My oven died the day before we left for Hocking Hills. Have you ever tried to grill a bacon-wrapped meatloaf? It’s not easy.
Tasty, but not easy.
This has happened before, a couple of years ago, and I was able to go on the GE website and schedule service. Two days later, a repair guy showed up with the correct part, fixed the oven and left.
Not this time.
I tried scheduling online the very same day the oven died, but was informed I couldn’t – I’d have to call a local repair center, for which they gave me a number. Unfortunately, it was 6 p.m. on a Sunday, so…no call. I’d forgotten all about it the next day in the rush to get everyone packed and on the road and had completely forgotten about it by the time we got home on Thursday. It was the following Monday before I was able to make the call, and was told it would be Thursday before anyone could come out. I didn’t think much of the fact that the man I spoke with did not ask for the model or serial numbers of the range.
I was informed that I’d receive a phone call between 8 and 9 a.m. on Thursday morning and given a 3 hour window of when they’d be at my house. I wasn’t happy about that, but I only live 5 minutes from our office so I agreed. I was quite happy to receive the expected call promptly at 8 a.m., but was less so to learn the repairman wouldn’t be there until between 1 and 4 p.m. Fortunately, Beloved decided to work from home that day, so I wouldn’t have to go home early. Because, seriously – I’d leave at lunch and come back to the office for an hour? I don’t think so.
It wasn’t long after that I remembered I had the checkbook in my purse, but wasn’t too worried about it; I could leave it when I went home for lunch. So I was a bit peeved to get another phone call about 9:45 a.m. – it was the repairman saying, “I’m in Lesser Podunk and thought I’d come to your house before heading out to Really Small Town; I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” I hung up the phone, swore, gathered up my purse (which held the checkbook) and headed home.
He lied – he was there in less than 5 minutes, because he was parked in the driveway and had his head stuck in the oven when I got there. I was tempted to turn on the gas.
(Not that it would have done any good – hello, the oven was broken.)
Beloved turned to me. “Hey, dear – apparently this problem is really common with this type of stove.”
You don’t say.
The repairman emerged from the depths of the oven, holding a hunk of melted plastic and fused metal with some wires sticking out of it. It was the sensor that regulates the temperature, and consequently the valve that releases the gas when you turn the oven on.
“Here’s your problem,” he said, writing something on his paper that would likely cost me another $50. “I’ll just get this on order.”
“Wait,” I said. “On order? How long will that take?”
“Oh…about a week.”
If you saw a mushroom cloud in northeast Ohio last Thursday about 10 a.m., that was me going nuclear on a poor, hapless repairman.
“A week??? Are you telling me I WON’T BE ABLE TO USE MY OVEN FOR ANOTHER WEEK?!?!” He stared after me, looking completely foozled, as I stomped through the living room into our bedroom, muttering things like “I don’t fucking believe this” and “this is bullshit” along with other equally kind and compassionate phrases.
After a minute or two, Beloved followed me, asking, “Hey, dear – he wants to know how often we cook.”
I was at a loss for a second or two before I
yelled replied, “Uh…how does three times a day, seven days a week sound??”
Poor Beloved, who was more amused than anything, hugged me and said, “Honey, you don’t know how uncommon that is. Being without their oven for a week wouldn’t be a hardship for most people. It’s not this guy’s fault.”
I understood that, of course, but it didn’t make me feel any better. I stayed in the bedroom for a few more minutes, getting myself together so I could talk to the repairman without snatching him bald headed, while Beloved went back into the kitchen to defuse the situation as much as he could – bits of conversation floated back to me, and I heard the words “food blog” and “photographs” and “cookbook.” Eventually, the repairman went out to his van, and I wandered back into the kitchen, feeling – and looking, I’m sure – quite morose.
(I should pause here and point out that Beloved and I are pretty well-suited for each other – we both tend to form extremely strong attachments to inanimate objects. Like chairs and major appliances.)
A couple of minutes later, the repairman came back into the house, holding a small, white cardboard box.
“Well, I found this in my van; it was supposed to be for another repair, but that was pushed back a few days and I can order another one before that call,” he said as he pulled out – you guessed it – the very part needed to fix my oven.
It’s amazing what you can find in a dilapidated repair van when confronted by a rabid food blogger with a broken oven and a cookbook in the works.