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Updated: February 2, 2014 00:22 IST

The agony and ecstasy with appliances

Mythili Kesav
Comment (6)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

The more of them you have, the better your lifestyle? Not necessarily

As I write this I’m actually waiting for the guy to come and fix the washing machine. Nearly 10 days ago, my husband, trying to take the clothes out, broke the door hinge. Of course we can always fix it. So I called the servicing agency the next morning. I gave the details of the machine, model, date of purchase and address, and described the problem. I was told someone would come that day.

As that did not happen, I called again the next day. Another person answered the phone and I had to give him the details all over again. I specifically told them to come with the required tools, so that time need not be wasted.

A ‘technician’ came that afternoon, removed the rest of the existing ‘hinge’ from the machine and left. I was told there were different types and he wanted to get the right one.

The next day when I called, I was told they did not have part and would order it from another city. What they were waiting for, I could not understand. I requested them to do the needful and kept the phone. After two days, when I called, I got the reply: “Today it will be fixed.” That was yesterday. It has become my routine to call them every day after breakfast and get this reply. And so I’m waiting...

One would think that the more appliances you have the better your lifestyle. It is not necessarily so. My husband enjoys buying appliances to “make life easier for me — or so he says. Good intentions, no doubt. If a colleague talks of an appliance, it is sure to find its way home the next day. The colleague may not mention the negative side or the problems one may have to face after making the purchase. One friend told my husband about the treadmill he bought and how he exercised in the morning and evening while watching TV. A treadmill reached home the next day. I had a tough time persuading my husband not to keep it in the hall as that would eat into the space available. It found a place in a room upstairs and it remains there. Don’t ask me if it is ever used.

I have my share of phobias regarding gadgets in general and home appliances in particular. I might prefer to lead a simpler life without them. For one, I cannot read the ‘literature’, and start using the appliance while nursing a mortal fear of breaking a part or spoiling it. I can happily keep away from laptops, video players and so on. But I am forced to learn about the mobile phone, mixer-grinder, refrigerator, washing machine, and so on. If the lady of the family does not use them, who will?

You can be blessed in having smart children who are tech-savvy and who will do the work for you. But you see, they can’t stay with you forever. They need to move out for the sake of education, a job and starting on their own. Your busy husband never has the time to ‘explain’ things for you. I have found an easy way out of this: not to use those appliances.

In recognition of my husband’s 15 years of service, the office gave him coupons worth Rs.10.000. We thus added five more appliances to the existing ones at home. Do I have to tell you how (if) I use them? One disadvantage of having so many appliances is that they take turns to be under repair. If they are many in number, the chances are that you will have to wait for a different service person each day. You probably have no idea of how servicing is done. A couple of months back our air-conditioner started emitting a strange sound. This will happen a while after it is switched on. The time lag can be five minutes or 30 minutes or even two hours, depending on the mood of the equipment on that particular day. Just when you are about to drift into blissful sleep, it would start.

After calling the service provider for 10 days without break, someone showed up. When they came, it did not make any sound. So they returned. But it continued to ‘roar’ at night. Again, I called them. When the technicians came, they inspected it and said some blade had to be changed. After two days when I asked them why they were not replacing it, I was told the air-conditioner was of old model and they did not have the spare parts. I told them to change whatever they wanted if only it would remove the noise... Two weeks later, I’m still waiting...

People ask me if I feel bored at home. No. I wait for different service personnel each day and there is variety in the excuses they give. How interesting life is!

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simple and very lucid presentation,and absolutely hilarious.

from:  shalendra kumar
Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 20:10 IST

Buying appliances is to “make life easier" has become a NIGHTMARE for the consumers.As much appliances are bought,simultaneously the headache is bought in same amount. Sometimes it irritates so much that one is forced to lose the patience. I had altercations several times.

from:  Mousmi Ghosh
Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 17:54 IST

excellent article,this article tells about our customer facing day to
day problem with appliances and it also clearly explain how company does
not care about the appliances which sold to customers.

Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 16:34 IST

The first time an equipment meets the service man is a red-letter day. The two fall in love at first sight and they must see each other once a month. Only thing I do not understand why I should be standing in the middle.

I too have an AC that I rarely use- it makes enough noise to tell everybody around that it is working! I have a TV that I watch about one hour a day. I too have my third washing machine asking for her service man that I am stoutly denying.

You forget that all the gadgets are good for the economy and we must keep on buying junk. Can you guess how many people, starting from the man in the advertisement house to the lowly service man, live on your petty purchases? But for the sake of the health of your own mind, please use them as little as possible. After all, who else will buy them?

from:  ckmitra
Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 08:09 IST

Excellent article.I have always felt that more the gadgets at home,more the pain.We do need certain essential ones due to space constraint-mixers and grinders instead of traditional stones.After 38 years of married life,I realise that some of the gadgets are also growing old like us which need nothing but replacement, since no more spare parts are available for some of them.The less we use some of them like electronic items,they stop working - like VCR,music systems,walkman, camera etc.They have become obsolete since in present days,it is the age of digital technology.In washing machines the function of washing is useless especially in the dust and grime of cities.Only the rinsing and spinning is useful.Fortunately in our place,the decision making authority is myself(not husband) and hence we have only the necessary gadgets.

from:  VB
Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 07:46 IST

Very well written ,with innate flair and mellowness.The writer has a
golden future as a journo anywhere on this planet!

from:  Prof.Dr Sadasivan
Posted on: Feb 2, 2014 at 07:12 IST
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