In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell – don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
I know, I know, she was probably talking about something deep and meaningful like love, but the lyrics sprang to mind this week when my washing machine – without a whisper of warning – packed up.
Within a day, the clothes were piled high – muddy football socks, muddier rugby shorts and our best bed linen which will never be the same again (kids putty should be banned, especially when it’s orange).
Read more from Martel Maxwell here
One pal said it could be easier to get a new machine than taking an age to find a repair person who’ll eventually fit you in, then cancels twice. These were her words – and I hasten to add that, having built our house, involving dozens of tradesmen, they were all brilliant.
And growing up as the granddaughter of a plasterer (albeit who found awesomely inventive ways to finish early, like midday to head to the pub, while his council bosses thought he was hard at work) I know Papa would never dream of being late or simply not turning up. But maybe times have changed, I thought. It must be lockdown’s fault.
The machine is only a few years old and I remember shelling out a few extra quid for its reputation for longevity. So with heavy heart and fearing the worst, I started in an explosion of activity trying to find someone to help.
And here’s what happened. I posted on the Dundee Egg Group (a brilliant Facebook page – sorry gents, it’s aimed at ladies, who use it to help each other with all sorts of things) to ask for recommendations.
The suggestions came. I chose the first one, contacted the electrician through his website and half an hour later Martin, based at Faraday Court (as luck would have it, he had another job in the area), was on my doorstep.
He soon realised he couldn’t fix it as he was an electrician and it was a specific appliance problem and recommended Mark in Glenrothes who was “brilliant” and another person who had a good reputation. Martin refused to take any payment for popping in.
I called Mark and five minutes later he called back. My machine is a bit of a niche make – it transpires he couldn’t fix it either. But he called back. As did Martin, who took great pride in putting some work someone else’s way.
Come to think of it, I’ve still not got the machine fixed (I’ve gone through the manufacturers and hopefully they’ll send an engineer soon). But the point is this. Any negative stories floating in my mind evaporated.
There are plenty of ambitious, skilled men and women out there who are nailing professionalism and helping others along the way.