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!