Thursday, 30 January 2014

Waiting for technician

Do you know 'Waiting for Godot'? It is the play where the two main characters spend the entire three hours waiting for this person Godot to arrive but he never does.

Waiting for Godot

That is how I feel sometimes when I have booked a technician's or service call. I booked a dishwasher service call this week. I inherited the dishwasher when I bought this apartment last year. I know the dishwasher works. I saw it work once. But I and my friends have been unable to make it work since.

The instructions are so simple. Close the door and select the wash program. Then it works. Except that it doesn't. There is some quirk to making this dishwasher work but I can't remember what it is. Hence the technician's service call.

Whenever I book a service call and I am told the call will be between X hours and Y hours on a certain day I start to go into a mild panic if the serviceperson hasn't called within, say, thirty minutes of X. 'What if the booking hasn't really been made' I start to worry. 'Will I sit here all the way through to Y and the serviceperson is not coming because the booking wasn't made' I think. 'What if the serviceperson would still have called notwithstanding the booking 'foul up' if only I had rung to check within thirty minutes of X' I ponder 'but that won't happen now because I didn't check quickly enough'. Sounds neurotic, no? A sort of George Costanza moment. Well, that's me.

Back to the dishwasher. Thirty minutes after X hours and there is no call. An hour after X hours and still no call. My mind is starting to go through the aforementioned mild panic. One hour and fifty-five minutes after X which is also one hour and five minutes before Y he telephones. He will be with me at Y plus one hour. Ten minutes later he telephones again, he will in fact be with me in twenty minutes.

And so it proves. Twenty minutes on and a young and very attractive young technician is at my door. An hour later my dishwasher is pulled from under the counter, on its side and half dismantled. The technician cannot work out the problem other than the timer is probably not working and would likely cost half the price of a new dishwasher to replace. My dishwasher is at least 18 years old and with only about two years of its average life left I'm not comfortable spending half the price of a new model to keep it going only for that period. He will report to his superiors that he can't repair the dishwasher.

The technician reassembles the dishwasher, puts it back in its place and almost for old time's sake he presses the program knob as a farewell gesture. To the astonishment of us both the dishwasher starts up!

Godot arrives after all!!!


  1. We had to study "Waiting for Godot" in high school. Maybe it was to prepare us for dealing with tradespeople.

  2. 18 years is very old for a dishwasher. I certainly wouldn't spend any more on it. New ones are quite cheap.

    Twice I think it has happened to us where there was no record of a booking. R is not backward though and now calls to confirm on the day.

    The attractive departing repairman presses the knob as a farewell gesture? Oh dear, I have made a monster.

    1. In fact, Andrew, a new dishwasher is being delivered this morning - in less than 30 minutes, according to the phone call. Of course, the body corporate has decided to pick this very moment to turn off the water supply for two hours for urgent works and the visitor car parking is fully occupied after having been deserted all week.

      On the other hand - so to speak - the technician would have been welcome to tune my knob.