A NATION OF SPARE PARTS
NB: British readers should apply the traditional colloquial definition to ‘spare parts’ in this post’s title. Non-British readers – please apply your imagination.
My refrigerator packed up on 9th July. The engineer came to tell me my refrigerator had packed up on 13th July. He told me he would order a new compressor for it, but that it might take some time to arrive.
On communicating this to my landlords, they subsequently got back to me saying they’d called the shop where they’d bought the appliance a couple of months previously, agreeing with them that an entire new refrigerator would also be ordered, and that I’d get whichever arrived first – the part or the new fridge.
Some two weeks passed, during which time I put up two different sets of house guests. Fresh food had to be bought every day (which is an expensive way of eating, especially in this part of London), and accurate calculations had to be made about just how much to buy, since nothing left over could be stored until the next day. Bit of a bore, to be honest.
Anyway, guests left, new refrigerator was delivered on 25th July. The door opens, you put stuff in it, you close the door, you open the door a bit later, you take cold stuff out of it. Result.
This Monday, 5th September, I was called by the refrigerator company. The part’s in for your fridge! the voice at the other end of the phone proclaimed in triumph. Err…they gave me a new fridge 6 weeks ago, I replied. Did they??? The voice sounded a bit upset. Nobody tells me anything here.
And she hung up before I could discuss with her the interesting question of the new part having arrived 8 weeks after it had been ordered (nearly a week after my fridge stopped working in the first place), with the implication that I could have been living for well over two months – in the ‘summer’ (hmm) – without some sort of chilling device.
When they say this country’s going to the dogs, they probably mean half the population is forced to eat cheap takeaway food because there is no such thing as customer service any more.
(Extra onions and lots of mustard for me, please. Ta.)