Monday, July 23, 2007

The Apprentice - Maine

Last summer I purchased a grandfather clock as sort of a memorial for my dad. I had wanted one for a while, but hadn't come across the right one. Then one day I was browsing one of the local stores and there it was, on display - it was perfect. I bought it right away and soon enough it was delivered and set up in our living room.

Over the winter the clock suddenly stopped chiming. We lived with it for a while, then just before the warranty expired, I decided to call for service. The company sent a Howard Miller representative out to assess the situation. He deemed it in need of repair and informed me that a local clock repair rep would contact me shortly.

Today I got a message from "Fred". When I returned Fred's call, he was not home, but I left a message with his wife, who had a thick Maine accent. "Nope, Fred just went up to the nursin' home to visit his mothahhh, he'll be home shortly, Dear, can he call you back?"

When Fred called back, we had an interesting exchange:

Fred: "Mrs. Mooreh, This is Fred, the clock repairman. I just wanted to let you know that I got a message from Howard Miller that your clock needed repair. I don't know when I can be out to fix it, but I just wanted to let you know that I got the message".

me: (slightly confused) "Umm, well do you think you could give me some kind of time frame, like do you think within a month or so?"

Fred: "I don't know Dear, I've got about 40 calls ahead of you and I go on vacation the last two weeks in August, I hope I can get to you before then, but I don't know"

me: (trying to make light of the situation) "Well I guess it's good to be busy"

Fred: "No, it's not. I'm 72 years old and I wouldn't care if I never fixed another clock".

me: (silent, eyebrows raised, mind searching for the proper response)

Fred: "I guess I'm the only one around here that fixes 'em, it'd be good for someone else to get into it - the right person"

me: "yeah, I guess it would". "Okay then, enjoy your evening, and if I don't see you by mid-August, then enjoy your vacation"

Fred: "Have a good night"


Yes, this is Maine. Apparently Fred is in dire need of an apprentice. If you know of anyone who is handy with tools and is not committed to customer service, please contact "Fred". Listen, the man is 72 years old - he's reached the life expectancy for males in this country, this person should also be a quick learner.


KC5 said...

Well at least the clock is right twice a day-which if you asked Wendy is 2 more times than I am right per day. Maybe you should give Wendy Fred's number.

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

that's crazy how now-a-days it's cheaper/easier to just buy a new one than to get the old one fixed!

Kristy & John said...

Can't you just buy another one and put the one that doesn't work back in the box?

I know, I know, it is wrong. But I purchased a blender from Target last year that didn't work and you know without your receipt returning something is as good as trash. So I purchased a new one, put the one that didn't work in the box and returned it. There's nothing worse than getting ripped off.
A clock that broke a few months after purchasing it deservces a new one!
No shame here!

MaineMomKC5 said...

You are funny Kristy.......

This clock is over six feet high - no box!

I'm calling Target right now and reporting you!!

T5M said...

You guys are funny, it's under warranty - I don't have to pay for it to get fixed. Even if I did, I promise you that the cost to get Fred to come fix it would pale in comparison to cost of replacing it. PLUS, your forgetting that it's a memorial to my father.

...maybe you'll understand when you see it in person...oh, but that would require a TRIP TO MAINE!!!

BTW - funny story, the maker of this clock (Herman Miller) also designed the clock that the Beauty & The Beast clock was designed from, it's a similar style to this one. Just a bit of trivia for you.

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

we're waiting to see if we can find a "sitter" for our "hairy son"...tentative date for visiting is still the weekend of the 18th. does that still work for you?

Kristy & John said...

So, Hunter doesn't want a friend to play with for the weekend?!?