stacked connection

As a stalwart reader of printed books, I’m left to wonder what will happen to the wide, slow silty river of the their history, to the countless volumes waiting now in the abandoned silence of library stacks. Stacks: The word itself connects books to the harvest, to corn and hay. They were always earthbound. Smell the must, feel the brittle, browning pages between your thumb and forefinger. The tears, the cracked spines, the stains and folds. Even if we readers forget them, printed books will hold us in their memory.
—  Jane Brox, Illuminating Texts
Hey @Lowes: you’re terrible

This is sacrilege on Memorial Day, and I rarely ever use social media for this.

But in the words of a friend’s mom many years ago who kicked me out of a summer housesitting arrangement because she wanted to come to Manhattan one weekend, “I know it’s wrong, but I’m doing it anyway.” 

(A sentiment that, as an adult and a parent, I have come to deeply respect. I would kick a 25 year old stranger out of my child’s Manhattan apartment any old time). 

So here is the headline: lowes, you are terrible. 

A couple of weeks ago, our Whirlpool Duet washer bit the dust after almost 8 years of daily work. It was good while it lasted, and I feel pretty good about how long it lasted. 

It’s called Duet because, like most NYC apartments, space requires us to stack our dryer on top of our washer. Just like singers sit on each other shoulders when they sing duets. Get it? 

Learning that it would cost more to repair than replace the washer, my wife called Lowe’s (the one in the romantic canal section of Gowanus). 

Armed with the model and serial number, she bought a replacement over the phone. 

She explained that we needed a new washer, but not a new dryer. Lowe’s said that it would not be a problem to swap out the supporting player in our little duet, and keep the top-stacking dryer, which still worked. 

So she bought the new washer at some real expense and arranged delivery and and they said again: NO PROBLEM. 

And then we waited a week. And when the washer showed up this afternoon (a day early, unannounced), we realized immediately that this was going to be ONLY PROBLEM.

First of all, Whirlpool understandably has updated its DUET line. This is a wholly different washing machine. It looks pretty good, but I had a bad feeling it would somehow, despite all of Lowe’s assurances, not “work right.”

My bad feeling was confirmed when the two delivery men groaned and said: “No one told us this was a stackable.” Which was maybe true. 

And then they said, “We cannot install it,” which I think means “We don’t want to install it.”

And then they tried to leave as quickly as they could saying that yes yes yes the washer WOULD pair with our dryer, but we need the new “stacking kit” to connect them to each other, and they didn’t have it. 

Frankly I think GRAVITY is about the only stacking kit these machines that sit on top of one another really require. 

But after they assured me AGAIN that we would not need to buy a new dryer so long as we had the right stacking kit, which we had to get by calling someone else, anyone else, they left the new washer in our living room and screamed out of there without waiting for the tip I was EVEN THEN STILL GOING TO GIVE THEM because washers are heavy.

(Also, when I signed for its receipt, I wrote on the bill that the washer was “NOT INSTALLED AS ORDERED” and the delivery man yelled at me, saying “You’re not supposed to write on that!” Which reduced my amusement to zero degree Kelvin levels). 

So now there was a new washing machine in my living room, and my wife, calling Lowes-by-the-canal, and me listening, as Lowe’s told her that of course we DID have to buy a new dryer. OF COURSE WE DID. 

And when she complained that we had been assured both by the original Lowe’s salesperson and the delivery dudes over and over that we would not need to replace our functioning, workhouse Whirlpool dryer, she was transferred to a (the?) manager, who then said. 

“I don’t know. Most people buy them new together.”

Then this manager told her that there was no stacking kit known to man or woman that could get the old Duet dryer to sing with the new duet washer. 

When my wife expressed skepticism that there was no way to put ONE MACHINE ON TOP OF ANOTHER MACHINE, the manager said:

“Some people rig it up themselves. Using a piece of wood.”

At the end of the conversation, my wife got the manager to take the washer back tomorrow afternoon with a full refund. Which is fair.

But I don’t give credit just for fair. This was a huge waste of time for everyone involved because Lowe’s salespeople were either ignorant or misleading, as were its contracted delivery service members. 

And I don’t think a major appliance store should be giving customers advice to install their own major appliances using “a piece of wood.”

So I apologize for taking up your Memorial Day with this, but thank you for letting me express myself, all of the internet, as this is really the only recourse we have when dealing with the dumb, lumbering, massive stores that have infested our landscape. 

Also I’m still not using Uber. 

And I’m never joining Yelp.

That is all.