Our weekend was blessedly boring. Thank goodness. Sometimes a person needs a little boring.
This weekend was also when I realized that we’ll be opening our pool again in just about a month. And once the pool is open, I will need to put on a bathing suit. This realization at first caused me to drown my sorrows in nachos and cookies, but then I pulled myself together and realized that it was simply some time to give myself some TOUGH LOVE and get to work. So: I’m back on the Wii Fit and I’m back to watching what I eat. I tell you this by way of explanation for the bitchiness that I’m sure is ONLY BEGINNING today and shall continue throughout this month. Please send sympathy and, um, naked air-popped popcorn. (Yech.)
So anyway, there’s nothing like a Monday morning on a diet, to begin with. Little did I know that the joy was ONLY BEGINNING! Because today, oh lucky, lucky me, I had a technician coming to do our heating and cooling maintenance.
(I know, right? My life, it is endlessly thrilling.)
So, I guess this is a fairly common thing in Georgia—though it was new to me—where two-story houses tend to have two furnaces and two air conditioners. I guess that’s probably so that if one dies during a heat wave, your family can still huddle on the other floor of your house and avoid being baked to a crisp when it’s 110 degrees outside. Whatever. And last summer we went ahead and replaced one set of units because they were old and decrepit and also, apparently, we like to give giant sums of money to people.
Anyway, when we had that done, the saleslady told me they were throwing in our first year of maintenance for free. “Oh, but we have the OTHER furnace and AC unit, too,” I commented, trying very hard to look sad and also poor.
“Oh, we’ll do the maintenance on those, too. No problem! I’d be happy to throw that in.” Wasn’t she nice? I mean, for what we paid, she probably could’ve thrown in an entire side of beef, too, but still.
I promptly forgot about the whole thing, of course. Until the they called last week to schedule the maintenance.
So the guy showed up this morning, and when I reminded him to do both systems he looked very confused. “Oh,” he said, “I think I’m only supposed to do the one we installed.”
Of course he thought that.
After a bit of discussion it was established that he was to check everything. Yay! Fine. He set to work, and about an hour later he wandered through my office and I asked if he was done.
“No, not quite yet,” he said. “Um, actually, I’ve called another technician. There’s something wrong with the upstairs furnace.”
Let’s review: Downstairs furnace, original to the house. Upstairs furnace, the one they installed less than a year ago. (See Mir. See Mir’s head explode. Gross, Mir, gross!)
Turns out that the upstairs furnace has an air leak due to the incorrect placement of… oh, hell if I know. I stopped listening and went to my happy place in my head. (There are cookies there, and they actually have NEGATIVE CALORIES.)
I sighed and asked him if everything was done besides what the next tech was coming to check upstairs. “No, I’m having some trouble getting the downstairs furnace to turn on,” he said. “I think there’s something wrong with your thermostat.”
The thermostats, as it happens, are new. Other points of note: First, that a while back we had a tech come out and replace a chewed wire under the house because we couldn’t get the furnace to come on. Second, that the furnace kicked on just a few days ago (how I know this: Monkey likes to sit on the vent in the kitchen and announce that his butt is toasty), so I’m a bit confused about the HUGE COINCIDENCE of it suddenly not working again. Perhaps the squirrels are in cahoots with the HVAC folks?
“I don’t think it’s the thermostat,” I finally told him, after thinking through all of this. I told him about the previous wire problem, and he nodded, thoughtfully. “Can you find the problem?” I asked.
“Oh, sure,” he said. “But I’ll need to trace the wires. And that’s… um… well, listen, I better go figure out what that’s gonna cost before you say you want to do it.”
I peered at him. “But the furnace isn’t working unless you find and fix that, right?”
“Yes, ma’am, that’s right. The furnace and the air conditioning both.”
“Then fix it,” I said, exasperated. I mean, if we were just talking the furnace, I guess I could wait until October (though it is supposed to be really cold tonight), but no heat, no AC? Jesus, just shut up and figure it out.
It was then that the second technician arrived. I didn’t actually catch his name, but that’s okay, because I’m pretty sure that he’s Boomhauer from King of the Hill. He stuck out his hand and said, “Hey mm ffbe dsfjjfh yup.” I said hello and explained that their installation of the furnace upstairs seemed to be a problem, and he nodded and muttered something and disappeared. I hope he repairs better than he talks.
Now I have TWO technicians running in and out of the house. It’s been several hours, and frankly, I’m frightened. And these stupid carrot sticks are not assuaging my discomfort AT ALL. Dammit.
[Edited to add: Four hours and $42 later, the diagnosis was a mis-wiring of the thermostat. Which is really interesting, because it’s been wired that way for TWO YEARS and worked JUST FINE before this. I asked the tech if previously leprechauns had been turning the furnace on and off. He didn’t seem amused.]