I can’t seem to get anything fully accomplished today anyway, so I decided I would take a minute to waste some time to tell you about it…
When I went off to college my mother and I went to the store and picked out a vacuum cleaner for me to use in my first apartment. It was quite the moment; sort of a “rite of passage”. I felt like an adult, with new responsibilities; owning a vacuum. I left the store with a $75 Hoover upright requiring F-type bags. About five years later when that vacuum gave out I considered the following: $75×1.06% sales tax=$79.5 total investment. Then, if 365 x 5= 1825 days of ownership, my final calculations determined that my Hoover had been well worth the average 4 cents per day it cost me. I then carried my Hoover to the street, swung it around my head one time for good measure and chucked it into the trash pile and wrote “new Hoover” on my grocery list. Done.
About 2 Hoovers and 10 years later I decided I was going to get serious about my cleaning. I was ready for a mature vacuum like any proud part-time physical therapist / homemaker would be proud of. I watched Lowes advertisements like a hawk and practically stole a $400 Electrolux from them about 5 months ago. Driving home, with my new drag behind canister Electrolux, I dreamed of the Vacuum Therapy we would experience together and I promised her I would never toss her to the side of the road like I had done to my others. It was going to be a long-term relationship.
Until a couple of months ago, my only complaint with my new Electrolux was that it was so quiet I couldn’t pretend that I couldn’t hear others in my family trying to talk to me while I was sucking up floor debris. However, after 3 months of inefficiently loud vacuuming, I noticed it wasn’t sucking up dinner remains on the floor even as good as the $20 electric broom my mom used to make one of us 3 kids run in the kitchen from time to time. (And no that didn’t kill us but I do always blame Mimi and say, “when I was a kid”, when my offspring complain about running the vacuum.)
For the past 2 months, “calling Electrolux Customer Service” never quite made the top of my list until this weekend when I discovered there was no suction at all. There were times previously that I was wondering if the debris was being sucked up or just being thrown around by the roller brush when I would be hit by a small bead or gravel right smack dab in my shin. However, like with other uncomfortable housewife duties, I just moved on.
I put my Electrolux to the test this weekend; one my old Hoover could have tackled with ease. I will let you figure out the details of the scenario but Harrison spent about 4 hours in our upstairs rec room vacuuming up kinetic sand that he and a friend had thrown from end-to-end, side to side, and top to bottom of the room. It was extremely ugly. Not just the site, but my reaction to the blatantly defiant, destructive action, lacking any blame of childhood innocence that I try to consider when raising my son. I’m quite confident that Harrison’s list of words that is he never to repeat was lengthened that day.
So today, in addition to calling Samsung to get my washer door to stay closed so I can keep my family looking presentable and smelling fresh, I called Electrolux. I spoke with an Elaine, who continued to assure me that “we were going to take care of this”! She sounded like she worked at Mel’s Diner minus the gum chewing. Also, her name was “EEE”laine. Little did I know that “EEE”laine was going to walk me through a step-by-step maintenance process for my Electrolux. I quickly discovered that I had only been cleaning two of the five filters that required regular routine washing, then drying 24 hours, then replacing. On the back of one of them I found enough fuzz to compose a small animal that could have been enjoying some of the toys I had sucked up in the past 3 months as well. It was at this moment that I realized I had made a commitment I was not ready for. I was not ready to be a serious cleaner removing 99.9% of allergens in my home. She told me to simply remove this and that, check the brush roller for hair, and on and on with the 24 point inspection. I decided that the extensiveness of the exam was getting out of hand when she wanted me to take the hose out into my yard and swing it around my head to loosen any clogs. Enough was enough, I said. I was not going to use an old toothbrush on my vacuum and we no longer have wire coat hangers in our house to the best of my ability; moving to plastic hangers SOLELY was also a rite of passage I remember making me feel like an adult. How many years had I been walking around with puckers in my shirts, sticking up in my shoulder region…ridiculous.
Well tomorrow, I’m supposed to call “EEE”laine when my filters are dry for us to continue our customer service experience. I looked at all the parts and pieces of my vacuum in the floor and immediately realized I hadn’t taken pictures with my phone to help me put it back together. In stressful situations I am well aware that my visual memory is less than 24 hours. I made a quick reminder note to myself to give Harrison a lecture after school that would sound something like, “so help me, if you put your grubby little hooks on even one part of my vacuum cleaner, laying here in a million pieces that look fabulous to play with, I will…”
Regret at this moment, is what I was feeling. I was stuck, in a commitment that was going to require maintenance, care, and upkeep. “EEE”laine did say she was making note of how friendly and nice I was about the situation and that it would help me if we needed to discuss “replacement”. Reality hit me again; I was stuck, no chance of refund to spend on an upright Hoover I should have bought in the first place. I have learned over the years however, that sometimes when the “pooh” is hitting the fan it is more effective to dodge than to face your adversities. I do however wish that right now I had a 5-year-old Hoover; that I could swing over my head and chuck into the trash pile by the road. It would be so freeing; knowing that tomorrow someone would come by and simply carry away my problem. Instead, I am trying to pump myself up like “EEE”laine and be confident that “we are going to take care of this”!