How many months does it take to change a light bulb?
When we moved into our house in 2013, it came with a built-in microwave above the regular oven. Complete with two lights shining down onto the stovetop, it seemed state-of-the-art and I gladly gave away our 1988 microwave with the wood grain exterior.
In August 2014, the first of these two light bulbs burned out, followed by the second in September, plunging my stovetop into darkness and sucking all the joy from the daily meal grind, I mean, preparation. When I went searching for replacements, I discovered our microwave was made in 2003 and is considered practically obsolete. Following is a diary of my light bulb quest.
Mid-September: Find bulb at local hardware store that looks close to what I need. Try to install, but it is too long to fit. To avoid repeating the mistake, I put the burned-out bulb in my purse (affectionately known as “the black hole”).
Sept 30: Take the burned-out bulb to local appliance store. They don’t have one in stock, but tell me to call back with the model number. Later that afternoon, after three phone calls back and forth, I am told I need to go directly to Sears.
Oct 1: Call Sears’ toll-free number. Spend 17 minutes on the phone with my new best friend, “Joshua.” I ask him to ship the bulbs to the Polo Park outlet, but he says my closest option is the St. Vital mall. Joshua says it will take 3-6 business days. I hope to have the bulbs in time for Thanksgiving cooking.
Oct. 14: Joshua has dumped me. I call again and go through four voice menus, hoping I am choosing the correct number each time. Finally, I’m put on hold where I listen to the same four cheesy bars of music, interrupted every 30 seconds with reminders that my call is important to them. I read a novel to pass the time. Someone answers but before I am done explaining, I am transferred to a parts department. The Parts Dept. answers, not with a greeting, but asking, “what part number?” I do not know the part number. I explain what I need. They ask for my phone number, immediately after which the phone begins making a busy signal. Then the line goes dead. I hit redial to start over, but my phone starts to beep – low battery. 22 minutes of my life gone and still no light bulbs.
|The illusive bulb.|
Oct 15: Call Sears again. Only wait on hold for a minute. The guy says the bulbs do not appear to have been shipped by the manufacturer, but they will call me when they arrive. Meanwhile, he suggests Reliable Parts might obtain them faster. I call Reliable Parts. I am placed on hold where I listen to ads for fridge water dispenser filters between reassurances that they will be right with me and thanking me every 30 seconds for calling their Parts Department. The guy looks up the number and says there are none of these bulbs in the country. He orders four and informs me it will take 3-4 weeks. I hope to have the bulbs in time for Christmas baking.
Nov 12: No word from Reliable Parts, but Sears leaves a message on our answering machine saying the bulbs are in. Do happy dance.
Nov 16: Discover the burned-out bulb broken in the bottom of the black hole that is my purse. Empty purse. Clean up mess. Bandage finger.
Nov 17: Hubby has an appointment in Winnipeg, so he goes to Sears Parts Department at St. Vital Centre. The bulbs are for inside the oven, NOT what I need. The guy finds the correct part number and orders four.
Nov 20: A voice message from Arnell at Reliable Parts tells us our bulbs are in. I’m pretty certain they’re not the right ones.