Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wifey-poo takes aim with WMDs

My stove is broken.

There is a bit of history to my stove. When I first moved in there was an ancient apartment stove in its place, a mere 20" across and barely limping along. At first the oven and 2 of the burners worked. One of these burners only had 2 settings: Off and Temperature Of The Sun, but I made due. Eventually, the oven went wonky and I was down to one burner, so I called the landlord and she had a new stove delivered.

A stove that was 24" across. It would not fit in the allotted space. For a few days, I had 2 stoves --one broken and one new -- hanging out in the middle of my kitchen, because the installation guys wouldn't even take the old stove away until they could plug the new one in. We had to get the cabinets rebuilt for the new stove to fit, and finally everything was hunky-dory.

A few weeks ago now, I tried to bake some cookies and they seemed a The bottoms were very dark, and they were suspiciously soft on top. Dismayed, and not wanting Ed to suffer sub-standard cookies in his lunch, I tried another batch. These were burnt on the bottom and raw on top.

Some investigation proved that the top element was not working at all. I could literally put my hand right on it. All the heat was coming from the bottom element, and considering my stove is very basic (no convection), this was a problem.

I asked Ed to see if he could get it fixed when I was in Toronto. He called my landlord once, then decieded he could fix it himself, ignoring the frantic message in the voicemail saying that the stove was under warranty and he should not touch it. After I got back and reviewed the facts, I told him to leave the damn stove alone and called our landlords back. I gave them all the relevant info and they said they'd look into it.

A week later they call back to say there is no warranty after all, and they've called a repair guy. The repair guy calls me back another week later to make an appointment for this saturday. I am very happy -- there are many yummy things I can make on a stovetop, but I miss baking and look foreward to having it all fixed.

The guy shows up on time. He asks me to describe the problem.

Me: "The top element doesn't work."

Him: "The broiler?" Turns the broiler on. "It seems to work just fine."

Me: "No -- when I turn it on bake, the top element doesn't come on."

Him: Turns it on bake and waits. "Let me check the internal temperature." He checks. "It's the right temperature -- there doesn't seem to be a problem."

Me: "The top element IS NOT WORKING." Touches it with my bare hand. "See?"

Him: "Hmm. When did you ntoice this problem?"

I tell him the cookie thing.

Him: "Did you preheat the oven before you but the cookies in?"

Okay. I know he has to ask. It's the baking equivalent of "Is your computer turned on?" I know he must deal with idiots all the time. But. Gah.

Me: "Yes, of course."

Him: Not believing me. "Well, some stoves only ahve heat that comes from one element, because they're special and a current of air mvoes the heat around --"

Me: "A convection oven. This is not one -- it is a really basic model."

Him: "Huh. Are you sure you preheated it?"

Me: Fuming. "Yes."

Him: Sighs. "Well, I guess I'll have to have a look behind it, then."

Oh. Terribly sorry you have to do your job. I am annoyed, but still trying to be polite. We chat for a few minutes. He asks how long I have been alone in Calgary, makes some comment about me living alone.

Me: "I live with my husband."

Him: "Where is he?"

Me: None of your damn business, stove-biscuit. "He just went to the store to pick up some pasper towels. He should be home any second."

Him: "Oh, good -- I'll talk to him then."

Um. Excuse me? Yes, let me get my husband -- he'll be much more up to helping you figure out what has angered the food-preparin' science box that poor little me. This mechanical chicanery makes my feeble female mind hurt.

Ed picks this moment to sashay in, say hello, and retreat to the office -- thinking I have the situation under control. I follow him and, with angry whispering and hand gestues, convince him to come back in the kitchen with me before I become fully homicidal. He comes in, the guy explains the situation -- now describing an uncertainly whether the elements are on the same circuit or not, rather than slowly decribing "special stoves" with magical heat wind in them -- and I ask him to look at the curcuit map of the stove.

Him: Stunned.

Me: "Here." Pulls it out fromt he plastic sleeve. "What does this tell you?"

He looks, puzzles, frowns, and takes the panels off by the controls.

Him: "According to this both elements SHOULD heat up when bake is on. Let me have a look." He actually starting doing something.

I am irritated. I want to clean SO BADLY. It's what I do when I'm irritated -- making my house sparkle always improves my mood. However, I cannot bear to set femininity back any further is this sexist doorknobs mind, so I cross my arms and hope he touches something live.

It turns out that there's something wrong with the computer inside --which he says to Ed, then looks at me a d clarifies that he's talking about "the clock part" -- and it'll need to be replaced. Despite the fact that he has had a problem description and the model number for almost 2 weeks at this point, he still has to order the parts. He said he's call back today to let me know when he'd be getting them and to set up another appointment.

I am still in shock, a little. This even HAPPENS anymore? The guy was, maybe, in his early 30s. There really are people out there, people who seem to function in society, that are able to carry on being such sexist dicks? I wonder where he grew up. I pray he doesn't have a girlfriend. I wonder that he's made it this long without being punched or poisoned.

I console myself by composing tirades in my mind, and by thinking he has no idea who he was talking to. I might be a little woman, Stove-dick, but forget circles -- I can think Dyson Spheres around you. You will not catch me without my wits about me again, and they're a might sharp. the next time we meet, Stove-Dick, if you pull that science box bullshit again, I will eviscerate you. Mwahaha.
Natalie Zed updated @ 10:46 a.m.!!