Deliver me!

My fridge delivery, naturally, did not go according to plan. They were at my house at 8 am, so that was good. But everything else was not so good.

Because there are fewer stairs at the back of the house, I suggested that the two guys use the back sliding glass door that leads directly into my kitchen. That’s where the fridge goes, so that seemed logical to me. The guys thought that seemed logical to them, so they measured the width of the fridge and the width of the back gate.

The back gate had to come off.

They measured the width of the slider part of the back door. It had to come off as well. Except that they couldn’t get it off. Those poor young men struggled with it for about 45 minutes, trying and trying and trying. “It should just lift out!” one of them said to me plaintively. “We’ve done this a thousand times! This should be easy!”

Well, you’re not in Kansas any more, Dorothy, I was thinking. Only rarely are things easy chez Pinklea.

They finally gave up and decided to brave the stairs and sharp turn at the front door. They replaced the gate. They could not properly replace the slider part of the back door.

“It’s a little tight,” the one guy warned me.

I tried it. I couldn’t move it. “You can’t leave it like that,” I told them, a little miffed. “I can’t even move it. You need to fix it.”

They assured me that they would, after they brought in the new fridge and set it up.

Which they also couldn’t do, not completely, but it wasn’t their fault. You see, there is a baseboard molding on one side of the fridge’s allotted space, and that baseboard sticks out about three centimetres from the wall. That baseboard, while lovely indeed, made it impossible to guide the new fridge into its spot.

I had a solution for them. “Just take that baseboard off,” I said with authority. “I’ll never see that it’s gone, and there will be more than enough space then.”

They looked at me stupidly. “We can’t do that. We’re only allowed to remove and replace doors and gates. We’re not allowed to touch anything else in the house.”

I thought about offering them more money – okay, a bribe! – to take that baseboard off. But he continued, “Besides, we don’t have the right tools to do it.”

“It’s glued on, not nailed,” I said. “It would be easy to pull off.”

“We’d need a chisel.”

“Oh. I don’t think I have a chisel. Wait – let me make a phone call!”

I hurried off to phone PG. Surely he, former construction worker that he is, would have a chisel or two! But he didn’t pick up. Then I remembered that he’d told me earlier that he’d be working on his car all morning – something about head gaskets, I think he said. Obviously he wasn’t going to be able to answer his phone.

I went back to the kitchen. I was pretty sure that this would be a very quick and simple thing to do, so I wasn’t super-stressed about it. I told the guys that my boyfriend (I actually used that word! How I hate it! I’m much too old to use such a word!) would certainly be able to rip off that baseboard and push the fridge in. Just not right now. But they could finish putting the fridge doors on so that everything would be ready to go, couldn’t they?

Well, not exactly. They could put the top doors on, but not the bottom freezer door, because that door stuck out just enough that the way the fridge was currently positioned, there wasn’t enough room between the fridge and the opposite counter. There was only about 20 centimetres between – just about enough for me to squeeze through.

Fine, then. So they put the top doors on and carefully explained to me how the bottom door was to be attached. I wrote it all down. One of the guys then said, “The directions are taped right here on the side of the fridge.”

Oh. But it really did look simple enough for anybody to do. I was pretty sure that I could do it myself, if I had to.

“Now, can you please move the fridge out of the way so I can actually use my kitchen? I can barely get in there.”

“No. We’ve already put the top doors on, so we can’t move the fridge out much further without hitting the counter.”

Well, shit.

“So, could you fix that back door then?” I queried.

“No. We don’t know how to do that. We’ve never seen a door like that. You say your guy is in construction, so he can probably fix it.”

Um, no. You wrecked it, you fix it. If you can’t fix it yourself, you bloody find someone who can. It’s not my problem. That’s how it works, buddy. I didn’t pay an extra 50$ for you to wreck my sliding glass door too. That is so not what I signed up for!

