I learned about being an appliance repairman from that one…

I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years now, and after a while you start think you’re pretty good and almost take your knowledge and learning for granted. That is until you get thrown a curve ball.
Case in point: It’s a Frigidaire Microwave Counter-top oven. About 2 years old, and the wife says the display seems dim. (it’s on of those electronic displays with the green lighting) I look at it and it seems to be bright enough to me, but again this is the first time I saw the display, so she must be right, right? Also, I notice that the characters in the display seem to be– um, … “strange looking” and I presume some segments of the character displays are out. So I order a new electronic control board.
A few days later, I’m back with the part, get in installed, and damn if those characters don’t seem the same as the original! And to complicate things even more, I discover that the clock setting button wont respond to touch. Jeeze, they have a bad keypad too, I think to myself…
So I call my distributor up, they apologize for sending a faulty control board and also ship out a keypad along with a fresh control.
A few days later, I’m back at the customer’s house again.
The characters on the 2nd board are the same as the others and the clock button on the new keypad doesn’t work either!
What’s goin’ on here???
Well after futzing with the controls some, the clock button responds, but NOT where I was expecting it to. Then I hearken back to the days I was learning this trade and what my instructor used to say:
“Beware of Frigidaire!”
Now I know what he meant. For as long as I can remember Frigidaire has been a kind or rogue, out-there company doing things in a most un-conventional way. So, it turns out that the character letters in the display are normal… well normal for Frigidaire anyway. A kind of wierd, semi-quasi-futuristic font. Anybody would look at the letters and swear something was wrong when well, its just Frigidaire…
As for the clock button, again if it were any other manufacturer, you would instinctivly press on the “clock” icon. But, Nnooooo, not these guys… You had to press on the WORDS “clock”, Below the clock icon to make things happen.
Well when I realized that I had just needlessly installed two new parts that didn’t need replacing, I abashedly admitted to my customer that I screwed this up, and couldn’t charge them for the job or the parts. End of story: My customers have their microwave back running just as it always had, and I have about $300 less in my pocket for eating two parts that wern’t needed.
I guess its good to learn a lesson in humility sometimes. No matter how long you do things, there’s always something new to learn…

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