Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Ice Boxing

"I've just picked up a fault in the AE-35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure within 72 hours." 

—HAL 9000


We're having problems with our refrigerator.

Disclaimer: it's a very expensive Liebherr appliance that we did not and would not ever buy, given we'd be just as happy (happier, maybe!) with a dumb ol' Kenmore. But here we are.

The Liebherr came with the house, and it looks cool (ha), so there was no point replacing it. Even now, as it's having a string of nervous breakdowns, all we want is to repair the thing ourselves so we can get back to stressing out about {gestures at EVERYTHING ELSE}.

Liebherr is a German company that manufactures high-end kitchen appliances (among many other, even more expensive items). So you might think they'd have a proportionate regard for customer service. 

And MAYBE they do in Ehingen, Germany, EU, but in Seattle, WA, USA, Liebherr parts and service is not a thing that exists in this messed-up timeline.

Sidebar: turns out if your Liebherr door gaskets are old and worn out, the rest of the fridge starts to behave like a kitchen version of the HAL-9000. 

Water, for example, condenses in the produce drawers—which is antithetical to their mission of keeping fruits and veggies fresh. 

Simultaneously, water collects *beneath* the drawers until critical mass is reached, at which time it flows downhill through invisible cracks and crevices to pool on our hardwood floors. Another thing water condensation does: IT FREEZES ON INTERNAL PANELS, DOING WEIRD THINGS TO FOOD WE DIDN'T WANT FROZEN.

Sorry for the yelling.

"Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over." —Liebherr 9000

Administrative note: a long, ongoing google search for a SIMPLE ITEM has become increasingly frenetic. When it began, this exercise was merely frustrating—now, it's a quest. We will have new door gaskets. Oh my, yes. Yes, we will. No matter how many times Chrome must autofill the same list of search phrases, we WILL HAVE OUR GASKETS BECAUSE FUCK YOU 2020.

Again, apologies.

In the meantime, and rather embarrassingly, we're using *duct tape* to hold the current door seals together. We're doing so wild-eyed and cackling madly, to be sure...but we're doing it.

This journey of a thousand bandaids began with plain gray duct tape, because it complemented the color of the door gaskets. This solution would last from a week to a month depending on, IDK, the phases of the moon? After a few rounds of this, we've switched to Duck Brand decorative tape.*

That's right, we're accessorizing our fridge like it's a pair of black jeans—we can dress it up, we can dress it down. So far we've tried the fox & hedgehog pattern, the día de los muertos design, and the pride rainbow pattern. While we await the impressionist and cubist collection, we're considering the Van Gogh starry night option.

Is this problem, you may be thinking, really worth the time and the word count spent bemoaning it? It is not. Is it cheaper than the therapy I so clearly need? Yes, it certainly is.

Breaking update: Yesterday I received a voicemail from a refrigerator repair company in Portland, OR, USA sharing the secret number *they* call for Liebherr parts. It’s the first glimmer of hope in a virtual journey that has taken us from Seattle to Houston to Miami to New York City to my new good friend Kenneth Watt at UK Whitegoods in Kilmarnock, Scotland, UK.

UK Whitegoods, it should be noted, is "...probably the largest and best domestic appliance resource in the world." That's according to their web site, so it must be #factuallyaccurate.

It's also #factuallyaccurate that Kenneth Watt, while very responsive and cordial via email, was otherwise #nohelpwhatsoever.

But the phone number! From the guy in Portland! now in my possession. I haven't called it yet. One, I wanted to savor it for a bit. Two, I can't believe I have to call an actual phone number like I’m a Neanderthal or something. Three, I'm completely convinced it's another dead end, and I don't know how much more disappointment I can take.

Meanwhile, Liebherr 9000 seems to be aware of this latest development:

"I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you."

Oh, we're way past that, L-9K. Way past it.

{singing quietly} "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do. I'm half crazy, all for the love of you..."



(*Not an endorsement, more a cry for help)

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