Posted by: Hannah | 12/20/2011

lessons learned

Yes, I am posting twice in one day. The following sequence of events actually happened:

1. On November 25th, we had the only snowstorm of the season. Our new-last-year snowblower would. not. start. for anything. Even when we plugged in the electric starter which is supposed to work always unless you’ve really screwed something up. You may remember that Sears agreed to honour the warranty… kind of… by making us wait three weeks and then picking it up and taking it away to be returned “maybe before Christmas”.

2. They picked up the snowblower last Wednesday. They didn’t look at it, try to start it, or anything else – just loaded it on the truck and left.

3. Today, they called to tell me it started on the first pull, and that there is nothing wrong with it. (YAY!) But that “hey, you’re an idiot who can’t start a snowblower” is not covered by the warranty. So that will be $103.42, we need a credit card, and no, we still don’t know when you’ll get it back but maybe by the end of next week.

4. I remained as calm as possible while arguing with George the Technician that paying $100 five days before Christmas for what is essentially a stupid tax is a bit much. And also that actually attempting to fix the thing onsite might have saved me some money, not to mention I would HAVE MY SNOWBLOWER RIGHT NOW, BITCHES.

5. He offered to ask his supervisor if anything could be done about the charge. I said thank you, had a little cry, called Hubs, and had a breakdown about realizing that in actual money dollars today I have earned a grand total of $108. Of which $103 is going to fix something that wasn’t broken in the first place. Meaning that for hauling my pre-labour self around here all day with five kids I earned less than $5, or the price of an eggnog latte at Starbucks. Which I can’t have because I would need to get in the car and drive there with five kids in tow.

6. Waddle back to my chair. Just got settled when the phone rang again. Waddle back to the phone. Hey, George the Technician! He did talk to his supervisor who apparently agreed that Sears was being a giant dick, and they agreed to refund the delivery charges, so my bill is $57 for tech visit. Fair enough. (Look, if the goddamn snowblower starts the next time, I’ll agree that we were idiots and deserve some punishment). Also a basic winter service was done, apparently (I choose to believe this is true.)

7. Call Hubs back to catch him before he calls Sears to complain. And then a sound penetrates my consciousness. The sound is of a toilet lid being slammed. Repeatedly. Do the head count. Realize that one head – Pixie’s – is unaccounted for. OH GOD PIXIE IS WHY WE HAVE TO KEEP THE BATHROOM DOOR SHUT BECAUSE SHE IS FASCINATED BY TOILETS.

8. Sprint waddle to the bathroom and find Pixie, soaking wet, busily dipping one of the potty bowls into the toilet water and happily pouring it all over herself. And the floor. And the bathtub. Because alleged super-genius six year old Harry left the damn door open after he peed (and hopefully flushed the toilet, I can’t even) and Pixie, seizing the opportunity because I can’t see the bathroom from the phone, made her move.

What have we learned?

A. Sears is fast becoming a monolith of bad customer service. They used to be good. Even a few short years ago, when we bought all new appliances for our first house, they were actually really helpful when things broke down. But now, all calls & complaints are routed through minimum-wage phone monkeys in Montreal (and speaking as a former call centre employee, they have no power to fix or resolve most issues). I am not the only person I know this holiday season who has had shitty service from Sears.

B. Neither Hubs nor I should be trusted with small engines of any sort, apparently. (Witness the time I spent 45 minutes cursing, pull-starting, tinkering, and sweating over starting the lawnmower when, as it turned out, I had forgotten to reconnect the spark plug wire).

C. Six year olds are not as good at remembering things as two year olds.

D. Toilet water won’t kill you but it will gross you out unbearably when you are as pregnant as a herd of breeding sows.

E. Tonight, come hell or high water, I am having Chinese take-out. I don’t care what everyone else is eating. I am crampy, and Braxton-Hicksy, and irritable and peeing all the time and disgusted with life and annoyed with children, pets, and the elderly. I will eat my Chinese take-out and watch season 1 of The Wire, because nothing says the holidays like the best show ever:



  1. I totally agree — Sears has gotten very bad. And don’t bother dealing with the account on twitter — they’re equally useless there, too.

    I’m trying not to dwell on Pixie and her toilet bath. UGH.

  2. I don’t know why I find kid’s facinations with the toilet so funny, but I do. It’s like, “Hey guys, there’s a fountain full of water and it’s just my size!”

    My cat (the dumb, gross one) fled the bathroom as I was going in the other day. She had been drinking out of the toilet. And there was an unflushed pee still in there. And people wonder why we call her the dumb, gross one.

  3. Oh honey. HONEY. First of all, the fact that you know HOW to reconnect a spark plug wire is impressive, even if you forgot to do it. Also, I typed ‘spark plug wife’ the first time, which is mildly amusing. Also, looking after not just your own kids but other people’s toilet-obsessed kids while a hundred years pregnant? You should get a freaking medal. Also, hugs.

  4. Number five had me warm with empathy. What a shitty day, you poor thing.

    But I’m with Allison. The fact that you can recognize and connect a spark plug wire makes you way more technically adept than me. (Though I do know what one *is*. Kinda.)

    Bring on the holidays!!!

  5. […] tale of toilet woe reminded me of this very old family story. Which I will share with you for your […]

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