Its been about 4 weeks since my dishwasher died. It wasn’t even a year old and it just up and leaked. It took over a week to get the service guy in. He arrived with his tool kit and shoe covers. He opened her up and had a look. I stood beside him in my slippers, wringing my dishpan hands wondering if today was the day I could load her back up again and take her for a long awaited spin. Alas, the answer was no. The repairman sat me down at the kitchen table.
He gave a slight shake of his head, “I’m afraid there is nothing we can do.”
I let out a small, almost inaudible yelp. “Really? Nothing can be done?” I whispered looking down at my tattered cuticles. It was then that I was plunged, head long into the stages of grief. “It can’t be. This dishwasher is brand new. Its only seen one Christmas dinner, one Thanksgiving. It has never even experienced the Easter brunch? Its impossible!”
“No.” He said. “I know it’s not fair. Life can be cruel. Cheap foreign made appliances can be cruel.”
My shock quickly turned to anger. “No! It can’t be!” I repeated, “This dishwasher is brand new.”
It was then that I called the manufacturer. Their pithy phone number 1-800-ShittyBrandName made it so much easier to remember in my blind rage. I punched the 1 for english and the 9 for home appliances and the 7 for products still under warranty and the 3 for products that were still under warranty and had a file opened already and then 8 for the products that had met their untimely demise. I waited patiently for the operator to pick up as I had so many (SO MANY) times before. Finally, there they were, on the line to help in my time of need.
“How can I help you?” she sang (ok, growled)
And it was then that I found myself in the vortex of what happens when your dishwasher dies while still under warranty. The sadness crept around me like a dark shroud. What difference does it make any way. The dishwasher never really loved me at all. It was a fickle friend with all its error codes, half run cycles and leaks. It never handled my plastics well, leaving them a sopping wet mess. And wine glasses – just forget it. I explained all the morbid details to the operator, who connected me to another operator and yet another. I sent and resent paperwork over and over again to prove that the dishwasher was still under warranty. I climbed into the darkness, digging with my bare, pruny hands into the depths of dishwasher-less despair.
Every day, I would pull on the long yellow gloves with their flocked lining. Still damp from the last load. I would fill the sink with the hottest water I could stand and let the water run over the plates. Layering the towels on the counter, I would carefully wipe the cutlery sure to get every last morsel of food from between the tines. Exhaustively rinsing the glasses to remove all the bubbles and ensuring that every fingerprint was polished off, returning them to their homes in the cupboard. The ritual of washing the dishes became my therapy. My catharsis as I looked across the kitchen at the gleaming stainless steel door of my dearly departed dishwasher. With every pump of the dishsoap into the sink, I said another goodbye to my fickle friend.
And like that, the telephone rang. “Yes, we have your replacement dishwasher ready. It will be delivered on Monday.” the voice said.
I almost cried! “Monday? Really?”
“Yes indeed. Sometime between 9am and 5pm.”
“That’s such great… wait. What? Do you mean I have to take the whole day off work to sit at home and wait for you to deliver this thing? Seriously? You have got to be kidding me……” I went on.
It’s been a month since we closed the door on our dishwasher. Its the end of an era really. Her replacement will arrive tomorrow and a I am sure a new saga will begin. You see, BrandName is replacing her with the exact same model so undoubtedly we’re in for another tumultuous relationship. But for now, I will smile when I think of my dearly departed friend and welcome her replacement with open arms and perfectly manicured hands.