Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

... there was a newly pregnant girl who wanted nothing more than a new dishwasher.  A new dishwasher, she thought, would be the key to maintaining a clean eating environment for Mr. Smith, herself, and Baby Smith. 

So, she searched and searched until she found a great deal at a local "big box" appliance store.  (Names of stores will not be mentioned in this story).  Mr. and Mrs. Smith ventured down to this big box appliance store in mid-November, picked out her dishwasher (energy-efficient!  5 stars!  ooo la la!) and to their amazement, it would be installed the VERY NEXT DAY.  They couldn't believe their good fortune!

For three weeks, this new dishwasher rocked her world, getting plates and glasses so clean that she couldn't believe her luck!  Imagine her astonishment when she walked down her hallway one night to a scene that resembled this:

"Mr. Smith!"  she screamed in a panic, to which he came running.  "We're under a water attack from somewhere!"  They searched hi and low, whilst precariously walking amongst the river in their hallway.  Her first thought was that a water pipe had burst, but Mr. Smith mentioned that the new dishwasher was making a funny noise.  (Sort of like a spaceship was landing.)  Upon stopping the dishwasher and opening the door, it was discovered that for the almost full cycle, no water had been involved with the dishwasher, as it was busy being diverted under the kitchen and hallway flooring. 

As this was the holiday season, it was a bit hard to get through to the Big Box Store's customer service department, to alert them to the problem.  Eventually, Mr. Smith managed to get through, after several days of calling and speaking with seasonal staffers, and the man who installed the dishwasher would be coming back out to assess the situation. 

The situation?  A hole in the drainage tube from up under the dishwasher to our water line at the main kitchen sink.  His reasoning of the problem:

Let's just call him "Fievel", as there were several names I wanted to call him that are not blog-appropriate.  Let's preface this by saying that for four years of living in my house, I have not once - not even once - seen Fievel or any evidence of his presence.  Fievel apparently bypassed our cat and dog food out in plain sight in the kitchen, our food on the counter, and even managed to sneak in past our cat and dog (who will tirelessly terrorize a moth, for pete's sake) and had such a sophisticated palate that he only wanted a taste of my brand new dishwasher drainage tube.  (If you know me at all, you will know I'm typing this sarcastically...)

Since this installation man couldn't fix the problem, he would have to transfer it to a local appliance store, who would need to make another appointment with us. 

Fast forward about 4-5 days, and the new Appliance Repair Man arrives at our house, but says he will have to order a new drainage tube since the first Installation Man did not tell him what exactly the problem was, only that he needed to come check it. 

Another week goes by until the new Appliance Repair Man comes back to repair the drainage tube.  

During this time, Mr. and Mrs. Smith decide that all that water under the flooring cannot be healthy for us, let alone a new baby, so after speaking with our insurance company (who is awesome, by the way), we are covered under this minor catastrophe and can get new flooring to replace this old (probably moldy now) flooring. 

Off we venture to another Big Box Home Improvement Store.  We pick out new hallway and kitchen flooring and proceed with the ordering and scheduling. 

This process, however, takes almost 2.5 months, as our order is entered incorrectly 3 different times from Big Box Home Improvement Store (really?  they thought we wanted carpet in our kitchen?), a Measuring Man comes out to measure (another appointment), and their installation contractors get us on their books for my birthday, Friday, February 4th. 

Fast forward to my birthday.  Mr. Smith and I each take a half day off of work, to be home with the installation peeps.  I had the morning shift and was gloriously thinking what a great birthday present!  New flooring!  False. 

Upon arriving to get down to business, these Installation Peeps cannot do the flooring, as our house is built in the 1960s and the threat of asbestos prevents them from touching it.  They cannot do anything until we get someone else in there to remove and haul away all old flooring, and please call them when that process is completed.  (Insert hysterical pregnancy tears right about here.)

Next stop... researching local flooring companies to do this "rip and haul" for us.  And this point in the story I would like to say that a light literally shone down from the heavens and directed my search to Flooring Solutions.  After calling and speaking to their owner directly, he was more than happy to meet with us on a Saturday and knew exactly what I was talking about with Big Box.  Our Angel of Mercy came by that Saturday, assessed the situation, and said, "You know, I could get this whole thing done within a week.  Rip and haul, installation, everything.  And I'll match Big Box's price and give you a higher quality flooring." 
Oh.  My.  Lord.  I almost hugged the man. 

I immediately went to Big Box the next day and requested a refund on the entire project, which the manager did at the Customer Service desk without even once asking what the issue was, why we were going with someone else.... nothing.  She could not have cared less.  (Insert point to ponder:  How do some people stay in business?")

With only one issue - the wrong flooring had come in and would need to wait until Monday to be installed - we could not have been happier.  From Thursday to yesterday evening, we were nomads.  Literally.  Sister and her husband graciously put us up (Abby was boarded), and we ventured to T-Town this weekend for a wedding shower Saturday night and visit with the in-laws.  Needless to say, the gypsy life is not for us Smiths. 

Yesterday, one week and two days later, the project is finally completed.  Our flooring looks amazing, and we could not be more satisfied.  It was a 3-month nightmare, and our lesson of the story is that local is always best, not Big Box. 

The End.

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