Kayla the Chat Lady

Kayla works for Maytag. That’s the name that popped up when I clicked on the Chat button on the Maytag web site. I needed help and I needed it like now. As you may recall, my experiences with Chat People have a checkered past. Maybe Kayla would change all that.

The story begins when I’m staggering to the coffee pot to get the day kickstarted when I catch a whiff of…what the hell is that? Urine? Smells like urine. That’s urine. Oh, God, no. Don’t tell me the cats are doing that again. RUTH! THESE DAMN CATS HAVE GOT TO GO!

Jumping to their defense, the Missus does a quick inspection all the while muttering something about innocent until proven guilty. She finds no puddles or stains on the wall.

I continue the sniff test, nose in the air like a bird dog on a lost covey of quail, making ever narrowing circles within the kitchen. I home in on the fridge. Ah, something spoiled perhaps. Admittedly, there have been times when I’ve discovered new life forms taking root in the far, dark corners of the vegetable bin. Maybe this was another one, some unknown algae that happens to smell like pee.

But no, other than a questionable gallon of milk slightly over the use-by date, all was ordinary refrigerator smell…until I close the door and hear the internal fan come on and OMG. I catch a face full of litter box, or something similar.

Got to be something dead back there. Rabbit? Not unknown. Pulled one from my daughter’s fridge once. I move the appliance from the wall and see…a mouse. Not a dead mouse mind you, not some stinking carcass. No, this one was alive and apparently in great health. But before I could find a weapon to dispatch it, the rodent was gone, skittering off to parts unknown. Do you think just one of the cats was on hand to earn its keep, to snatch that mouse and chomp its neck, and show a little appreciation for the free years of room and board? No, of course not. Not a cat in sight.

I remove the rear panel from the fridge and find a mouse house equivalent to Trump Towers. Insulated bedroom, a nightstand full of dry cat food, and a bathroom down the hall. The bathroom being located directly in front of a fan to cool the little bastard as well as blow away the smell.

ARRGGGHHH! Nothing to do but break out the cleaning supplies and get after it. An hour later, it’s as good as it’s gonna get. A lingering odor, very slight, but one I suspect will fade with time. Providing I can convince the mouse to find new digs.

Having removed the AC plug for safety’s sake, I plug ‘er back in and…nothing. Compressor does not fire up. Whaaaattt? A quick diagnosis. I have interior lights, but little else. The LEDs out front are all dark, every last one, unless I push any button and then they ALL light up. This is not good. The Missus keeps enough food in that fridge to feed half the population of Sand Springs for two weeks.

It’s one-hundred and one degrees outside. Only slight cooler in the house. How long can a fridge full of food last? I feel the panic setting in. I find the user manual, no help of course: Make sure your unit is plugged in, yadda, yadda, yadda. There is an 800 number, but no digit to push for help. The recording offers to schedule an appointment for a repairman, but little else. Last resort for a quick fix lies with the Maytag web site and lucky me, there’s a Chat Button. Kayla signs on. The exact conversation follows:

Kayla: I hate to hear you are encountering an issue with the refrigerator. I would be happy to look into this for you. Is the appliance operating at all.

Remaining calm, I explain the problem in the simplest terms possible.

Kayla: Have you disconnected the power to the unit to try and reset the product?

Warren: Yes, I have unplugged it twice. I checked all the wiring in the back and all seem to be secure. It was unplugged all the time the cleaning was taking place

Kayla: I understand, how long was the appliance unplugged?

Warren: probably an hour, maybe a little more.

Kayla: How long has the appliance been back on?

Warren: Fifteen, thirty minutes.

Kayla: After a disconnection to appliance (it) can take some time to start back up.

After taking some time to consider her solution, I type:

Warren: Okay. Not real confident that’s the problem.

Kayla: If you have the model number of the appliance I can provide you with a Parts list.

Having strong reservations that I could identify the faulty part, order it and install it, all before two-thousand dollars’ worth of food turns green, I respectfully decline the offer.

Hello Maytag Repairman. “I can be out there tomorrow.” Sign me up.

I pop the top on a PBR and think about it. It makes no sense. The appliance was working fine. All I did was clean the mouse poop out of it. All wiring was in place, no plugs unplugged, no hidden safety switches.

I hear a call from the Missus. “I think it’s working.”

What was that Kayla had said? Something about taking some time to start back up? But forty-five minutes? Apparently so. Two hours later, I’m still golden.

Kayla, darlin’. I think I love ya.


Published in: on July 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great blog. I wish I had your gift with words. Your cats are slacking though if the mouse had set up its own apartment.

    • You don’t understand. They are not my cats. They are my wife’s cats. I only tolerate them…reluctantly.

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