At my mall kiosk, I get more than the usual items for electronic repair. Most of the time, I handle cell phones, razors, small appliances, toasters, and anything digital in nature. Recently, I got an air purifier for the first time. Sure, I have seen them and even went so far as to find the best air purifier for smoke elimination (my best friend is almost an addict); but repairing them has not been my forte. I had to do a bit of research and experimentation. I am fairly versatile, so it wasn’t likely to be a big problem. I have had stumbling blocks before with old-model items; but sooner or later, I prevail. I wouldn’t be in this business, telling you my tales in a blog, if I were not a jack of all trades.

As it turns out, the air purifier did not appear to be defective and checking the registration number, I determined that it was of a recent manufacturing date. As I often do, I call customer service and received a repair manual by email. They offered to repair it themselves for a fee, but I was already well into the process. Now it had become a challenge to conquer. The customer was weird compared to most of my clients, and I asked him how he used the appliance. He plugged it in and turned it on, simple as that. It had a filter, but I didn’t find any damage. It wouldn’t not be a matter of a simple replacement. I asked if he had checked the outlet with another appliance. This is the only way to know if there is a malfunction needing an electrician. He hadn’t. He could have used something small like an electric razor or a digital alarm clock that did not operate on batteries.

“It never occurred to me,” he frowned. He felt I was mocking and berating him. I wasn’t—or maybe I was. A weird person is always weird no matter what you say. I have had my share in the past. “I call it user error,” I explained. It doesn’t need a thing. “Go home and try it again and if it doesn’t go on, use a different outlet.” I wondered why he hadn’t discovered the defective outlet when using his vacuum cleaner. People tend to move them around and sooner or later, you encounter every outlet in the house.

He gave me another frown but was at least happy there was no cost. I should have charged him for my time which by now was considerable. I would say it is an “analysis charge.” I don’t do this as a rule, but this guy was so annoying. I wanted some compensation for just having to talk to him. I couldn’t wait for him to leave. Sometimes, you write things off as a waste of time. Most of my customers are pleasant and I have gotten to know many on a repeat basis. This time, I hope the frowning weirdo doesn’t return.