Annoying incompetence

Electrical switches. Top, left to right: circu...

Electrical switches. Top, left to right: circuit breaker, mercury switch, wafer switch, DIP switch, surface mount switch, reed switch. Bottom, left to right: wall switch (U.S. style), miniature toggle switch, in-line switch, push-button switch, rocker switch, microswitch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday morning I did something I hadn’t done for a long time, I arose at eight o’clock. Now to many that doesn’t sound remarkable in the least but for me and during the working week, it is. I had gone to bed the night before feeling very tired and it wasn’t long before I nodded off to sleep sometime around midnight. However, I had to arise a couple of hours later to pay a visit to the toilet. It was now two in the morning and I once again fell asleep. That meant I had a further six hours solid sleep until I awoke at eight. Although I had no work for the day I wanted to get up early in case any came in but also in order to take out the waste for collection. So after I had done that and had my breakfast I sat down at my computer for a time but it wasn’t long before someone called me. I had been to a house in our village late in January in order to replace a faulty lighting switch, actually two dimmer switches on the same plate. I remember at the time I had to purchase an extension ring for the new switches to make more room behind it as it was too deep for the recessed box. Everything was pretty much straightforward and without event. The call on Friday was from the lady of the house who explained that one of the switches had become faulty and would not switch on one of the two chandeliers that was connected to it. I went there immediately to assess the problem and discovered that indeed one of the switches was faulty. It would be replaced free of charge except for my labour costs. I wouldn’t be charging my normal fee in such circumstances however as it was under guarantee. I had to return home in order to get the receipt from my files and then I went to the supplier to have the switch replaced. I hadn’t purchased it from my regular supplier for some reason but from another not too far away. As luck (?) would have it I was served by the same person who originally sold me the switch but I remembered that at that time his service wasn’t up to scratch. He had tried to sell me something completely different and had charged me for the same but I hadn’t noticed. In fact he had undercharged me by a few pounds. That didn’t matter so much to me anyway. I explained what had happened and he returned with a replacement switch and I returned to the house to fit it but guess what? It didn’t work. He had given me back the faulty one! I couldn’t believe it. At this stage I offered the lady a replacement switch I knew I had in the van but was a metal switch and not the plastic variety which had been fitted. I simply wanted to check that there was nothing wrong with the lighting units and that they could be dimmed as before. When she saw the metal switch she was happy for me to leave it connected. It was a new switch that I had removed from someone’s house as they had wanted normal on-off switches. It had only been in use for a week so it was as good as new. The lady paid me for my time and I returned again to the supplier with the faulty switch but this time I was served by another guy. I explained what had happened and I was reimbursed for original money I had paid. Now I know we all make mistakes and I am no exception but it seems that some people do it on a regular basis. It wasn’t the first time I had problems with this supplier and now I will try to avoid ever going back there.

Shirley Anne


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