Adventures of a New Appliance Technician

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on May 21, 2007

in General Appliance Wisdom

Appliance Tech, Grizzly, a new brother-at-arms in the ancient martial art of Fixite Do, shared some of his more vivid experiences and observations of his first few months of practicing the craft of Appliantology.

Interesting (well, not really) observations I’ve made in the larval stage of my appliantology career. Five months may not be long enough to have a truly mature and time tested opinion on stuff, but here goes anyway….

Observation 1. As a profession, servicers are treated by customers with somewhat more suspicion than I was expecting. I’d say the average customer is more guarded with me than they would be with, say, a census taker or perhaps a meter reader. Having said that, I haven’t received much in the way of the immediate cold shoulder and scornful treatment with which, say, an ambulance chasing trial attorney has likely become used to. I’m thinking a spectral analysis of professions would peg appliance servicers several notches up the scale from car salesman, but lagging a few rungs south of dental hygienists.

Observation 2. The plural form of servicer is not present in the OpenOffice.org spell check, whereas the singular form is.

Observation 3. Appliances, like most consumer products, have a sweet spot at which the best long term value can be derived by purchasing items towards the middle of the price scale. Sure don’t see many catastrophically expensive repairs with 600 to 1000 dollar Whirlpool washers. Can’t say the same about Sam’s Club spec GE appliances nor for many uh dem der fancy pants Yourapeen brands.

Observation 1 reprise. Some customers seem to have an over simplified view of the profession and are pre conditioned to think that anyone who works with their hands must have a Forest Gump level IQ. Here’s some quotes I’ve heard so far:

From a passively aggressive/somewhat condescending dishwasher customer, I think she must have thought she was talking to her 8 year old: “now, I know the dishwasher water goes into my garbage disposal, so if you need to get under the sink to look at it, you will need to be careful, there are c-h-e-m-i-c-a-l-s down there, like Comet and Dawn, those can harm you, so please be careful”. I felt like playing along by dawning a puzzled expression and telling her “Oh, yessum mam, dey done told us in skoo dat Comet ain’t duh same ting as sugar. You can’t eat Comet, you can only clean stuff wit it. But sugar, dats ok to eat, my momma puts sugar on her grits and she’s as fit as a possum. My cousin Billy once ate a whole can of Comet, and his pee smelled good for a month, but I ain’t gonna eat none of your Comet, I like tha yellow smell my pee has better anyhow.”

Or how about this quote from a dryer customer, “what do you mean you need the wiring diagram? I read my owner’s manual this morning, and it doesn’t say anything about wiring diagrams, so you must be trying to make this more difficult than it needs to be so you can charge me more”.

Observation 4. This work involves a perfect blend of both mental and physical skill. After sitting at a desk all day for eight years programming mainframes, the actual act of getting to move about is quite a refreshing change, but the one thing about programming that I actually enjoyed (solving logical problems) is present here too! Very similar approach to the problem solving and analysis, just a different subject matter.

Observation 5. This work is freaking fun! For the first time in years, I no longer dread going to work each day. Hell, when 5:30 comes around, most days, I don’t want to leave the shop.


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