Is it chilly in here? No?

By Mir
May 28, 2008

Hey, just a quick follow-up to yesterday’s post, before I get started, here—it turns out that there is ONE covered specialist in the next town over who we could see. Don’t even ask me how I figured this out, because it will cause my head to explode. Anyway. I called to make an appointment and was informed that we were required to do intake forms before we could even make an appointment. So I drove all the way over there with gas costing more than gold, and discovered two things:

1) This doctor is in the same practice as two of the “highly recommended” practitioners who do not take my insurance, which elicited a resounding WTF? from me.

2) The “intake forms” consisted of giving them my insurance information and signing a HIPAA form, after which they were gracious enough to give us an appointment in TWO MONTHS.

And then I killed them all. Oops!

So that was delightful.

To cap off what was already a lovely day, Otto and I decided to capitalize on the children’s absence with a long lazy day of naked romping. Oh, wait. I mean, having new air conditioning installed. Because that is JUST LIKE naked romping, except that it costs a lot more and isn’t nearly as fun.

Stop looking at me like that.

ANYWAY! In keeping with this summer’s theme—As Long As Everything Sucks So Bad, Let’s Just Spend All Of Our Money, Too—we had scheduled to have a new furnace and air conditioning unit for the upstairs installed yesterday. The access to our attic is through a closet in Monkey’s room, so we thought it best to do this while the kids were gone, to avoid the meltdown that would surely come from having people tromping in and out of his room all day long.

Sadly, I forgot to schedule this during a time when I would be out of town, to avoid the meltdown that would surely come from having people tromping in and out of my house all day long.

So the crew showed up around 9:00 and set to work. Part of the package this company offers is a “red carpet service” wherein—the salesperson had assured me—your floor is completely protected by a special material they put down while they’re working. They’ll cover the entire area between the door and the work area, just to make sure you don’t end up with debris on the floor. Isn’t that awesome?

Yes. The red carpet service comes in a BOX. Here is why: The red carpet service is a giant roll of red saran wrap. I kid you not. They unroll it and it static-clings itself to the floor and it works REALLY WELL except for the part where it starts to rip a couple of hours in, and also the part where at the end they pull it up and all of the debris that HAD been sitting on TOP of the saran wrap then, obviously, FALLS ON YOUR FLOOR. Super.

The guys doing the installation were hard workers and very nice. Why, I didn’t hear a single one complain when they were still working at 5:00. “Hey!” I hollered up through the opening in my ceiling. “Any idea how much longer you’ll be?”

A disembodied voice floated down. “Another two hours, prolly. We want to get it finished up for you tonight.” Awwww, that’s so nice. They don’t want to leave it unfinished. Okay. What’s two more hours? We’ll just start making dinner.

We finished eating around 7:00, and they showed no signs of being done.

At about 7:30, we idly wondered if something had gone wrong.

Well, around 8:00 Otto and I were sitting on the couch watching television and I decided that really, this was getting sort of silly.

Around 8:30 I went upstairs again. “Hey!” I hollered up into the hole. “Do you guys need me to make up a bed for you or what?”

There was some chuckling, and an assurance that they were almost done.

At NINE FREAKING THIRTY AT NIGHT, the last two guys told us that everything was all set; someone would be by in the morning to check the outside line, but it was done. We thanked them and saw them out.

The doors and windows had been open all day while they worked, so it was pretty hot and stuffy in the house. The upstairs was now cooling nicely thanks to the new unit. Then we tried to turn on the downstairs air conditioner.

It wouldn’t turn on.

We knew the guys were coming back today, so we decided not to get too worked up about it. Instead, we’d just turn on the whole house fan to cool things down for now.

[Aside: Do you have a whole house fan? I’ve never had one, before, and I must say that I love it beyond reason. Flick a switch upstairs and a magic portal in the ceiling opens and commences sucking up all of the air within a three mile radius. AWESOME.]

I turned the fan on, and the ceiling vents began to open just as a horrible THWUP THWUP THWUP sound reached my ears. The half-open vents revealed the struggling fan—trapped underneath a new piece of ductwork. Which was just SITTING ON THE BLADES.

