Thursday, October 23, 2008

A "Jer" of All Trades

So this has nothing to do with Evan, but I have to brag that my husband is the best! Adding to the list of things he can do: slit-lamp repair man (for those not up on the opto lingo, a slit-lamp is essentially a microscope mounted on its side--I use it during every single exam).

There is some back-story here. I've been wanting to buy another slit-lamp for my second office, but new ones are outside my buget. So I had been shopping for a good used one. I found one that was the exact same model as one I already own (vintage 1982). The seller was a retiring optometrist in the midwest. She partially disassembled and packed the slit-lamp. I scheduled a pickup with FedEx (not an easy task). When we unpacked the slit-lamp, I was very dismayed to find it was damaged--there was a 1/4 inch metal piece that was sheared in two, and there were some dents in the housing for the optics. It still worked, but I was upset that it wasn't "perfect" (with the way my life is, you might be tempted to think I would be over that by now...). I contacted the seller, and she agreed to refund my money right away.

Then we began the process of turning in a damage claim to FedEx. The situation was complicated by the fact that I, the buyer, had ordered the pick-up and payed for the shipping (normally the seller pays--this turn of events had all the customer service agents in a tizzy). FedEx wouldn't let me file the claim--they made the seller do it. But after she filed the claim, they made me write a letter releasing "my" reimbursement back to the seller. Then they had to inspect the damage to decide if they would pay. I thought that meant they would come by my office to look at the slit-lamp. Wrong--I had to repack it and send it back to FedEx "head-quarters." The inspector ruled that the equiment was not packed properly, but it doesn't really matter because if you read the fine print on the shipping order they do not honor any "Fragile" or "This Side Up" marks on the box. It also states that the item has to be packed well enough to not be damaged if it's dropped three feet (the distance between conveyer belts). I don't know why they even have a claim process--it's pretty obvious they have no intention of ever paying for any damage. My interpretation: don't send anything by FedEx you actually care about that is not replacable.

Evidently, the inspector assumed that no one gave a crap about the slit-lamp anymore, because they just threw all the pieces back in the box. FedEx attempted to deliver the box back to the selling optometrist, who during this time had closed her office. They called me and asked if I wanted it back--they would have just thrown it away--I said I'd take it. The box appeared again at my office 3 days later, looking every bit like it had been transported half-way across the country twice. It sat there for two weeks--it made my stomach hurt just thinking about what a waste it was.

Finally, I brought the slit lamp home. Jeremy opened up the box and it was really a mess--broken bits of plastic and glass, paint all scuffed up, housings dented... He didn't make any promises, but he said he'd "see" if he could fix it. The first thing he did was weld together the metal part that was broken--he sanded and painted it and you can't even tell it was ever broken. Then he reassembled and glued all the broken plastic parts. He realigned the optics. There are two parts that could not be repaired, and I'll have to see if I can order replacements. I still don't know if the lamp part works yet (the lightbulb was broken during one of the shippings), but it looks really good. Had I know he would be able to do such a good job, I would have cut my losses and just kept the slit-lamp in the first place.

I was absolutely amazed when I walked in through the door tonight. I know what love's a man who is willing to spend 10 hours putting together a piece of equipment that most would write off as a lost cause because he knows how much his wife hates wasting and throwing things away. And I also know what shipping company I will NEVER use again as long as I soon as I have some time, I am sending FedEx a complaint letter and am closing my newly opened office shipping account.


Eva Nichole said...

Great job Jeremy!!! We are so proud of you what a husband and father.
Crystal and Eva

Mary said...

Jeremy is a gem!

Lisa W. said...

Wow - that is one dedicated husband. I have one who would do the same, he is the 'frigger' - he frigs with things to get them working LONG after I give up! ha ha...

Anonymous said...

We count our blessings everyday, knowing what an exceptional son-in-law we have in our family. Jeremy is our favorite!

Love, Grandma & Grandpa Key

Sarah said...

Awww what a man great story!
God Bless,
Brian, Sarah. and Caleb Hlebiczki

Amy, Mike and Ben Russo said...

Wow, I'm impressed. You have a great husband :)
And I love the pumpkin patch pics. Especially the one of Evan on the bus.