Holiday in the UK

As mentioned previously, I have taken three to four weeks off in lieu of not having a proper break since I went to the Orange river. Also, I haven’t seen my family since January. I managed to finish a first draft of my proposal, and got to my supervisors about 2 hours before I left for the airport. Am very happy with it so far, and am trying not to think about the changes that I may have to make when I get back.

Of airports and stuff

I flew Lufthansa, and had a very good flight. The only problem with the trip was that I went via Frankfurt. Now Frankfurt is a good airport, however, since the London bombings, it seems as though all flights to the UK have to go through more security procedures. As a result, I decided to go to my gate as planned, about an hour before the flight left. I entered the gate, and went through the security check, and sat down, and continued reading my book. I then heard over the loud speaker that due to the delay in the previous flight, our flight was departing from a different gate. So after managing to find the new gate, I found a sea of people clamouring to get through the security. Now, this was about 45 mins before the boarding time.

What they did not take into consideration with this gate change, is that they also had to screen everyone else again for the other flights leaving from the adjacent gates. After about an hour standing in line, I finally made it through. This was even after the security people, after looking at my ticket said that I will miss my flight. I found comments like these very unprofessional, and they further agitated people in the queues. They also only opened a single security station, whilst there were enough security people hanging around to man two security stations. The plane left slightly delayed, and landed early. The muppets of this post: Frankfurt Airport Security.


The Zen and Art of Tumble Dryer Maintenance

Our tumble dryer started making a horrendous squeaking and banging noise a couple of weeks back. This bothered Lydia enough to stop it from drying my clothes mid-cycle. Now, this bothered me enough to open the back of it up and look inside.

At a first glance, it was clear that the bearing had decided to cease to exist. There were a couple of balls hanging around, but mostly many pieces metal shavings. This was rather worrying. I stripped the mechanism, and saw this:

Is that hole meant to be square?

It was clear that the bearing needed replacing. So, since this tumble dryer is a Defy, I phoned the Defy service center. Once I explained the problem to a technician, and asked for a part number, and the replacement cost, he asked me for the model number. I gave it to him. He asked me if the hole at the back of the washing machine was round or square. I said round. Wrong answer. Apparently it’s meant to be square. WTF?. Since when is a hole through which an axel that sits on a bearing square? His response was that the drum will need to be replaced (Cost: R350).

New bearing and old bearing pieces

Well, I disagreed. I decided to go find the bearing myself. Phoned around. One place wanted a part number, and couldn’t work with bearing dimensions. They told me to come in and then they would see if they had something that would work for me. Since it was the closest place, I decided to do that. Turned out that they didn’t have anything in nearly the correct size. So I decided to phone around. I started at SKF. They asked for dimensions. Yay. They had one in stock. Unfortunately they were in Bellville. Anyways, it was worth the drive. On close inspection, the bearing that they replaced it with looked like an exact replacement for the worn one (Cost: R22).

As good as new

Well, I replaced it and the tumble dryer works, as good as new. Actually, it’s a much softer thumping noise. Once again, please people, get a frikkin clue. I really don’t like dealing with muppets that waste my time. The least that Defy could have done was either sell me a replacement bearing, or, if not, give me a part number, and tell me where I could get a replacement.


Incompetence costs you money…

It never ceases to amaze me how often certain businesses who claim that they offer certain services do not have full competence in those services!!

Recently, my car started giving me problems. Basically, it wouldn’t start, however, there was clearly power, since my lights, radio and everything else electrical was working. After puzzling this over for a while, as a last stab before towing my car to a service station, I decided to try jump start it. It started. So I assumed that there was something wrong with my battery.

After driving to the place where Anita bought the battery from, and finding it not there anymore, I stopped at a Supa Quick, since they advertised that they ‘did’ batteries. I asked the manager there if they could test my battery, and he got someone to test it. The conclusion was that my battery was fine, and there must be some other electrical fault.

So (some weeks later, as I had to go to BMM) I ended up taking it to an auto electrician. They tested the battery, and concluded that the battery was at fault. They replaced it, and my car is happy.

Now, why didn’t Supa Quick pick it up? Okay, they must have used a different test. Speaking to the auto electrician, he said that the battery was fine when there was very little load on it. So it basically gave 12V, and all of my car’s internal (low load) electrics were fine. However, they must have not tested it under high load, which meant that they did not pick up that as soon as the load on the battery increases when starting the car, the battery’s output voltage went down to 3V.

Now, for a business (Supa Quick) that claims to specialise in 6 areas (Tyres, Batteries, Shocks, Exhausts, Wheels, Alignment), where one is Batteries (okay, in my books Tyres/Alignment/Shocks = Wheels, so 20% of their competence), you’d expect that they should be able to pick up something like this, as I would think is a common case for battery failure. Now, I’m not beating up on the poor guy who did the test, but perhaps they need to change their testing procedures and use equipment that will diagnose all the common cases for battery failure.

So, all in all, because of a misdiagnosis, Supa Quick lost business from me, which went to someone else.