Saturday, June 04, 2005

Measure Twice

My son and I went shopping for a new fridge last Saturday. I bought the old one with my home 11 years ago, I have no idea how long the previous residents owned it. It was on it's way out for a while. Water would leak into the fruit & veggie drawers from the freezer defrosting. The door wouldn't swing shut on it's own anymore and one night my son left it open so long a hole burned right through the lightbulb glass & filled with water from the freezer. Not exactly safe. It was small - only 19 cubic feet I think. When you are feeding a rapidly growing 15 year old boy - the more you can stock up on the better. It had a tiny freezer on top too, hated that. I understand the mechanics of why refrigerators were originally made with the freezer on top - heat rising and all that. Now they have very efficient side by sides or freezers on the bottom. It makes so much more sense to me to have the door you open most on the top.

A flyer from one of the big name construction/appliance/garden centers came in the mail and I saw a great deal on a side by side fridge. I took measurements of the space twice, wrote it down and of course, forgot it at home. I had memorized height and width though - so I was confident of choosing something that would fit. It turned out that the particular model in the flier was way too big for my space. Mr. I'm Sure He Works on Commission was very helpful and had a smaller model at an even lower price. I gave him my space allowance - 33 inches wide and 68 inches high, it should fit with no problem he said. "I'll take it" I said. I got talked into the extended warranty plan for an additional $99, I must have had sucker written all over me. At least I got free delivery and removal of the old fridge.

The earliest deliver was the following Friday, they would call on Thursday night to give me the delivery time. I planned on either going in late to work or leaving early, depending on the delivery time. I got the actual call at 7:45 Friday morning (I normally leave home at 6:30AM) Between 9 and 1 was the time they gave me. I was hoping for closer to 9 so I could get into work, if they came at 1 it wouldn't even be worth the hour drive to just turn around and leave at 3:30.

I got a call at 11 from the delivery driver....They were having trouble finding my home. The big truck finally pulled up around 11:45. After measuring the doorways and removing the door closing thingy on my storm door, the two young lads unpacked the fridge on the street and used a very cool dolly with straps to heave the behemoth carefully through the doorways. It was a lot bigger than I remembered. They carted away the worn out old fridge - I was not unhappy to see it go. I kept eyeing the space and the new fridge, comparing the two. "Um, how tall is this fridge?" The 6 foot 4 inch mover whipped out his tapemeasure in a flash..."68 and a 1/4 inches". Shit. "I don't think it's gonna fit, I measured twice and told the guy that sold me it that I had 68 inches in height" They wheeled it over and tried to slide it into the space. It went in two inches and that was it, the cabinet above was too low.

This was one of those embarrassing moments when I felt my face flush. Tall man just chuckled and said "It happens to me all the time, I have to take my son with me. He does that new math that totally confuses me and still comes out with the same answers I do". I felt slightly better at my stupidity. "Well, I'm not sending it back - I'll just have to move the cabinet".

I should note here that my son told me it wasn't going to fit when we got home from the store and remeasured. He was so going to love hearing that. It didn't look like I was going to make it to work either. I figured I'd wait until my son got home before trying to tackle the dozen or so screws holding the cabinet to the wall. That's when the fun began.


Magazine Man said...

Too funny! Similar thing happened to me when we bought our first house and got a brand-new dryer. I measured the space downstairs but hadn't measured the basement doorway (duh!). Of course, we couldn't get it through. Once again, Dad to the rescue. He took the whole thing apart and we carried it down piece by piece. We left it when we moved. I wonder what the new owners will do when they have to replace it...

izchan said...

I have bad memory so I always note things down with detail.

That mean, I will literally draw the entire thing in 3D format and put the measurement at the appropriate places.

We actually did floor plans and 3D sketches of our apartment before we went and bought furnitures as well as talk to the interior designers.

It was one of those things we do to compensate our lack of natural capability.