Thursday, 25 September 2014

Noise Nuisance

Could look a bit like this?
Having thought I was becoming more tolerant and wise in my old age, I find that this does not apply to my tolerance threshold for irritating noise.  My only criticism of our holiday hotel is that there was a large refrigerator in the spacious and  open breakfast area which produced a loud vibration (sounded like metal on metal) which echoed around the area and made dining there an unpleasant experience. At least for me. I finally did a survey of nearby diners and discovered that everyone was suffering to some degree (the ladies more than the men), but no-one had thought to complain. It even bothered me that the laboring motor in question would eventually vibrate itself to a standstill and would need replacing. Maintenance is not generally considered to be a priority in the 'new' South Africa.  Still, I sidled up to the reception desk (in the same general area) and ingratiatingly (in order not to antagonise anyone), explained the problem and suggested that the maintenance man should be sent for, before all the diners decamped to other venues in town to eat their meals in peace. I also suggested that the machine could be switched off as it was in any case, empty.  Both suggestions were met with expressions of total amazement but finally half-hearted commitment to improve matters was made. We stayed there for four days: the machine was initially switched off at mealtimes, but no moves were made towards fixing it. I had a lightbulb moment: we once moved to a town where our rented house was next to a railway line. For the first week, trains passing during the night woke me up.  After that I ceased to hear them. I got it.  The staff were oblivious to the noise. They needed to remember though that guests turn over about once a week. Our 'new' government here (its been 20 years now) sets the trend regarding lack of maintenance:  take our nuclear power stations as a case in point.  About 7 years ago, our whole country suffered so many power cuts that our supermarkets bought in a load of small generators and many people, like us, bought one in the general rush. We had cause to switch it on for the first time last week. But that's another story....


  1. Its not just South Africa, a hotel I stayed at in South Carolina had a terribly noisy refrigerator in my room. I pulled the unit away from the wall and found the condenser coils vibrating against the sheet metal housing. I wadded up some paper and stuffed it between the coils and housing, problem fixed.

    1. Ah, man after my own husband's heart. don't even complain: do it yourself.

  2. Maintenance seems to be a lost art. I have come to believe that all refrigerators are annoyingly noisy.