Saturday, February 5, 2011

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...

Gloom, despair, and agony on me. 
Deep dark depression obsessive misery. 
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair, and agony on me.
(Song from the TV show Hee Haw)

Do you ever have days or weeks where you feel like that?  I do, but I think that is called life...

During Christmas break while I was cleaning a clogged drain downstairs, I noticed that the $9.99 "plumber friendly" (that's code for cheap piece of crap) sink was leaking.  The sink is actually in two pieces bonded together by what looks like silicon caulk kind of stuff.  So instead of making it one piece, it was two pieces.  It started leaking where it was bonded together.  Great.  So I clean the drain and put it all back together.

So the wife and I are off to the local Home Depot.  We get a sink and a new faucet because I really do dislike the "plumber friendly" faucet that is in the downstairs bathroom.  I rip it out, and reinstall.  I have a small problem.  The faucet has one water line longer than the other and when I went to get a hose, I couldn't find anything that was short enough to accommodate it.  I ended up getting one of those plastic hoses that you cut to the length you want (yet another "plumber friendly" solution) with a compression fitting and putting it all put back together again.

Everything was good until a couple of weeks ago.  One morning I hear this noise in my house.  It sounded like my furnace was on, but it was running for a lot longer than just the furnace.  It was before 6:00 AM and I really was not interested in getting out of my warm bed to find out what was going on.  Then my oldest daughter comes running in our bedroom to inform us that the basement is flooding.  "Oh $&!#."  We went flying down there to indeed find water in the basement.  Well, come to find out my compression fitting on my hose came loose and yes, I did have a (partially) flooded basement.  That story is just longer than I care to tell at the moment.  We filed an insurance claim and we're still in the process of getting our basement completely restored.

Fast forward to today.  I'm upstairs working on my income taxes for 2010 and my wife comes upstairs to inform me that our washing machine just puked on us.  It is out of warranty for like a year.  (We bought this really nice Kenmore HE3t washing machine about six years ago and I paid some extra money to get a four year extended warranty.  That extended warranty expired a year ago.  About once a year we needed to have something in the multiple hundred dollar range fixed on it, so we knew that it was going to cost us a pretty penny to fix it.  And we just weren't interested in spending that much money on repairing it.)  When you're married and you have half a dozen kids living at home (my wife calculated that she does approximately 20 loads of laundry a week), you really can't go very long without a washing machine, especially when only one of your kids has two pairs of pants to wear to school.  Before shopping I troll the internet looking for trying to get the best washing machine for the money.  I was discouraged because there is a lot of garbage out there.

So after dinner we head out the door.  Because of my web trolling I knew that Best Buy was having a killer sale on washing machines.  We talked about going to Best Buy, but instead we decided to head to the Home Depot to see what they had.  Home Depot was closer than Best Buy.  And I wasn't sure we were going to find anything there anyway.  So we stopped.  We shopped.  And we talked.  We discovered that LG has some pretty good stuff and they had a higher end model that would probably take care of us.  It was on sale (10% off sale for energy star appliances).  So the sales associate goes to Best Buy's site and finds the same washer there but for over $100+ off, even with the 10% discount.  So they price match.  Well, when Home Depot price matches, they match the competitor's price, plus they knock off another 10%.  Cha-ching!  The appliance associate writing the sale tries to override the additional discount, but the system won't let him.  (I'm laughing as I type this because this is so funny.....)  So, we're all good and we realize that because of Best Buy and Home Depot, we're getting a pretty good deal on this washing machine.  We get all the paperwork done.  We go up front and they ring us up.  We get up there and when the cashier rings us up, they give us another 10% off the already discounted-price-matched price.  CHA-CHING!!!  And because we're buying two extended warranties (one for the washer and the drier that we're picking up), they knock 20% off the price of the extended warranties.  My wife and I look at each other and we're afraid to say anything.  Please realize that we are spending a wad of cash AND they are getting the full price for the drier that they sold us AND they sold us two extended warranties.  (Purchasing the extended warranty on my Kenmore HE3t was probably the best extended warranty money I ever spent.)  So they may be loosing their shirts on the washer, but they're making up for it on the drier and the extended warranties.  (If we don't have a service call for either appliance in four or five years, then they just made pure profit on that extended warranty sale.)  I figure they are probably breaking even or making a few bucks off of us.  And that tax return I thought I was going to get, well, it will be used to pay for my newly purchased washer and drier.

All I can say is that someone on high was looking out for us.  And to a certain degree I had the karma thing going for me.  Many months ago I bought several toilets from Home Depot.  Because of how my house was built, I wasn't able to use two of the three toilets that I purchased.  And in all the exchanges and so forth, Home Depot ended up giving me more money back than I should have received.  I found the error and contacted them and I sent them a check to make up for the error they made in my favor.  So it is as if today I was being "rewarded" for being honest with them in the past.  And even though I had a bad thing happen to me (my washing machine broke on me) and I had to spend a lot of money to replace it, I didn't spend as much money as I would have had things not worked out as well as they did.  So, in the end, I've been blessed.  And I have my tax refund there to help me pay for this expenditure.  Like I said, someone is watching out for us and blessing us.


A Paperback Writer said...

Good luck.
I'm a big Maytag believer. My mom had an old Maytag that lasted 30+ years until we gave it away because the Norwood dryer blew out and we decided to get a new washer to go with the new dryer. Her current Maytag and my Maytag have been going 25 years and 22 years respectively. Of course, neither of us does 20 loads per week.....

Tom said...

The Maytags of today aren't like the Maytags of the past. Now that Maytag is owned by Whirlpool, modern Maytags are just a Whirlpool in disguise.

I hope that this new set will last a while. In a couple of years we will start to have kids leave the house. So the amount of laundry that we do should start to diminish.