Of Mice and Customer Service

Because sometimes even the most well-intended plans fall apart.

A most miraculous thing happened at our house. We saved a little money. Holy crap!! I know!! I told you it was a miracle. So we started to take stock of some things that were dead, or headed that way, because Heaven forbid we should have money sitting around for too long.

On the top of the list were the windows in our bedroom. You can read more about that adventure here. We had been reminiscing about winters past, and decided this year we would not suffer through another winter feeling the rain and wind blast through our bedroom. We have replaced all of the windows in our upstairs except our bedroom. Windows are fairly inexpensive in the grand scheme of remodeling so we thought that would be a good next project.

The night we had agreed on the windows I was making dinner and noticed that it was taking FOREVER for our oven to heat up, and it just didn't seem to be heating up as hot as it should have been. I stuck a thermometer in there, and sure enough, "375" apparently means "310-ish" in our Oven-Land. Which was fabulous. Because ovens are not as cheap as windows. Especially when one is replacing one's appliances with stainless steel. And we're trying to save money.

We realized last night that we have been matching our kitchen appliances to our dishwasher that we bought a few years ago. It makes me think of that Kohler commercial where that woman meets with her architect in a fancy office and in a very dramatic fashion pulls a faucet out of her purse and says, "Design a house around this." Apparently that's precisely what we're doing. We're designing a house around our dishwasher. That's not weird, right?

One Friday while I'm at work Ross tells me he is headed to Portland for some errands and he was going to pick up windows for our bedroom. He said he was going to look at ovens and if he found a good one for a decent price he might pick it up. Even though I REALLY wanted a shiny new stove, I figured that I had fly's chance in a frog pond of actually getting one. Because we're SAVING OUR MONEY, remember?

So I come home from work and there is a brand spanking new stove sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor!!! He had hoped to have it all set up and installed by the time I got home. So there is the stove, and there is Ross. Super pissed. I can tell the difference between irritated and I'm-going-to-tear-the-face-off-anyone-who-looks-at-me-sideways, and he was pissed. Okay maybe not quite that mad. But he was pretty mad.

So I ask him what could possibly be wrong with him, since he just bought the most beautiful appliance I have ever seen since our new refrigerator!! He says nothing, and points to the stove. Now no one has ever accused me of being the most observant person in the world, but I really couldn't see the problem. It looked fine. Did I mention BEAUTIFUL? I told him I didn't get it, and he jabbed his finger at the sides of the stove where the knobs are. The back part that sits on top that has the oven display and everything? It has been horribly bent. It looks like the Incredible Hulk, or maybe Hulk Hogan, take your pick, has taken it and bent it forward so that the metal holding it onto the stove are buckled. More likely, it was dropped en route to the store. Now that it was pointed out to me, I understood his fury. We live in Tillamook. The store (which will remain unnamed for fear of future defamation lawsuits) is in Hillsboro. An hour away.

We agreed that I would call and speak to them about remedying this situation. So I called and spoke to Bob (name changed - refer to above feared defamation lawsuit). Bob assured me that he would exchange the oven no problem. We just had to bring it back to the store. Oh wait, no he doesn't have any more left in stock. Of course not. He would happily give us the floor model - that EVERYONE HAS TOUCHED. Would there be a discount? Oh, no of course not, it's not damaged. Nevermind this store sold a broken product that you drove it 62 miles home, and have to bring it 62 miles back. Fine. Whatever.

We drove back to the store and found Bob. He found us a manager to arrange the switch. The manager turns to these two stoners standing around probably contemplating how many bags of Cheetos their paychecks could collectively purchase, and tells them to go get a dolly to pick up the broken range and bring the new one out. We go to customer service and make the trade on paper. And then we wait. And wait. And wait. For 25 minutes. At which time Stoner 1 and Stoner 2 come out with a freezer. FOR ANOTHER CUSTOMER.

I should take this opportunity to point out that this freezer has a HUGE gash in the bottom of it. When the customer points this out, Stoner 2 says, "oh it's fine it's just a scratch." No discount for him either. I'm thinking this particular store should change their motto to "we sell busted stuff for regular prices!!"

When the store manager sees that we are STILL waiting, he asks Stoner 1 what they have been doing. Stoner 1 replies, "getting the freezer...ohhhh I didn't know what you wanted me to do with the stove", as he looks at us. Yeah, great buddy. Go smoke another bowl.

We've now been at the store for almost an hour. Stoner 1 tells us he's going to come help us as soon as he's done with the freezer. Whatever. We go out to the car and wait. Next thing we know, Stoner 2 strolls out of the store without his little apron thing. ON BREAK. He glances up and says, "Uhhh oh he'll be out in just a sec." Are you kidding me?

A few minutes later Stoner 1 comes out with Bob and switches out the stove. 248 miles, 5 hours and an extreme amount of tantrum throwing later, we have a new oven range!

It is wonderful. Our food cooks evenly! When it says it's heating up to 375, it's as truthful as a Boy Scout!! And the best part?

It matches the dishwasher.

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