the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine but I sort of filed that as N.A.G. offered to track down a reconditioned spare part that will make the old machine smoother and more efficient (and who knows, maybe it will bring back the heady days of clean laundry of yore). Indeed, within 3 weeks (okay, it was over Christmas that he did the tracking) he had rung me up with a semi-reasonable price. And as it was over Christmas, it only took me about 3 weeks to ring him back and okay the installation of a reconditioned timer into the old girl.

Okay, probably wasn't a full verse in my Bucket Hole saga, but it was one of those long, drawn out interludes that I felt deserved a number all to itself. I probably could have padded it to the 1000 words, but you would have noticed the stuffing.

Bucket hole #3:
(also previously unblogged but something happens in this one)

So, upon the return of N.A.G. (which happened to coincide with a time of many visitors and little money here in Paradise) the part was duly installed, the moula was duly doled out (right down to several 5c pieces from 'Salina's stash) and he went upon his merry way.

Given my all over the shop nature at the time, it was not until the next day that I tried out the effectiveness of my friend, the Simpson.

Tick to the no longer working at 300% speed. The wash cycle time was again doubled, which was still about half of what the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine offered - but unfortunately there was a problem.

You will note the qualification "wash cycle time" - not the time it takes to dump in dirty clothes and extract clean clothes - because, well, the old girl just decided that all clothes would henceforth be dealt with as "drip dry".

This now means that the time it takes to do a load of laundry is dependent upon the person in charge of the laundry manually making the washing machine recognise that the spin cycle is now safe to be undertaken.

I rang N.A.G. and explained the matter. He made patronisingly sympathetic noises down the phone and said that I must have accidentally switched the washer to Drip Dry myself and to call me back only if it was not my stupidity standing in the way of me and efficient laundering.

Well, that was back in the weeks of headless chicken activity, so it was 2 days before I could connect the "check if I am not completely stupid" box, be near a phone and call him back - so really, part of the subsequent pain is due to my own ditziness - and he castigated me soundly for taking so long and he would swing by and fix it - some time...

Guess what?

I am still waiting...

Bucket hole #4:
(which is really the subject of this blog - all that blather above is just intro)

Anyhow, I now have another body in the house. A large body which needs clothing at least once a day in fresh clothes. Add that to the small body which can change clothes 4-5 times a day, especially during holidays and post cycling spills, and myself, who would really like to rely on (okay, really has to rely on) maximum options within my wardrobe.

This has increased the regularity in which I have to bound up and down the back stairs to do another pile of washing - which we must remember to double, given the additional step in my washerwoman life.

Now, as you know, I am as keen an exerciser as your average Jeanie (unless you know some really fit ones, in which case I am slightly below average) and so would have kept on doing that as procrastinating and not complaining about irritating things is much more my style than actually getting jobs out of the way.

But I occasionally saw glimpses of the woman who felt:
Anyone who doesn’t have an Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine (I should get them to sponsor me) or indeed any frontloader should know something – they really CLEAN your clothes. Like really, really clean. Like you have never seen in your life before your clothes/linen/plastic bags (okay, inherited from Mum and it makes environmental sense before you start scoffing) flapping on the clothesline so happily.
I tended to see her best when pegging out the laundry from the system in place currently, and I almost wept.

I almost wept when time after time after time things remained unpegged as they would need another soak, another wash, another spin before I could try and peg again.

It was the last straw when I saw the same pair of white socks for the 3rd time lying in the basket, begging me for a better chance in life that I decided I would take control of my problem and do something about it.

I rang the local Electrolux folk again (I think the same woman answered the phone - her technique has not improved) and they are willing to visit me for only slightly more than N.A.G. asked for his services - but unfortunately my the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine is now definitely out of the warranty period (we will put that on the procrastination account) so any parts will be out of my pocket.

And within 3 days of that phone call they came. They pulled apart. They put the little prongy things onto metal things and advised me that the door switch was dead. They will call me back with a quote.

Sigh. I saw front loaders in the junk mail for 1/2 of what I paid on special only 2 (and a bit, according to Electrolux) years ago. The "a bit" is the difference between them and me footing the parts bill. The part may well be over 1/2 of what the machine costs these days.

This Liza is feeling stressed and STILL doesn't have the answer to her laundry crisis answered...

Edited to add:
Bucket hole #5:

Well, I have had the call - should cost around 1/2 of a new machine, which plus the call out fee for today would represent my net cash worth!! I then had a rant to the poor girl on the phone about whether 'twould be economically more wise to just budget to buy a new machine every 2 years and she eventually got so worn down she passed the phone over to someone wiser.

Wiser woman asked for my serial number - it appears the machine may STILL be in warranty - the only catch is that I have to find some proof of when I bought it - a bank statement should do it, and odds are I have every statement ever issued to me in the "filing" pile filling the black hole to my right.

So, theoretically if I attacked that pile and found that bit of paper, I would stand to save approximately 1/6 of the large amount it would cost to repair (including the call out fee). Or to put it another way, I could also pay another bill in the growing stack I am trying to ignore near my mouse hand.

Still, makes me want to be an Appliance Gal when I grow up - I figure the "labour" required to change this thing and test it would be near to the 15 minutes mark (I am actually being generous), and as they took approximately 7 minutes to locate the fault on the call out today - allowing for travel time, they are on about $170 an hour - I want that kind of pulling power!!!

Which sort of makes the amount I will save by undertaking the monumental task of tackling the filing pile divided by the time consumed by undertaking the monumental task of tackling the filing pile (without the factor of what if I don't find it) sort of miniscule - I think about $5 an hour?


Jen at Semantically driven said...

It's a pain in the neck ain't it? My last washing machine broke down on Christmas Eve with a load of dirty nappies in it (yes I was a cloth girl).

Why do things always break down at the most inconvenient time?

jeanie said...

Ouch - I was a cloth girl too, and burned out a very old dryer one rainy week. Ahh, the good old days of rainy weeks - but that stinks (pardon the pun!)