I didn’t say it quite like that, but things got a little tense there for a bit. Finally, the one guy said that he would have to call someone about fixing the door and get back to me. “When?” I countered. “This afternoon,” he promised. “And what’s your name?” I asked, pen poised.

He told me and I wrote it down. Then he wanted me to sign some form. “What am I signing?” I asked.

He wouldn’t look me in the eye. “That I did the job.”

“But you didn’t,” I answered. “I understand about the fridge, you can’t finish that part of the job. I kind of thought that the baseboard might be a problem, so I get that part. But you did something to that door, and you haven’t fixed it.”

Still, I signed the form, because they actually had delivered the fridge, at least. And I wanted the two of them out of my house already.

They left. I didn’t tip them.

I called PG, who was still unavailable. So I called my friend Meshka’s husband and asked him if he could help me out. He graciously came over, removed the pesky baseboard, pushed the fridge into place, and attached the freezer door. Together we levelled the fridge, which was a bit of a tricky job. That all took maybe half an hour. Then he offered to have a look at the door. He quickly realized that one of the wheels that was supposed to follow the track on the bottom had been pushed up so that it didn’t connect to the track. He pulled it down. It connected and the door slid as good as new. That took him all of about five minutes. He also took the other piece of the baseboard that he’d had to remove in order to get at the offending piece and said he’d take it home to trim it with his circular saw so that it would fit properly next to the fridge, then bring it back and put it back on.

My friend Meshka is married to a wonderful man, isn’t she? I didn’t tip him either, but I did hug him very hard.

And did that delivery guy ever call me back about the door? What do you think??

I think there will definitely be a complaint to the store where I purchased the fridge. Oh, most definitely.


10 responses to “Deliver me!

  1. Oh, sweet Miss Pink, what a debacle. All I can say is that now your February can truly begin, and otherwise (and please excuse the expletive) all I can say is Fuck! What scary ineptitude. No wonder society in the west is going to hell in a handcart. What a couple of bozos.
    But, I must add, what a wonderful piece of writing from you. Your ability to tell a tale is just superlative. Aside from the fact you are my metaphorical sister, I read you because I love how you express yourself.

    • mrwriteon – And it is now Tuesday, and still no phone call from the bozo who “promised” he’d call me Saturday afternoon. As we say in French, quelle surprise! Stories like that pretty much write themselves, with little effort on my part, but thank you for your oh-so-kind words (again). You’re making me blush (again)!

  2. I rarely pull the girl card out, but when it comes to dealing with mechanical things, I definitely do. My logic just doesn’t seem to work right and because of that I can’t stand up to tradespeople or delivery people when they do stuff like this. I’m sure it was all my fault. So, Hubby is usually the one who gets the work from home day (unless it is a tradesperson I know well like our plumber who is awesome and totally explains everything and even cleans up after himself). But for the first visit? or delivery? Hubby has the ball. Of course Hubby would point out I certainly have lots of helpful suggestions to make when he is acting as the handyman. Then my logic always seems “superior”. [shrug]

    • Wenderina – I’m not totally comfortable with delivery people or tradespeople either, but I have no choice. I have to deal with them on my own … which is, I suppose, yet another argument for living with PG, isn’t it?

  3. I find that about 95% of the delivery men in the world are not very good. I don’t know why that is, but mostly I have very bad luck with anyone that is delivering stuff to me. Either they break something else or they can’t get something to work with whatever appliance they’re setting up.

    But how lucky for you to have the handy friend! That’s the next best thing to being handy, is having friends that are that way. And then you don’t have to waste garage space with all the tools!

    • Kimberly – I’ve mostly had good experiences with delivery people (I know I’ve been very lucky!), but just one experience like this one sure leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth!

  4. I might need to borrow Meshka’s husband soon. D’you think he’d come to Montreal?

  5. Some people do have the handiest husbands and the best thing is that they let you borrow them.

    • Nora – That would be one of the advantages of living with PG: he is extremely handy. However, we don’t live together, so borrowing my friend’s husband is the next best thing!