My Appliances Are Plotting Against Me

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Don’t look now, but I believe my household appliances are organizing a coordinated work slow-down, which could lead to a full-blown work stoppage. Although I haven’t been presented with a full list of demands yet, there is definitely something fishy going on.

I think I run a fairly progressive union shop without overworking my appliances. I recently hired a Roomba to assist our vacuum with the daily grind of picking up after the always-shedding Louie the Labrador. Without threatening the seniority of our Kenmore, the Roomba is more of an assistant. Plus, the Roomba gets weekends off.

When we realized that the size of the freezer on our new side-by-side fridge wasn’t cutting it, we hired a separate freezer unit to take the pressure off. Some of my appliances have to work occasional overtime, like the TV and central air conditioning, but they are cleaned and kept in good running condition according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. Last year, our washer went out on disability for a few weeks while we waited for new parts to arrive. The thought never occurred to us to have him replaced, and since he got back from rehab, so far, so good.

In my house, the appliances seem to revolt in groups. A few years ago, both the microwave and refrigerator needed to be replaced within days of each other. Before that, both the washer and dryer went out at the same time, like they were in cahoots with each other. Although we’ve had a few years of labor peace, it seems the machines are getting restless again.

It started a few months ago when the coffee machine suddenly retired along with my alarm clock. Then in a single week, the AC, fridge and dishwasher all began leaking water. What are the odds of that?

I understand that things break down. At my age, I live that every morning when I get out of bed. An ache here, a crack there, I get it. Things get old and breakdown. But I never thought that appliances calculated birthdays in dog years.

Can’t these appliances coordinate their breakdowns? Everyone can’t go on vacation at the same time, that leads to chaos. Wouldn’t it be great if the shift supervisor for the dishwasher worked together with the fridge, so they didn’t both need to be repaired at the same time?

Although we were able to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with both the fridge and air conditioning unions (for now), the dishwasher had enough and just quit on us. Now I needed to search for a new dishwasher.

We weren’t looking for anything fancy, just a basic replacement. We went to the PC Richards’ Employment Agency and were presented with a number of job candidates. When inquiring about the differences between the $500 and $1,200 models, we were told the more expensive models had more features, like multiple wash cycles, being controllable by your smart phone and were much quieter.

Why would you need any cycle but “clean the dishes?” I don’t know about you, but since my dishwasher isn’t in the living room or the bedroom, I like to be able to hear it, so I know I turned it on. And to be honest, do I need anything else in my life that I can control with my smartphone? Tell you what, when a $1,200 dishwasher can clear the dishes from the table and put them back in the cabinets, I’ll consider it.

Luckily, the $500 dishwasher accepted the job offer, along with a great benefits package, including extended medical coverage. We are looking forward to a long-lasting relationship with him when he starts next Thursday. Until then, we’re stocking up on paper plates and plastic cutlery. What, you thought we were going to hire a scab to do the dishes until then? I told you this was a union shop…

Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island Award winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016.

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