Thursday, April 14, 2005

Complaints . . . yeah, I've got some

I've got stuff to complain about tonight, so bear with me.

Today was the beginning of the rest of Ariel's life. Kindergarten is coming in the fall and it really isn't that big a step from there to high school, boyfriends, college, marriage, whatever.

But there is some time before all of that occurs. So, tonight Ariel and I had a quick meal and went over to the neighborhood elementary school to pick up the registration materials packet and schedule the actual registration for next week. (Unlike the other communities of some other parent friends, my area does this in a two-step process.) Ariel and I waited in line for a bit, collected the necessary forms (immunization records, proof of residency, etc., etc.).

After that I thought that we would run over to the Home Depot and pick up a new microwave oven. Our old microwave has been problematic for a while now. It had a bad habit late last summer of tripping the fuse every time we turned it on. That fuse also controlled the lights in the kitchen. It was rather annoying to get started cooking, and then have everything shut down, then traipse down to the basement, switch on the breaker, and then start over.

That problem got better when we switched the microwave's power plug to another outlet, which isolated it from the rest of the kitchen's electricals. The microwave still occasionally trips the breaker, but at least it doesn't take the kitchen down with it.

But now the microwave itself is growing decrepit. The rotating carousel is broken; the actual floor of the microwave seems cracked; it's all just nasty and sub-standard. So, I figured that I would take Ariel, pick up a cheap microwave, and that would be that. Of course you know that if I am bothering to write about this, then it wasn't that simple.

When we got to the HD, we went back to the kitchen design/appliances area. I found the 8 models of microwave ovens they had available (including, luckily our old brand) and got to work. I asked Ariel what color (white, black, stainless) she preferred and I perused the dimensions of our old model to make sure I picked one that would fit in the cubby shelf above our stove.

I fended off one helpful sales associate who was nice enough to acknowledge my presence as I approached the area (something that simply NEVER happens in these big box stores), but he wanted to convince me to spend more money mounting the micro. oven with a vent hood, yada, yada. I wasn't interested in spending that amount of cash right now, as we just signed a contract to spend about four grand on a new roof. But, hey, at least he acknowledged my existence.

The sexy, sleek, stainless steel looking model was nice . . . but at a price ($140). Plus I knew from looking at it that it wouldn't fit in the space, as it was too wide. The rest of the ovens available were plasticky white or black things. Not great or stylish but around the $49 to $69 that I felt comfortable spending. So I eventually decided to get the same model that I was replacing at home. It was serviceable, I knew it would fit, and it was cheap.

Unfortunately, this particular Home Depot didn't have one in stock and a second sales associate told me that the display model wasn't for sale. (Why don't they remove the display, I wondered to myself.) Sales ass. #2 did, however, check his computer and find that a store on Cleveland Avenue might have one or a store in Powell. He called both stores while I continued to wait.

I decided that I wasn't going anywhere else that evening and decided to find a second model that this HD had. After S.A.#2 got off the phone, I asked him to check the computer and see if they had model #2 available. They did, he said, so he pulled out his big ladder to find it for me on the top shelf.

During all this time, I was also trying to keep Ariel entertained as she wandered amidst the kitchen cabinet displays and tried to convince me that we should take home various sample pieces of brightly colored countertop material, drawer pulls, whatever. I kept up with her wanderings while wondering what was taking the S. Ass. so long to locate my microwave. He kept going from shelf to shelf, having little luck, apparently. (Also, during this time, another customer wanders into the area and set up his own vigil.)

Finally S.A.#2 gives up the search and informs me that the computers must be wrong. He did, however, note that he saw another similar model up there which he thought would work. He showed me the model. I was a bit worried that it might be too tall, but gamely set my hopes on choice #3. S.A.#2 climbed the ladder again to retrieve the microwave; I located our wayward shopping cart and noticed that I couldn't see Ariel.

The associate delivered the microwave; I put it in the cart and started checking the aisles, looking for Ariel. I didn't panic, didn't call out, just walked slowly and tried to pay attention to all the spaces where she had been, might be.

After about a minute of this, some random customer caught my attention from ten feet away and asked if I was looking for a little girl. I guess I had "that look" on my face? He said that he had taken her to the front registers. I thanked him and started wheeling my cart to the front. At the same time the PA announced "Will Mr. or Mrs. _____ come to the Special Services desk up front?" When I arrived, Ariel was being comforted by a very nice sales associate. Ariel was a little scared and was crying a bit. But she calmed down fast and we paid for the oven, loaded it in the wagon and headed home.

Arriving home (about 1.5 hours after we initially left) I immediately worried that the oven was too tall to fit on our shelf.

After getting the kids bathed, pj'ed, storied, prayed, and in bed Tegan and I sat down to watch last night's tape of Smallville (pausing to watch tonight's CSI) and then finishing Smallville. Since I had already stayed up late last night watching the episode (so I could discuss with Shirtless) I started unpacking the new microwave. Tegan paused the tape to help me and we eventually got it out of the packaging and up on the shelf.

To our delight, it DID fit, but we immediately noticed that there was a crack in the bottom of the plastic oven door!!

So, back in the box. Tomorrow back to HD to return and then I guess we'll either head to Cleveland Ave. or Powell to get the model that we wanted all along.

Provided I can even remember which one that is at this point.


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