I made up a few new swear words and then I ran out to the driveway to stop the guys who were just pulling out. “Hey! HEY!” I yelled, because I am SMOOTH. “Dude, there is a piece of duct sitting on our house fan. No. You’ve gotta fix that before you leave.”

They came back in. Twelve hours in the attic, and no one noticed that they’d forgotten to suspend that duct. I AM FEELING ALL WARM AND FUZZY AND SECURE NOW about letting these people install my heating and cooling, let me tell you.

But they fixed it and the fan worked again and they left and all was (sort of) well.

Now one of the guys is back, today, doing… well, I don’t really know what he’s doing. I’m curled up under my desk, hoping he’s not planning to spend the entire day, this time.


  1. Flea

    You’re not being charged by the hour, Mir. Keep telling yourself that.

    A whole house fan sounds really cool. Where would I find such a contraption?

  2. Beth

    It’s ok, sweetie. We’ll just kill them and dump them in the stream if we need to, ok?

    Wow, those are great shoes! And have you had work done? You look fantastic! :-)

  3. All Adither

    Did the heating and cooling guys accept your HMO? That could be a major cost cutter.

  4. Jan in Norman OK

    Yeah, it’s a mighty wide gulf…that space between the dream the salesman spins and the real world of the installer.

  5. suburbancorrespondent

    We once had a guy installing ceiling fans who ended up sticking around for Easter dinner…

  6. Dani

    I think they overstepped the, “Dudes, it’s time to get the hell out of my house” realm. I don’t want relatives in my house that long, never mind strangers.

    I’m getting an attic fan in the next few weeks. I can’t wait! DH and I just installed attic stairs in the hallway last week (all by ourselves, thankyouverymuch) and I’m loving the idea of not having to go through a 2×2 hole in my son’s closet to access the attic. Now I can store more CRAPPE! Anyway, I highly suggest the attic stairs thing if you can pull it off.

    Enjoy your AC and tell that guy that’s there today that your husband comes home for lunch and walks around naked. I bet he’ll finish up quicker than yesterday’s crew. ;)

  7. Debra

    Let’s spend all our money does sound fun. I think we’ll join in this summer.

  8. SoMo

    I am starting to wonder if the whole state of Georgia is playing some giant practical joke on you.

  9. Andrea

    I have never heard of a whole house fan…that sounds so cool. But really 12 hours to install a new furnace and ac…I have never heard of that. I am surprised that you were able to get them to come out in a reasonable amount of time considering they can only do 1 customer a day.

  10. Leandra

    We used to have an attic fan and I loved it. Enjoy it now, though before the humidity sets in!

    And I’m with Flea — thank GOD you’re not being charged by the hour. You’re not, are you?

  11. Aimee

    Wow. Your life is just MADE OF AWESOME right now, isn’t it?

    You are, however, quite pretty. Have I mentioned that lately?

  12. Chuck

    I miss having my own house, but stories like this are why I enjoy apartment life also.

  13. carrie

    Wow, that new air condition unit makes you look so PRETTY!

  14. tori

    My parents used to have a whole house fan in their old house. They decided they didn’t have to use the air conditioning if they used that. It was still hot/humid!

  15. Sheila

    OK, I have this problem where everything I read past “long lazy day of naked romping” seems like code. As in:

    “Red carpet service”: I got yer Red Carpet Service right here, ma’am. Ditto “magic portal in the ceiling”, “THWUP THWUP THWUP”, and, of course, “suspend the duct.” I think I know what you and Otto were REALLY doing all day yesterday with no kids in the house. (See? I have a problem.)

    But your story was entertaining, too.

  16. Shalee

    Oh, we purposely bought a house with an attic fan. When looking at houses, I mostly keep my hands to myself, but for some reason I reached up and turned on the switch. Down fell all the roofing material that was left in the attic from when the seller put on a new roof. I was mortified and then miffed because my agent said, “You shouldn’t touch anything!” Dude, I’m looking at a $200 K investment. I’m gonna touch whatever I want to touch.

