Press the button

It is amazing just what you can order, with the press of a button over the internet; when I need some bacon I go on line and press the button, if I require some English books I just press the button.

Close your eyes and press that button

Close your eyes and press that button

In May I pressed the button and ordered 2 workaways from the USA to help paint my new house. They arrived on time and in good condition. Normally the first thing I do when I receive something over the internet, is I remove its protective packaging and check it for faults and damage. I particularly like stuff that arrives in bubble wrap, I can get around 10 minutes fun popping the bubbles.

Mrs Sensible said it was not necessary this time to remove the protective packaging and added that if I attempted to remove any part of their protective packaging, something might break. I think she was hinting that I might damage my fingers or even my neck. Although I couldn’t understand how this might happen,  I decided to take her advice.

Workaway 1 checking the protective packaging is still in place

Workaway 1 checking that the protective packaging of workaway 2 is still in place

Throughout June our workaways wandered around our house and packed our stuff into boxes, they helped keep the house nice and clean and seemed to function incredibly well. The only thing we had to do was feed them and give them a corner to sleep in. When we transferred to the new house, we reprogrammed the workaways to unbox our belongings and set about painting the house. The reprogramming was very easy, with my Tomtom satnav I need to hook it up to my laptop, but with the workaways they had a very simple verbal interface.

Workaways 1 & 2 safely locked up for the night complete with a bottle of wine in case they became thirsty during the night. (I am not sure why Mrs Sensible insisted on her looking after the key)

Workaways One and  Two safely locked up for the night complete with a bottle of wine in case they became thirsty. (I am not sure why Mrs Sensible insisted on her looking after the key)

The new house has a wine cellar, so one evening I took a drive to one of our local wine cantinas to buy some wine. I took the workaways with me to help carry the heavy boxes of wine. While we were there I let them taste a glass or two and the transformation was amazing. They really liked the wine, in fact when it was time to go they really didn’t want to leave.

Workaway 2 didn't want to leave

Workaway 2 didn’t want to leave

I don’t like reading the instructions that come with items I order over the internet and the manual wasn’t very clear. Instruction number 2 stated: Do not mix with alcohol.  Did it mean I shouldn’t drink alcohol when operating the workaways, or they shouldn’t drink the alcohol. I decided to ignore the warning; I couldn’t ask Mrs Sensible what she thought, because she had flown to Sicily to see her mother and left me in charge of our workaways.  Her instructions regarding what I could and could not do with the workaways was very simple, clear and specific, it also included what might happen if I disregarded any of her advice or attempted to remove the workaways protective packaging.

Two days later I decided to see if the workaways enjoyed burnt food, so I fired up the barbeque and burnt some chicken and some sausage. Workaway number 1 was despatched to the wine cellar to fetch some wine and workaway number 2 was ordered to begin the task of opening the wine.

Workaway one fetching a bottle of wine

Workaway one fetching a bottle of wine

Workaway 2 successfully opens the bottle of wine

Workaway 2 successfully opens the bottle of wine

What happened next was unbelievable, all the expensive programming just stopped working. They couldn’t follow simply instructions, when I suggested workaway 1 should go and mow the lawn she collapsed in giggles.

Workaway one just laughed when I asked her to mow the lawn

Workaway one just giggled when I asked her to mow the lawn

When I told workaway 2 to clear up the mess and start cleaning the kitchen she just laughed at me. It was a very disappointing evening.

Workaway 2 laughed when I told her to clean the kitchen

Workaway 2 laughed when I told her to clean the kitchen

Yesterday I returned the workaways to America with a strongly written complaint and I have suggested they should improve their user manual. I have ordered another workaway for September, hopefully its programming will not be affected by a little alcohol.

Thanks to Mrs Sensible for tolerating me and a very Special thanks to Jessica and Liz for being so much fun and working so hard and thanks to the guy who invented workaway red wine.

60 thoughts on “Press the button

  1. Might I say that there was a time I was sympathetic to your plight–what being an Englishman in a non English country…I no longer feel that sense of sympathy—as words such as “typical, chauvinist, cad, neck, pig, a&$…” keep coming to mind.
    There is much more than a finger which needs breaking—plus all internet privileges must be taken away!


  2. Wow! Too bad they didn’t have that “Workaway” thing when I was young enough to actually do some work. I don’t drink so the wine would not be an enticement….which means maybe I could still get some work done. But I’m old enough that my protective packaging does not include shorts…a burka maybe.
    I can only imagine the tales your workaways have to tell the folks back home. Do they have blogs?


    • Hi, I don’t think they have a blog. They did work very hard, but we had a huge amount of fun. They joined us when we ate at friends houses or when we went around the cantinas sampling wine. Plus Mrs Sensible wouldn’t let them work too hard. A burka is fine, you might get hot, but at least the mosquitoes wouldn’t bite you.


  3. I’ll just imagine their stories then.
    Unfortunately since I retired my goal is to remain as stress free as possible so…I work as little as possible. I live alone so I can get away with that.
    But I do spend lots of time in my own private jungle on my patio. A jungle in Seattle? Yes, it surprises me too but I planted a bunch of little four inch plants in pots on my patio and now I almost need a machete to get to my chair to sit with my tea and read my book.
    I am very good about not taking the laptop out there so I am not tempted to press that little button which I do way too much.
    Glad a good time was had by all. Have you been adopted by a new cat yet? How is Scooby doing? Hopefully he has found a new “sucker” to feed him.


    • Ciao, from rainy Italy. You can still remain stress free and do workaway, I hope Liz and Jessica enjoyed their time here. I saw a great site about vertical planting. If I can find it I will send you a link, it is so you can plant up a wall rather than using the floor space.
      Scooby is fine Luigina has adopted him and we keep checking on him. Nope no cats here so far.


  4. Thank you for starting my day with lots of giggles! Those 2 workaway automated workers look almost human, don’t they? I can just see Ralph at his computer in Spain right now, ordering some of his own.

    They look like they were having the time of their lives. Home will never be the same for them! Cheers!


    • Gosh, Ralph would order 5 at a time. We were laughing so much we cremated the meat on the barbeque 🙂 It won’t be the same here either. The house is empty, I don’t even have Scooby to torment


    • Workaway is a great site and a fantastic idea. You can read the profile of the workaway before he/she arrives, most have some feedback from places they have stayed.

      We normally accept 2 or 3 during the summer and have only had one hiccup, but he left after 6 days.


  5. I wonder if there is a workaday arrangement where I can get workdays to come to memphis TN. I would be happy to give them wine in return for their work. But would I have to pay the shipping costs? That could be prohibitive!


  6. I love this! Can I borrow your workaways for the olive harvest in October? 🙂 maybe you can pack them up in some bubble wrap and drop them on a train to Liguria after September…pretty please? I have loads of Prosecco to keep them inspired 😉


    • Unfortunately, my two workaways have flown home ;( Hopefully they will return next year.

      Go and have a look at and order some of your own. I can’t guarantee, they will be as good as the workaways we have had, but if you talk to them by e mail and or skype, you should be able to find some that fit in with your household.

      All the best PN


    • We had a great time, we had a barbecue. I managed to cremate some chicken and sausages and we were slowly working our way through my stash of wine.

      I think some hosts actually make their workaways work… we just have fun.


  7. Pingback: Ze Germans are Coming!! | Englishman in Italy

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