Sunday, November 24, 2019

Just can't win (or life makes no sense)

I will never understand my family, or more particularly, my mother.
Moms's oven broke last week for the second or third time. It's always the bake element in the oven. About three years ago she asked me if I could find a new bake element for her oven. I went down to her house to get a model number off the oven and she handed me the factory parts manual. The model number was underlined as was the part number for the bake elements. This was on a page with the toll free number to Sears Parts Direct. I ordered that part and installed it thinking that oven was not going to give Mom any more trouble for years.

Last week I got a call at work from my mother telling me that her oven had stopped working again. She told me that a friend (and former electrician) had looked at it and had tried (unsuccessfully) to find a replacement bake element. Mom asked me if I could get her another one and I said that I would. I thought that I might even still have the email confirmation from the previous order. I looked through my various email accounts but found nothing and then I made my first mistake. I got really busy at work. I had a week where I was really, really busy. Then Mom called me at work Friday morning. "Had I gotten that part ?" she asked. "Oh, I am so sorry Mom. I forgot" I replied. I promised to drop by after work to get the model number and info to order the part again.

Friday, about 5:00 pm....I stopped by Mom's and started to look at the oven for the model number. Just as I was pulling the oven away from the wall Mom asked if the manual would help. Would the manual help?!? There it was, lying on the china cabinet with the model number underlined and the toll free number clearly visible at the top of the first page and yes, the part needed marked with an arrow pointing to the part number. "Do you want me to just call these people and order the part again", I asked. "Oh yes" Mom replied.  I called the toll free number and spoke to the representative. He confirmed that the part number was in stock and could ship Monday. He told me that it would cost approximately $83.00 including shipping. "Mom, do you want me to order this? It's going to be $83.00" I asked. "Yes" she said. I need it. I then asked when we would receive it. "After Thanksgiving"  was the reply. I asked if there were expedited delivery options. "None for this part"  was the reply. I asked Mom if this was okay and she assured me that it was. She'd get my middle sister to warm her Thanksgiving ham for her and all would be well. End of story, right? Wrong!!

It's Saturday morning and me and the wife are headed out to do some Christmas shopping. Susan likes to get it done before the Black Friday rush. My oldest sister sent me a text asking about the oven part. My mother had called her to say that her oven wouldn't be fixed before Thanksgiving and I ordered a part that cost $83.00 (including shipping). I called my sister to see what was going on.... My sister had found someone in a city nearby (about an hour away) who had the part in stock for $28.00. Could I confirm what the part was; did I have a model number? Yes, and yes. I sent the pictures that I had taken of the catalog. My sister said that Mom was stressed about paying $83.00 for the part and not happy that it wouldn't be in before Thanksgiving.  Well, I did try and came up short once again....some decades you just can't win!

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