We had a problem with our gas cooker’s automatic ignition switch. The cooker is not that old so I rang the manufacturer and asked if they could send someone to fix it.
Now I pride myself with how well I clean my cooker, but my repair person Bob arrived earlier than expected last Monday morning. It was one of those wet and miserable Monday’s, the day after Sunday dinner mayhem and I hadn’t cleaned the cooker yet to my usual pristine standard; where I’d take off all the burners and grids and leave them soaking for an hour. You know the greasy job that takes forever and you’re up to your elbows in Brillo and then everyone comes in for lunch and wonders what you’ve been doing all morning. I hadn’t got that far.
But the cooker wasn’t bad . . . nothing a quick wipe wouldn’t solve. Anyway Bob was early so I said,
“Just give me a minute there Bob and I’ll wipe the cooker.”
“Misses,” he said “I don’t have a minute.”
“It’s just,” I hesitated, “I’d hate you to have to work on a cooker that’s less than perfectly clean.”
He scowled at me then and started to work. He fiddled around with the knob for about ten minutes and hey presto it’s working again.
“That’s wonderful Bob,” I said, “thank you so much.”
Well, while I’m happily counting out my one hundred and twenty euro for his ten minutes work, my repair man grunts,
“If you kept your cooker cleaner you wouldn’t have that problem.”
Talk about an automatic ignition switch. I was mortified and annoyed. But I remained calm.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I would do . . . but you see it’s hubby’s job to clean the cooker, and I’d hate to be critical of his work. He tries so hard.”
I was lying now, in full flight. But what happened next brought me back to earth. He took my money and as he was writing out the receipt said, “Actually, you know, I’m really surprised it broke at all, there was just a speck of dirt caught in it. Fair play to the boss.
Gas isn’t it?