    Oh, and we just signed for that particular house. At least we know that the path is clear now…

  17. daysgoby

    There’s a reason for the pond down the road. It’s just deep enough to hide the bodies in.


  18. jennielynn

    Whole House Fans are the shiznit. My parents have one and once Mr. Clairol got a taste of the awsome cooling power, he decided we must have one as well. Eventually. After we win the lottery or I finally finish and sell a book or we inherit a buncha money or some such smile of fortune.

  19. Jess

    I didn’t know about whole house fans until we moved last year, and now I LOVE our fan. We barely used A/C last summer. (Though, admittedly, we don’t live in Georgia. Heh.)

  20. Emily

    If you don’t like workmen in your home – don’t get ATT Uverse…

    They were supposed to show up between 12 – 2pm, they called at 2:30 to say they would be another 2 hours. At 5pm they arrived and commenced to wirin’. They left around 9 – but I still didn’t have service (expected). I also didn’t have phone service (unexpected). I called the phone company who said I was scheduled to have a new ‘drop’ installed anyway so they would fix the line then. At 10pm the drop installer came. At 11pm I had a new drop line and a working phone. Belive it or not, they wanted me to MAKE TIME for them to come back that weekend – oh wait, I neglected to mention that this was 3 days before EASTER.

    I love workmen.

  21. Tammy

    ROFLOL @ Sheila!

  22. Karen

    I absolutely love our whole house fan. We didn’t even bother with air conditioning in our new house. Just got the attic fan with a remote control and called it good!

  23. StephLove

    I can’t stand having workers tromping around in the house for hours on end and we’re thinking of having an addition put on our house– months and months of workers in and out at all hours! Are we crazy?

    It’s either that or move, though. There are two bedrooms and our son’s room is almost too small to turn around in. The two year old sleeps in our room because we have nowhere else to put her. Otherwise we love the house, so we’re thinking of taking the plunge…

  24. mamalang

    Dude, I would totally make out with our whole house fan if I could reach it. I adore that thing. I really could be a salesperson for them.

    Hope it’s all better now.

  25. pam

    I hope you got the sales guy’s cell, home, fax, work, mom/dad’s phone numbers. Because if you paid extra money for Red Carpet service and they soiled ANYTHING he’d be back with his carpet cleaner machine!

  26. Cele

    Just another reason to feel fuzzy about living in a cooler climate with a wood stove.

  27. Kirsetin

    Dear Lord. I hope they don’t charge overtime. If so, definitely run it through your insurance – must be causing heat exhaustion or something!

  28. Megan

    Did they at least bring you chocolate? There should be a rule that all workmen who come at unreasonable hours, invade your home for ridiculously long times and then leave you with debris and non-functioning whatevers MUST bring chocolate. The good kind.

  29. Sheila

    Our last house had one & we saved a ton of money. Our power bill now is almost twice as much as before & our home is smaller. That sucks!

  30. Karen

    I have one of those full house fans (attic fan as they are called in NJ) and it was one the huge selling points in my choice of my house over another. They are just wonderful.

  31. Vane

    I wanted to tell you that “Después de la tormenta llega la calma” but completely failed to find a proper transalation (it means something like “After the storm comes the calm”) … so I’ll just say Hang in there!

    It’ll get better soon.

  32. Katherine

    I love my whole house (attic) fan! We had ours installed the first summer we lived here (in GA). I love to run it all night and then shut down the windows in the morning – I can keep my house comfortable without AC for several weeks after my neighbors are all running the AC.

    My service-person issue was a delivery of my freezer. They were supposed to deliver between something like 12-6 pm. I hate the long delivery window, but ok. Then they called at 7:30 – they were delayed, but we were next on the list. Another call around 10 pm. They finally delivered the freezer about 11:30 pm! I almost didn’t pay them at all, but they were big burly deliverymen, so I ended up paying them about 2/3 the normal fee (and then getting a rebate for more of the fee from the delivery service).

  33. Sasha

    “As Long As Everything Sucks So Bad, Let’s Just Spend All Of Our Money, Too”

    HEY! That’s my summer theme too!

