A Microwave Story

It seems we’re a little over halfway done with our mini kitchen renovation. I can’t believe it. We’ve made giant strides since our counters were installed 20 days ago. As soon as the counters were in, it was go time. We attached our new faucet, removed the nasty, grease-covered range hood, and went microwave shopping. (We also put all of our tile backsplash up this week, but you’ll have to wait a few more days for that post. We want to grout it all before the final “reveal.") Spoiler: I love it. It’s getting me all hot and bothered on the excitement spectrum (which I explained here).

Let’s get back to the microwave, though. We needed something to fill this space.

Microwave Hole

I wasn’t picky. I wanted a timer. I used it all the time on our old microwave which lived in the pantry. I wanted stainless steel. Those were my requirements. Timer. Stainless steel. Easy, right? You’d think.

Let me back up. There are two parts to the life of our new microwave. The purchase and the install. Since I tend to be a bit wordy, and there’s a funny story to accompany the purchase part, this is going to be broken down into two posts. One today and one tomorrow.

Stop. I know what you’re thinking.

What you’re thinking: “Calm down, Amanda. Two posts in two days? You’re nuts.”

Me: “I know your name here, I know. I am nuts. I know you’re secretly excited, though. Two post in two days is exciting!!”

I said there was a story in this post somewhere, right? I promise there won’t be any more faked conversations between me and you. Okay, here it is. Warning: it’s long-ish but I promise it’s an easy read. It might even make you laugh a little. Also, it’s in the present tense, because I think it sounds better that way.

It isn’t easy finding a microwave. Let’s start there.

All of our current appliances are Kenmore, (from Sears) so we go there as our first stop to see what they have. Matt worked at Sears in high school, so he still has a few connections that usually offer us a good deal and any coupons they have scattered about the store. Even though it’s been nearly ten years since he’s worked there, he always knows someone. We walk to the appliance section and hear crickets. Seriously. It is so quiet. Eerily quiet. There are two sales guys (Matt doesn’t know either one - this is a real shocker, no sarcasm*) working. One is already helping another customer. The other is sitting in his desk chair with his feet up. We wander close to him to see if he’ll help us find a microwave. Then we wander some more. We are there for ten minutes, meandering through the aisles while I dream of a new stainless steel stove. After ten minutes, we give up on the guy with his feet up. Yes, they are still up when we leave.

On the way out, an eager sales guy from lawn & garden chats us up, detailing the world of “stealing customers” and how the guy from appliances didn’t get up because we were a young couple and young couples never have any money to spend. Hm. Nothing like judging a book by it’s cover. We tell the chatty sales guy (CSG) we have one all picked out and if he wants to steal the order, it is fine by us. We just want to get home with a new microwave. CSG obliges, taking his sweet time and chatting the whole time. When we get to the check-out screen to order it, CSG tells us it isn’t in stock and we have to wait 8-10 days for the product to come in. We are impatient to start tiling, so we pass and say it isn’t meant to be. Poor CSG. He literally wasted his (long-winded) breath.

Lowe’s is our next stop because we have a coupon. Again, we see no one in the aisles. Another ghost town. A Lowe’s employee walks by.

Matt: “Hi, can you help us? We’re trying to buy a microwave.”

Lowe’s Employee: “Umm…they’re over there.” (He points in a general appliance direction.)

Matt: “We’re looking for a shallow one, because our cabinets are old and they’re only 12” deep.” (Keep in mind, as you’re about to read the Lowe’s Employee’s response, that we did our research and they all vary in depth.)

Lowe’s Employee: “They’re all the same depth. Standard.” (He walks away without another word.)

That’s the service we receive from Lowe’s. Ugh. By the way, the Lowe’s Employee’s “badge” says “Appliance Specialist.” I guess Lowe’s is a bit loose with that job description.

We leave Lowe’s and Sears in the dust, and we head to The Home Depot. In the car, Matt tells me “Appliance Specialist” worked at Sears with him and he was terrible there, too. I think he needs to be in a job where he doesn’t encounter people.

As soon as we walk through the Home Depot doors, Matt runs into an old friend (he seems to know everyone in the area) that just started working at Home Depot. We say hello to him, chat for a bit, and walk on back to the appliance section. We pick out a microwave we like, and try to find someone to help us locate the box to put in the car. There is no one around. I swear, these big box stores just don’t have the manpower they do during the day. It is a Thursday night at 9:30pm, so I sort of understand, but at the same time, if you’re open for business, then be open for business.

Matt and I are nearly delirious at this point, after full work days and two other stops trying to buy a simple microwave. Matt decides to find his friend, who only started at Home Depot that week, to help us out.

Matt: “Friend! Where are you?! Come sell us a damn microwave!”

Friend: “I don’t know anything about microwaves, Matt.”

Matt: “Let’s test your knowledge.”

Friend, Matt and I walk back to the appliance section to locate our microwave.

Friend uses his handy dandy walkie-talkie/stock-locater to tell us they are out of stock.

Me and Matt: “Are you freaking kidding me!?”

We walk around and pick out another. Friend types in the product code and tells us there is 1 in stock, but when it says 1 in stock, it really means there are probably -2 in stock. AWESOME. Nonetheless, we take a walk around the shelves, keeping an eye up on the taller shelves for the LG microwave we are trying to locate. We spot it, but it looks like an open-box item. That means it was probably a return, and Matt and I aren’t looking for an open-box item that might not work properly. We have to check it out anyway. There is a ladder near the shelf, so I ask Friend if I can climb it. He says I’m not supposed to, but that he won’t tell. Keep in mind, all three of us are hysterically laughing at this point, and the giggles are just not going away.

Here I am, up on the ladder, trying my best to smile normally for the camera near our open-box microwave that was stuck one story high. Unsuccessful. Giggles all around. My hand is covering my face to hide my “hysterically laughing face.” It’s not my prettiest one.

Home Depot Fun

We find out the open-box isn’t a deterrent. The microwave itself is completely in tact and has all of it’s original packaging and stickers on it. Seems like someone may have bought it, changed their mind, and returned it. It doesn’t get us a discount, but it does get us a microwave we can take home with us tonight, which is our end goal.

Of course, there is a twist. We take Matt’s sports car (our car for cruising and taking drives on the weekends) for our shopping trip, since it is such a nice night. We forget about this fact until we have the microwave out of the store and next to the car. The car is technically a 4-seater, but it’s really a 2-seater because the seats in the back are so tiny. We can’t believe we didn’t think of that, and erupt into more laughter. I am laughing a bit harder than Matt because this car is his baby. We do our best to get it in, and after a few minutes of twisting and pushing, we do. Barely. Microwaves are deceptively large and heavy.

Microwave in Sports Car

We get home after 10pm, so we go to bed and decide to tackle the install another day.

*You might think it odd that Matt didn’t know any of the sales guys on the floor from his time working at Sears when he was a young buck, especially after I mentioned that Matt seems to know everyone in the area. It was odd. Rest assured, because on the way out, we ran into an old associate of his and chatted for ten minutes. About nothing. Good times.

There you go - the story of our new microwave. Can’t wait to show it to you in tomorrow’s post, when it’s installed and ready to rock.

Did you make it all the way through that story? Did you laugh at all? A small smile? Anything? Leave a comment below - I love hearing from you!!

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