Times have certainly changed.
Does anyone else remember the "good old days" when, if you had a problem with something you purchased, you could call the store where you bought it and they would either send a repairman, or ask you to bring it back to them to be either fixed or replaced?
The good old days when, if you made a purchase of a major appliance, it would sometimes outlast YOU? The days when customer service actually meant something, rather than was just given lip-service by someone four thousand miles away, stuck in a little cubicle or at a long row of desks with a telephone console, a computer and a headset?
The days when, if you went down to the local general store, or appliance store, or hardware store, you actually KNEW the person behind the counter, and he had a reputation to uphold. He CARED about whether or not you were happy with the product he sold you, whether it was a washing machine, a car, or even a head of lettuce! It wasn't just about the money. Sure, he was trying to make a living, just like everyone else, but if he got a reputation for selling crap, or not following through on his promises of service, he would lose business. It MATTERED to his bottom line if he lost customers.
The Bag Lady is obviously not a happy person this day. She has been waiting since the end of January for a repairman to come and fix the latch on her front-loading washing machine. This is the third time she has cleaned her house and made sure everything was hunky-dory for the repairman (this company insists that the walk be clear of snow and all animals in the house be locked up..... if the Bag Lady doesn't get her washing machine fixed soon, the dog isn't the only one who is going to have to be locked away to keep from attacking..... oops, guess that shouldn't be broadcast, should it?), only to receive a phone call telling her that he isn't coming. This time, all but one of the parts that he ordered are here (last time, none of them had come) The Bag Lady doesn't even know what this repairman looks like, because he hasn't darkened her door. The company she purchased the machine from prides themselves on having the repair done within a week. Well, it's been over a month and the Bag Lady is still unable to use her freakin' washing machine!! She is beginning to believe that she has made a mistake purchasing this particular machine. Of course, almost all of the major appliances are made by essentially the same company nowadays, so it would probably be the same story regardless of the brand of machine.
The Bag Lady realizes that she is probably looking at the "good old days" through rose-tinted glasses, but fer cryin' out loud, talking to someone who lives on the other side of the country (or the world) about her problem just doesn't give the same sense of satisfaction as being able to look the owner in the eye and tell him/her you are unhappy with the service they have provided. The Bag Lady suspects that the person she spoke to this morning doesn't even live in the same country as the Bag Lady! (To be honest, the woman had such a thick Southern US accent, the Bag Lady started craving crawfish and mint juleps!)
The upshot of all this ranting is that the Bag Lady is resigned to waiting at least another week before she can use her washing machine. Sigh.
And if mint juleps actually tasted as good as they sound, she'd be sipping one right now.