Get a Bosch! A pandemic dishwasher tale

My dishwasher is loud. Like, Monty Python clanking knight in armour riding a kawasaki crotch rocket loud. And it’s right in the middle of my condo. Which I have been in 99% of the time for the past year.

Technically, it still works, if you don’t mind weird rust on the dishes and no timer. And an ominous chugging roar.

So I decide to get a new one. A quiet one. A present to myself and to the easily startled cats.

Get a Bosch! said everyone. Get a bosch get a bosch get a bosch.

So I went online to get a bosch, looking for the same model my neighbour and my girlfriend both got.

“Oh, they’ve gone up,” said my girlfriend, looking over my shoulder.

Get a bosch” must be German for the rules of supply and demand.

So I picked one on the reliable Canadian Appliances site, and clicked on the little chat bot that kept asking me if I wanted a deal, and a nice man named Nick in Oakville gave me $200 off.

We formed a relationship, Nick and I, attempting to solve a really boring logic puzzle. “We’ll take away the old one, but it has to be unhooked first. You need an appliance specialist to unhook it. That can probably be the same person who’ll install it.”

I call my neighbour’s recommended appliance specialist. These guys still use telephones. (I KNOW!). “Yeah, we can unhook it.” “Can you unhook it and take it away the same day you hook up the new one?”

“Oh, we don’t take them away, but we will help you get it to the curb.”

“I don’t have a curb, I live in a condo. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do with things like this.”

“Hm, maybe you should have the delivery guys take it away.”

I email Nick. “Oh, just give the delivery guy a $20.” (They use the phone and cash. Buying a dishwasher is like time travel).

“Maybe you could put it in the actual order?”

“I’m not at work — can you remind me tomorrow? Oh, you also probably need a junction box. But we don’t have any. Ask your installer.”

Get a Bosch.

Wednesday. So unhooker guy comes, 10 minutes before the end of his 3 hour window. I’m on my spin bike, halfway up a simulated mountain. Sweaty. He comes in with his mask under his nose. I’m in the pandemic version of negotiation about condoms. If I ask him to pull his mask up, will I piss him off? I’ve had my share of volatile plumbers. (Not a metaphor. I have a sink drain problem because I’m at the bottom of the stack in my condo tower).

I decide to just back away and open the window. Chill air flows in. He keeps pulling his mask up but it keeps slipping down. Okay, he’s just badly fitted, not a deliberate dick-masker.

He asks about the bike, how I like the neighbourhood, says he’s new to Toronto. I ask where he’s from. Azerbaijan. I confuse it with Uzbekistan, start talking about my trip to Kyrgyzstan. He talks about Azerbaijani food, I yammer about mountains. I sound like an idiot. I should be asking about the war, if his people are safe. He is kind.

He gives me his phone to talk to the Charlie’s Angel appliance boss. I pay $180. Komal leaves. I have a dead dishwasher in my kitchen.

Thursday. Delivery guys are due. I do the usual frantic dance of trying to find the person to open our loading dock, and then find myself on the street, inadequately dressed for the biting wind, trying to determine if the guys in the truck are facing north or south on Carlaw, so I can tell them whether to turn right or left on Dundas. It would be helpful if our loading dock actually had the address of the street it’s on. Condo life.

Delivery guy has a bandana over his mouth and nose, not an actual mask. I decide not to mention it since he has to physically carry the dishwasher into my condo by himself. His buddy has to stay in the illegally parked truck. I breathe shallowly and open the door again. He’s from Jamaica. He’s nice. We talk about the cold. He takes the other one away. I’ve paid $20 for this to the company, but give him another $20. It’s heavy, it’s cold, and he’s trying to navigate his way around a confusing city with shitty directions. He tucks it into the mesh front pocket of his safety vest.

Now I have a dishwasher in a box in the middle of my kitchen. I call the Charlie’s Angel guy and ask him to send Komal back the next day. We schedule it.

Friday. Charlie’s Angel guy calls me. “So the installer says you have a plastic hose. Can you send me a photo?

I text him a photo. He doesn’t get it. I sent it to the person who called me the day before about the macarons I was having delivered to my cousin for his birthday.

He gets it when I resend it. “Oh, yeah, that’s not good enough for this dishwasher. I’ve done a lot in your building — this is a cheap builder hose.”

Get a Bosch.

“Can Komal replace it?”

“No, you need a plumber.”

“Do you have a plumber you recommend?”

“Yeah, but he’s booking two weeks out.”

My neighbour the real estate agent recommended an app called Jiffy. I download it, and look for a plumber. It’s like Tinder, but less fun. And more expensive.

I find Simon, who is willing to come later today.

I do my dishes by hand.

Simon arrives, his mask just underneath his substantial nose. He keeps pulling it up, it keeps falling down. I open the sliding door.

He has the same spin bike I do. We talk about how terrible the pandemic is for high school students. “I loved high school,” he says. “Where are you from?” “Mississauga.” I try to imagine loving a Catholic high school in Mississauga.

He goes underneath my sink with the $90 hose. I realized that he has the same trouble keeping his mask over his nose that he does keeping his pants over his butt.

We chat about how he dreams of opening a coffee roastery. I pay him $150 via the app. He puts his big boots on and leaves.

I text the Charlie’s Angel guy and ask for Komal to come on Saturday. “Sure, if we can find a junction box.”

Get a Bosch.

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