Bummer, dude!

I hate to keep writing bummer posts, but dammit, it’s all I got these days. The tale of the washing machine is below the money whining if you want to skip to that cautionary tale.

The last few weeks have been pretty terrible. It’s like every expensive to fix item has decided to shit itself. These are the things that have broken and had to be repaired or replaced:
coffee maker: $60 new unit
Ranger: $1500 front end repairs and tires
stereo head unit: $110 new unit + preamp for turntable
washing machine: $400 (being disputed) and $980 for a new one
grandfather clock: no cost yet, but it has also stopped working; $150 for service call

So that is $2650 (plus the $400 disputed: $3050) run up on credit cards in less than a month. Can we pay this off? NOPE.

Nick’s shitty job keeps us at break even – perhaps a little under our normal bills. We are frugal motherfuckers, too. But with inflation, his $19/hr pay (that is taxed 30%, of course) is stretched as far as it will go. My p/t admin job is very p/t and I should be looking for another p/t job, but the problem is my restrictions. I will only work specific days, only one weekend day and I need off for various conventions. That is a hard sell to any employer who uses p/t people to fill in all the shitty shifts that f/t workers don’t want. I’ve toyed with trying for a prep job somewhere, but I feel that the effort will not yield results. Plus, my anxiety and depression has been gangbusters recently – for the above reasons.

This is no way to live, yet this is the American norm. Shitty jobs, low pay, taxed out the ass and work until we die. That is what’s left of the American Dream. Oh, but let’s divert attention from the real issues with political bullshit. Sure.

We added up all our game “assets” and even if we got top dollar for every one, let’s just say $40k to be very optimistic, it would not do a damn bit of good in the long run. That is not enough to buy a Minuteman franchise ($35k plus location and equipment, more like about $150k all in) and it is damn sure not enough to retire on, even with the rest of our investments. We’ve got less than $100k across our IRA and investments, even adding $40k to that is not nearly enough to retire on.

We will work until we die.

And there ain’t SHIT we can do about it. Neither of us is marketable: Nick is a prepress GOD – too bad prepress is now relegated to shitty print shop jobs; I do restaurant admin – too bad that independent restaurants can’t afford to pay an admin for anything. We are virtually unemployable – a fact that we’ve known for years and is why we were so desperate to have our own company. While I’m glad we did not end up in hospitality, that leaves us where we are: underemployed and drowning in debt. Like the rest of America. No insurance, $2k savings and the investment account that can be liquidated (unlike the IRA which involves penalties if you liquidate) is where we are. If we didn’t have the credit cards we have, we’d already be FUCKED. It takes a LOT of self control not to sell games or pull money from the investments, but we have vowed to not do that. Fuck the banks. We’ll just run up the credit like everyone else does. FUCK IT.

And I’d also like to tell you about the washer repair story. We evaluated the cost of a new machine vs repairs and decided to give Sears Home Services a go. That’s our first mistake. So I book them and some dude shows up to diagnose. He swears it’s the water pump. This part and labour is $414, about half of a new unit. So we [foolishly] go with repair. The part shows up and the following week I’m booked for the repair. So on the day of the repair, I’m booked 1-4pm. 4:30 rolls around, so I hit the chat to ask what’s up. Dude is hung up at the previous appt, he’ll be there. Fine. I wait. An hour later, without so much as a text, he rolls up. He is bitching about having to work late, blah, blah. I was not impressed with his attitude. I hand him the part and he looks at it like it’s an artifact. He looks into the machine (where the part is easily accessible) and then says, “It has two screws! I can’t get them loose with my fingers! What do I do?” I SHIT YOU NOT. At that point, I’m horrified and OVER IT. I said “well, how about getting a wrench to loosen them?” He looks at me blankly, then says “I don’t have the tools for that.” !!!!! WTF? Then he proceeds to call someone else to ask them how to loosen two screws and take off two pressure clamps on the hoses. Not looking good, Peggy Hill. Here is the part, installed:

In the meantime, I’m calling Sears to get this shit halted and get him out of here. Of course I get India or some shit and this guy can do absolutely nothing. I should’ve checked the part more carefully before going for their idiot techs! It was dead simple to replace. When I return, he’s got the top off the machine and is about to take the whole thing apart. I asked “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” and he mumbles something about having to get to the part, which, if you recall, is easily accessible from the back, nothing blocking it, SIMPLE. I tell him to stop what he’s doing and to pack up. So now he’s VERY pissed off and slams the top back on, but does not put any screws back or anything. I see him trotting down the driveway with the pump in the box that has my screws in it, so I yell at him to bring it back. He’s mumbling about having to take the part with him (that I’ve already paid for), so I grab the box, give a big shrug and close the door.

I go to look at the machine and he’s fucked up the plastic control panel, so now the top doesn’t sit flush. GREAT.

OH and he also flooded my laundry room when he took one of the hoses off. Stupid motherfucker.

Nick gets home, and swapping the part took less than 20 minutes. Sadly, it did not fix the machine, so we’ve paid Sears $414 for absolutely nothing other than a broken control panel and flooded laundry room. EXCELLENT.

Now I am in dispute with Sears over this bullshit. I initially was willing to pay for the part, but not the labour, but since the part didn’t work, they can have it back. I ONCE AGAIN call them for an RMA, and I get this story about how they must pick up the part in person, because REASONS. Then I ask for an appointment and they can’t do that. UM. If there’s no appointment, then how do they propose to pick up the part? No answer, just hemming and hawing. Welp, it’s logged that I called to return the part. I see no resolution with these assholes, so I will put in a credit card dispute. Then, for good measure, I will also file a BBB complaint.

UPDATE: I finally got an email that worked for parts return! They sent me an RMA and I’ll drop the part off at UPS next week. I did file a CC dispute, including the bill and the photos from this post. I’ve also filed a BBB Online complaint, but I’ve not heard back from them, so I’m not sure it’s being processed or not. In any case, I’m pretty hopeful that I’ll get the $414 back and be done with Sears for good. [I DID get the full refund from Sears, but it took some doing. In addition, they sent me a check for the part after they’d refunded my CC, and I am not sorry for that. I consider it pay for all the work I did to get my fucking money back. Assholes. -A 5.16.22]

Go ahead and fuck with me you fucking jerks. I do this shit for a LIVING. I WILL NOT ACQUIESCE. I will do everything in my power to get my money back, because I can’t afford ANY of this shit and it’s MY money. Sears does not deserve a cent. And that tech will likely be fired, which is fucking fine with me. He was a moron with a bad attitude.

So that’s how MY March has been. I am beyond tired. I am beyond over it. I am beyond giving a fuck about anything. The Universe has beaten the shit out of us. We cry UNCLE. Yep, it’s a bummer that has been going on for over 2 years now. Some days I just want to give up and sell every single thing we own and go live in a fucking yurt in the desert. Not so hot on Europe, what with WWIII right around the corner. This is a fucked up time to be middle aged and underemployed. There is not one good thing about it.

Sorry for the bummer, dude.