The More You Know: Refrigerators, More Crying & Eggs Without Cartons

by Meghan Medford in

It figures that the day that my fridge chose to breathe its last, sorry, cold breath conveniently coincided with my first day at my new job. I had a gut feeling that its death was coming and I was keeping an eye on it for when it decided to make its final debut - likewise for Bruce Jenner's official sex change announcement and Blake Lively's baby girl's name (Violet? James? Can I get some closure here?) But I was not prepared for the thing to kick the bucket the morning that I started my new career.

Also conveniently, I had prepared several meals for the upcoming week on the few days I had off before I started at Laura U. This included a lot of grilled chicken that is now sitting, uneaten and smelly, at the bottom of my trash bin on the curb of my street. This is why I don't cook meals ahead of time and planning things in advance is generally stupid.  But life happens (and also ends apparently) and the fridge was dead: D-E-A-D. And I had a lot of warm milk, soggy vegetables and rotten chicken to prove it.

Just how was I going to fix this? Luckily the temperatures were freezing this past week, so putting my perishables outside on my front balcony was always a plausible option. But then I would run the risk of looking like a hobo/non-functioning adult that couldn't find and/or afford a working fridge - which would be more than partially true. Also, my neighbors would probably start to notice how much cereal I eat for dinner when I constantly have yank open my patio doors to refresh the milk in the bowl. That would open up a can of questions and concerns that I just wasn't prepared to answer for. 

So instead I opted for styrofoam coolers and ice from the Shell station down the street like a responsible human. I also opted for a lot of takeout and whining to my home warranty company about getting a service contractor out here ASAP because, I'M A HOPELESS GIRL AND THIS IS MY FIRST HOUSE AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING SO PLEASE HELP ME. There may have been some tears involved, because that usually makes the service rep very uncomfortable and compels them to want to get your fridge repaired and your sobbing voice off the phone as quickly as possible. 

But you can't just leave work the first week on the job to meet a refrigerator repairman, right? I was going to try anyway, because there was literally no one else in Houston that could wait around for five hours for a service contractor that might not even show up anyway.

I offered to come to work earlier than scheduled and power through lunch in exchange for leaving a few hours early when the repairman was on his way to my house. I cringed even asking my new employers if I could do this because you don't want to be that girl your first week of work. But it was getting to the point where the coolers were leaking on my hardwood floors and I just didn't think I could last four more days camping out in my kitchen. Because I have standards. 

Luckily, my new bosses are very understanding and probably didn't want me to bring in salmonella-laced chicken for lunch, so they agreed to my plan. I worked diligently through the day, all the while dreaming about all the refrigerated foods I would buy to re-stock my newly-fixed fridge (in my dream, the serviceman magically repaired my fridge quickly - and it was also free).  You never realize what you have until its gone. Just think about all the frosty Diet Cokes, ice cold kale and chilly greek yogurt I was missing out on and you'll be sending me a sympathy card, I'm sure (address available upon request). 

At 4:00 I had a voicemail from the repairman letting me know that he was on his way to my house, so I packed up my things left work. I called him back when I was in the car and headed home.... but he didn't answer. I called several more times and I when I finally reached him he was out of breath and sounded angry. My immediate thought was he got lost and parked at the first available location he could find, which wouldn't be close, and now he's making a trek to my house with all of his equipment in tow (to be honest, I have no idea what kind of equipment refrigerator repairmen use. A bunch of wrenches? A screwdriver? What about a hammer? No, right?). 

Turns out he was angry - but for a different reason. The guy had himself a good 'ole wreck in the company truck and it was totalled: completely un-driveable and he was bailing on our little refrigerator date. I cried poor service! into the company's office answering machine because, "what am I going to do without my cold Diet Cokes!? You expect me to put ice in them?! What do you think I am - a barbarian?"

No, that's a lie. But I did cry to my dad. And crying to your dad works eight out of ten times when you're dealing with appliance repairs. I think that mostly they just don't want you looking at it too closely, so you don't break the machine any further. And also so that you don't get ripped off by a repairman taking advantage of your lack of experience in GE refrigerator motherboards. (By the way, when you become a father, do you just magically know everything about appliances, home building, cars, etc? Does knowledge get popped into your brain when the baby pops out? Like a spiritual awakening or something? Serious thought, but weird tangent).

So my dad did what any fantastic father would do: he drove to Houston early in the morning just to meet with a different refrigerator service contractor, paid the repair fee and then drove back home to Austin - all while I was at work! I mean, can you talk about service? He even left me a tip at the end of it all! A+ Dad! I'll write an outstanding review for you on Yelp tomorrow. 

So when your refrigerator gives you the cold (or in this case, not-so-cold) shoulder the first thing you should do is be an adult and handle it yourself. If that fails, call your father and cry. Either way, you really can't lose. And in my case, the dad-route literally paid off. Oh and also, putting your eggs into a ceramic bowl instead of a plastic egg carton is way more chic. The More You Know...