Episode II: The Appliance Strikes Back

...with a Robot Named E0F2


I broke down and bought a stove. I was out shopping for crap for my condo

Ed’s Note: He’s been doing a lot of that lately.

and noticed that there was a Trail Appliances amidst the forest of box stores. I went by with the intent of tearing them a new one because my barbecue still isn’t fixed,

Ed’s Note: To their credit, they called his school phone over the spring break and left an energetic sounding voice mail about getting somebody to come by and fix it.

and ended up buying a new stove from their scratch ‘n’ dent section.

This was a horrible idea for two reasons:

  1. I wasn’t getting the “builder discount” and free delivery I could have received from the place affiliated with my condo.
  2. Murphy’s Law.

However, it was a great unit, and exactly what I wanted, heavily discounted.

Ed’s Note: Hm. Wonder why that was.

They “schedule” the delivery for Wednesday. The word “schedule” means that I will get a call an hour before they show up. This is no big deal, since I was on spring break, and only had an 8am doctor’s appointment. They never deliver that early.

Ed’s Note: Sigh.

So at 7:55am, on the road to my appointment, I get a call that the delivery people will be at my place around 9. My appointments usually take about 30 minutes, which should give me lots of time to get back. It’s only an eye checkup, after all!

Ed’s Note: I’m rubbing that headache spot above my eyes.

The guy who does my vision test has a bizarre combination of ambition and incompetence. He’s very focused (pun intended) on getting my prescription correct, but he’s not very skilled at using the machine. Several times, he asks me to choose between two lenses

Ed’s Note: “Which one is better? One or two?… one?… or two?… This is one?… and this… is two.”

while he is standing directly between the machine and the eye chart. It took him 20 minutes to do my right eye. By the time I met the doctor for the physical exam, my phone was vibrating with the third call from the delivery guys, wondering where the hell I was.

The delivery was rescheduled for the next day, and I was told I would get the one hour notice, as well as a four hour notice. I sat around all day, and at 4:45pm, got a call saying they would be there around 6. At 6:45, I got a call saying they were downstairs. I let them in, and they wrestled the stove into position, only to find

Ed’s Note: Wait for it…

that it didn’t fit my countertop. That’s right. A standard 30″ slide-in stove, but my counters were too high for the little edges on the stove top.

In a moment of quiet fury, I thanked them for their work and sent them on their way.

The next evening, I borrowed some tiles from the construction zone that is my underground parking garage, and used them to build two ledges which would raise the stove enough to allow me to slide it into place. There was no way I could move the appliance by myself as it was, so earlier in the day I went to Rona and got some plastic “glides” that go under the feet of heavy furniture to make sliding them much easier. So with an outlay of roughly $10, 3 hours of my time, and a few ounces of sweat, I was able to slip my new stove into position and level it perfectly.

It looked fantastic. I plugged it in.

Ed’s Note: Don’t jump ahead, people.

The clock came on, but it was off by a couple of hours. I intuitively pushed the “Clock” button, but nothing happened. Hm. Maybe I was doing this wrong. I got out the manual and looked up how to set the time. Step 1: Push the “Clock” button. I pushed the “Clock” button again. The display flashed in red: “CONV BAKE: 350 START?” Whoa. That can’t be good. I pushed “Cancel” and it disappeared.

So now I’m stuck with the wrong time. And then the beeping starts. At random time intervals, the oven will beep three times. BEEP BEEP BEEP. BEEP BEEP BEEP. It’s fantastic. It’s like instead of an oven I can use to prepare food to feed my stomach, I’ve purchased a whimsical electronic bird whose song feeds my ears.

Then I notice the display: E0 -F2-. I push “Cancel” and it goes away. Then more beeps, and the error comes back: E0 -F2-. I clear it again. This continues intermittently for several hours until I finally unplug it.

I looked up the error online, and it says that the keypad is shorted out. I need a new keypad.

So I called Trail Appliances.

Ed’s Note: Remember? The people who he was visiting to get them to fix the broken barbecue he bought from them?

The earliest date is two weeks from now, on a Wednesday. I told them that I work during the day, but when I asked about a weekend booking, the helpful woman on the phone said, “The earliest date I have is May 5th.”

I feel like that girl in the song who “swallowed the spider to catch the fly…”

That song has a happy ending, right?

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