Friday, January 29, 2010

Weather or not this unit is broken

For Alison's last birthday, I bought her a weather station. It has two parts to it, the indoor base unit which has its own temperature and barometric pressure sensor, and displays all the information on a LCD display, and a separate little remote outdoor sensor unit, which sends temperature and pressure readings wirelessly to the base unit.

I bought it at Jaycar Electronics in York St in the City; quite a good price and so far it seems OK. However, when we first unpacked it and turned it on, we couldn't get the remote unit to work. The little tell-tale light on the front didn't wink like it was supposed to when sending data, and the base unit did not display any data for the outside.

After what followed though, I don't think it is a huge wonder that the remote sender didn't work...

On the way past Jaycar Electronics a few days later, I dropped in to see about the sensor. I was standing there at the counter waiting, when I heard from behind, "Hey, can I help you Dude?" It's just me I'm sure, but I'm probably a bit old-fashioned in thinking that it is a little unusual to be addressed this way by a sales assistant. A young fellah, thin, relaxed, long hair. I'm sure you know the type.

I explained that I'd bought (pointing to shelf) that weather station and that (indicating unit in hand and taking it out of its protective bubble-wrap pouch) this remote unit didn't seem to work. He couldn't understand why I didn't bring the whole thing in. He said, shaking his head sadly and slowly, "Well I can replace it, but they all work on the same channel." I didn't bother to show him the little switch where you can change the channel on the unit, or bother to reveal my suspicions that the lack of tell-tale light indicated that the remote unit was the bit that was broken and the base station appeared to work perfectly.

Reluctantly, he pulled another box off the shelves, removed the remote unit from that and gave it to me. "Well, look," he said, using his best explain-to-a-four-year-old voice, "you can try this one, but if it doesn't work you'll have to bring the whole thing in." Well thanks. That, at least, is good advice.

After saying that, he took my broken sender unit, placed it in the little bubble-wrap pouch, and put it into the box that he'd taken the new one out of. He then to put the box back on the shelf.

As I was leaving the store, I heard him talking to one of the other sales assistants, "Man, we had another one of these returned the other day."

Oh save me.

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