Saturday, August 23, 2008

Microwaves can kill you

I spent pretty much all of Friday (until dinner) in a shitty mood. Thanks to the people who had to put up with it, Violesbian and Van Helsing. I'm not sure if they already had code names that I've now superseded, but oh well. I like these.

Why was I in such a mood? Several reasons. Primary reason: got very little sleep on Thursday night. Secondary: have not been to the gym in over a week. [Tertiary reason redacted] Quaternary: Four people canceled within an hour of my potluck beginning and a few more just didn't show.

I should not have been in such a mood. Why should I not? My potluck was still highly enjoyable and delicious, with only eight people here. I spent Friday with people I enjoy a great deal (see above). I Got Things Done, which usually makes me cheerful. And yet, the mood continued unabated from about 8 AM until about 7 PM.

Dinner, with drinks following, dispersed some of my clouds. Violesbian and I were joined by the Blues at Fritto Misto after we finished microwave shopping at Sears and the Blues finished everything-else shopping at BB&B. Let me say here and now, in this publicesque forum, that if you have the opportunity to buy a microwave oven at a place that is not Sears, TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY. A few details of our difficulties:

-The Sears website would not load "specs" pages for any microwaves on the ancient typewriters-cum-computers Violesbian and I were using. We had to join Van Helsing in her office to find a computer that would load the specs.

-Since we were getting a microwave for a very specific small space in the department copy room, we needed accurate measurements. Check out the specs on this gem, the one we ended up picking. See any problems? How about "Depth: 8-7/8 in." and "Turntable diameter: 12 in."? Picture it, if you can. Not to mention this one, whose interior dimensions (1,700.55 cu. in.) exceed its exterior dimensions (1,584 cu. in.) by a good 116 cubic inches. M. C. Escher designed appliances too; didn't you know?

-With the knowledge that the internet dimensions were, at best, unreliable, we turned to that miracle of modern technology, the telephone. Violesbian went first. After successfully navigating the turbulent waters of the automated menus, she reached a real person, who proceeded to read her the dimensions off of the website. Pointing out that these were physically impossible, Violesbian was "transferred" to the "appliances department," which was another automated menu. Which itself transferred her back to the first automated menu. Then it was my turn to call. I called the closest Sears location, and navigated the automated menu to reach "small appliances," the home of microwaves. After the phone rang many times, a recording apologized to me. It was sorry, it said, that nobody had answered my call. I hung up.

-Having used up the available technology, we decided to go to Sears and look at the labels on the actual microwaves. This meant that we wouldn't be able to purchase a microwave that day, as the Byzantine purchasing department would have shut its doors for the weekend by the time we arrived. Giving up on the sale that ended today, we departed anyway, impossible dimensions in hand, to determine Actual Size. Lo and behold, the specs on the tags at Sears did not match the impossible internet specs! Unfortunately, they didn't match the specs of the microwaves either. Violesbian borrowed a tape measure from the tools department, and we measured every microwave ourselves. The upshot: we CAN get the bright red one we wanted! Van Helsing will be thrilled.

-On our way out, we mentioned to the friendly customer service man that we had had problems with the posted dimensions. "Oh, yes," he said, "they're all wrong."

After that ordeal, pretty much anything would have been an improvement. Dinner and drinks with the Blues (known individually as Jane and ANC!) was pretty much the perfect improvement. I introduced them to my favorite bar (I will link to this as often as possible), and they enjoyed it. Huzzah!

Today I will feel better. That is the goal. Perhaps eating all that chocolate last night was a bad way of working toward that goal; I instead feel slightly ill.


at_resonance said...

My mom bought a non-functioning dishwasher at Sears at least a decade ago. The service guys only made it worse. She vowed to never set foot in a Sears again. She still hasn't. So yeah, don't buy anything at Sears. The end.

CelloShots said...

Sadly, we need to buy from an "approved vendor." Sears is the only approved microwave seller, apparently.

nightsong said...

at least it makes an entertaining story.