My Washer Does Not Spin

Today was one of those days. Yes, the kind that makes you want to throw in the towel. After spending a day dealing with various and sundry technical problems, pesky tasks and surly customer service people, I decided to do just that--literally. Late this afternoon, I tore myself away from my sadly, yet aptly, described "non-billable" work day to do some laundry--a nice housekeeping task that has an easy enough beginning and a tidy ending that results in clean sheets, neatly folded towels in the hallway closet and, my personal favorite, one less thing to do on my mental "to-do" list. I shuffled around the house, gathering sheets from this room and handpicking same-color clothes from that pile, and shoved my findings into the washer. I selected "large" for the load size, clicked the timer to "casuals," shut the lid and went about my happy way. Less than an hour later I returned to the washer to move the load to the dryer, and when I lifted the lid, there it was. A wet, soppy mess. Mr. Spin Cycle had abandoned me, kicking me in the stomach when I was already down for the count, just one week after I'd rebounded from Mr. Toilet checking out to the tune of 600 dollars in repairs and a replacement. I mean, c'mon. I tried the various "I'm-a-homeowner-but-that-doesn't-mean-I-know-what's-going-on" tricks: opening and shutting the lid, frantically searching the perimeter of the tub for some hidden magical switch and, of course, shaking the entire machine. It was actually a pretty sad sight, as the only troubleshooting to which I'm accustomed involves force-quitting my e-mail program or rebooting my Mac. After my roommate came home and surveyed the situation, we both leapt into action, doing what we each felt was our only remaining option. She called her dad, and I rummaged through my files to see if I could find the warranty. It turned out that she, even with her dad's advice, couldn't find the hidden magical switch either, so I did a search for General Electric's web site. I found the FAQs page in the Support section and scrolled through the list of choices, trying to find the description that best fit my particular service problem. I quickly found that I was not alone in my predicament because in the top tier of the help topics was the link "My Washer Does Not Spin." Click. What I found may as well have been my horoscope in the free weekly newspaper. The information was vague, but yet I still felt like everything applied directly to my situation. It read almost like a self-help guide about how to keep one's head in any given stressful situation. Wait for a few minutes because pauses of up to three minutes may occur between cycles as the timer advances in steps. Translation by the stars: Take ten deep breaths before you blow a gasket, you overreactor. Check your house fuses, circuit breakers and the wall outlet. A loss of electrical power to the washer will cause a failure to spin. To check for power at the wall outlet, carefully plug a small table lamp or hair dryer into the wall outlet and turn it on. If it does not work, you may have blown a fuse, tripped a circuit breaker or have a defective wall outlet. Translation by the stars: Take a step back, look beyond symptoms and try to identify the real stressor at hand. A loss of power in one area of your life can throw things off balance, causing a disruption in other areas. Often you can glean the most effective solution by examining the context of a particular emotion. Make sure washer lid is down. Translation by the stars: Don't miss the obvious by being oblivious. Advance timer slightly to make sure timer was not in a pause mode. Translation by the stars: Look to the future for perspective now. Will this matter in a day, a week or 10 years? Most of the time, the answer is "no." Sometimes people stagnate by focusing so hard on what's wrong in the present moment that they cannot conceive the possibility of a silver lining. If machine pumps water out and you are positive that the motor is running, but tub is not spinning, then the problem is mechanical involving a clutch, belt or possibly the transmission and will require service. Translation by the stars: Lady, you better keep looking for your warranty AND your original receipt. If you think your life is in working order, but you find yourself taking advice from the General Electric web site, you require some professional help. At any rate, luckily I'm just 10 months into my washer's one-year warranty, so until the washer repair people make a service call, I guess I'll have to wait to throw in the towel. I wonder if they charge extra for palm readings.