Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Odd Journey of My Old Washing Machine

Once upon a time, I was working as a CSR in a call center, and as such I got to meet and know many people who also worked in the call center. Call centers can be odd environments, bringing out some rather interesting folks. While I cannot hope to catalog all of the weird people I've met, nor can I dream of revealing all of the interesting stories they had to tell, but I shall start here.

Shortly after I started working in the call center, I got into a bit of rouble when I helped too many coworkers owing to my old desk being by the help desk, so I was moved into the nether regions, and I sat across from a gal, who I'll call "Stephanie." "Stephanie" was a single mom of around 30 years old, who was a former beautician who got the job in part to one of her customers who was a manager at our employer. She wasn't an exceptionally good CSR, nor was she much of a beautician from what I heard.

Anyway, she was dating and having mixed luck. She started dating a dude, who wasn't too much of a catch from what she said, and in fact she wasn't at all enamoured with him. She kept talking about wanting to dump him but merely lacked the energy to do so. Well one
day she, knowing my somewhat odd affinity for all things Alf, mentioned he had some ALf stuff including a large stuffed Alf. I tried to politely continue conversing with her, but somehow she convinced herself she should go out with him another date to get the Alf for me. I was rather confused and nearly speechless, so I really didn't do much to stop her. Sure enough, a couple days later I had a lightly used stuffed Alf. Apparently the Alf was just the beginning.

Having enjoyed the rush of taking a treasured childhood memory from this schlep, "Stephanie" decided to get something for herself. You see this fella did have one thing going for him, he was an appliance salesperson, which means he could get her appliances at cost. I dunno when or how she got the Euro washer bug, but she had it, and she had him get her an Asko (Swedish made) front loading washer/drier set. The washer normally went for $1800 alone, and the dryer wasn't cheap either. Before long she was complaining about the washer, which owing to its frugal European design used a whole lot of time and very little detergent and water to clean clothes. Some cycles could take up to 3 hours, and being a vein impulsive type, that was too long.

Well the Alf and the washer/dryer must have been meant to be together, as it wasn't much thereafter when I, who had just moved to a place with hookups for a washer/dryer and didn't have either, was offered the set. I paid something like $650 for the pair, and I was delighted to have a stacked pair in my somewhat crowded apt. I also got a neat conversation piece, as the washer sounded like a jet reving up owing to its extremely high RPM spinning stainless drum.

Sadly the washer has since met its demise, and the Alf has been given to charity.

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