  34. Little Bird

    My summer theme seems to be “Everything Sucks So Bad And I Have NO Money, Can I Spend Some Of Yours?”

  35. mommytherobot

    god. i would be so paranoid if they were taking that long. were they playing BINGO? damn, i sure hope they weren’t getting paid by the hour somewhere.

  36. Kristi

    I have to throw in a cautionary tale about whole house (attic) fans. If you are thinking about getting one, hire a professional or do your research. You cannot take a regular box fan and install it horizontally (instead of the normal upright position) in your attic…as my parents learned when the bearings froze and caught fire and burned down our house my senior year of college. That was a good time.

  37. Jamie AZ

    Any home repair seems to take double the time you’re told it will. Crazy this is the norm. Why can’t they just be honest about how long it will take?!

  38. sunny

    Actually ponds are no good, what you need is a quickly flowing river. Preferably one that flows out to an ocean.

  39. Insane Mama

    maybe if you really were naked and romping then as least they would have had an excuse to be there all freaking day

  40. Tootsie Farklepants

    My husband has been pushing for a whole house fan for YEARS. And because I don’t want to go through anything like you just described regarding your furnace and a/c unit, I’ve pooh-poohed it. So I think I’m going to pretend that I didn’t hear how awesome it was.

  41. Carolyn

    I’ve had a whole house fan. Loved it.

  42. Momma Chaos

    Totally off topic to the ult, but WHY oh WHY is (are?) the feeds not working?! Is it just me? Wahhhh, I miss my feed update saying Hello- Mir has a new funny for you to read..

    Sorry, I just had to get that out :)

    On topic- we had a whole house fan thingamajigger when we lived on base in Utah. I LOVED it.. cuz of course there was no AC, but hey it rocked! :)

  43. a different kate

    Whole house fans are rockin’. You know, if they work!

  44. Caution

    I’ve always wanted one of those fans, but Mr. Neat has heard they bring in lots of dust. Any truth to that?

  45. Amy-Go

    With my house on the market, I get to have strangers trooping in and out of it EVERY DAY. And they don’t have red carpet service, either. Feeling your pain.

    Whole house fans ROCK! I love mine. And no, Caution, I’ve never had a problem with dust…unless you mean the attic dust that would get stirred up during installation…but that would go away. Totally worth it.

  46. Sue

    I hate it when they take so long you start feeling like you should be feeding them. UGH. Or when the yard workers are out in the hot sun and you’re like “now I suppose I need to bring them ice tea.’ GUILT WAS NOT PART OF THIS TRANSACTION.

  47. Daisy

    On the first topic — Amigo has had chronic stomach pain since late Feb. His pediatrician referred us to a GI specialist who can see him the first week in August.
    Meanwhile, the teenager is losing weight, not gaining. ??!!??

  48. Shannon

    Methinks we need one of those fans.

  49. Astrogirl426

    How educational – I’d never heard of a whole house fan before today. I had to ask Bunker Hubby how they work (he looked up from where he was researching wasps on the ‘net – no, I don’t know why, why do you ask such silly questions) and gave me that look that said, “this is going to take all night.” I am now officially offended.

    OUR theme for the summer is, “As Long As Everything Sucks So Bad, Let’s Just Spend All Of Our Money, Too, and While We’re At It Let’s Also DRIVE OUR WIFE INSANE”. But I’m not bitter.

    I feel your pain – we recently switched health insurance companies in order to get mental health coverage (no, it was NOT for me, I’m insulted! Ok, it was for me), and let me tell you the nightmare I went through. No, let me not tell you because then YOUR head would explode too, and I’m sure Mir would not appreciate losing a reader in such a senseless manner.

    Also, Mir, I don’t know what you’ve done recently, but you look FABulous! Really!

  50. Astrogirl426

    Oh yeh, and I forgot to mention – any one of my Sicilian or Columbian (I kid not) relatives could tell you, you don’t want to put those bodies in the pond (bodies float). A nice big hole, dug in the dead of night (hopefully underneath the tomato plants) and a load of lime will take care of all your servicepeople problems.

    Why are you looking at me like that?

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