Monday, May 4, 2015

"An Argument In Favor Of Inaction"

Via an example wherein we took action and this happened.

Our thirty-three year-old and twenty-five year old furnaces had stopped working and they needed to be replaced.  The weekend after the replacement was completed, we had no hot water in our house.  The reason?  No idea.  The furnace installers might have known, but they were either unaware that their installing efforts had cut off our hot water, or they had gone home and forgotten to tell us about it. 

Following a complaining phone call, a technician returned after the weekend, and our hot water was restored.  He would not be the last technician we would encounter.

The furnace company also installs air conditioning.  I am no expert in Climate Change; I just know it has changed in our bedroom.  (And I am not speaking metaphorically.) 

The last two Octobers, a short, not unexpected “Santa Anna Condition”-induced heat wave expanded into six weeks of blistering airlessness and difficult sleeping.  (NOTE:  We live four blocks from the Pacific Ocean, and until recently, except for those brief ”Santa Anna”-induced interruptions, our bedroom had been cooled virtually year-round by the gentle onshore breezes.)

We ordered an air conditioning unit for our upstairs bedroom.  (Heat rising, the lower floors of the house do not need it.)

Electricians arrived to connect the wiring – which for some reason had to run from the basement to the bedroom’s second floor.  Within an hour after beginning their work, the electricians blew out – the result of a power surge – the cable box for our bedroom’s TV and my bedside CD clock radio that, for years, had awoken me to the blasts of the old Hockey Night In Canada theme song.  (And had taken me weeks to figure out how to program.)

The installation of the wiring, which we were told normally takes a few hours to hook up, would wind up taking almost four days.  Apparently, the electricians informed us, we have a complicated pathway.  I have no idea if their ultimate success was a heroic achievement or monumental incompetence.   Since I liked them, I shall allow them the benefit of the doubt.

The following day, a technician arrived to turn the air conditioning system on.  Which he capably accomplished.  Cold air was immediately blasting into the bedroom. 

The problem was, hard as he tried, the technician was unable to turn our air conditioning unit off.   That night, we slept under piles of quilts and blankets, protecting ourselves from the frigidity of a service we had paid two thousand dollars to enjoy.

The next day, a technician arrived, who was able to turn our air conditioning system both on and off.  We believed that that would be, mercifully, the end of the festivities.

We were laughably incorrect.

Two weeks later, we were unable to turn on our new air conditioning.

Another technician arrived.  After a careful examination, he announced that there was a leak in the compressor.  Could he fix it?  He could not, he replied.  He was an installing technician.  What we needed was a repairing technician.  Either that, or it was the other way around.  By then, I was no longer listening.

The most recently arriving technician discovered the origin of the leak in the air conditioner’s compressor.  Hallelujah!  Our excitement abated, however, when he informed us that he was unable to repair that leak.  

For that, we would require another technician.

At this juncture, nearly a month after the original installation, I am awaiting the technician who can purportedly repair the leak.  (Update:  They just called.  Sylvester will be four hours late.)

Hopefully, there is no more of this nonsense to come.


The action was:  We decided to order air conditioning.  The consequences, which we would not have endured if we had not decided to order air conditioning, were all of the preceding, with the exclusion of perhaps a dozen or more phone calls to report problems, make the necessary follow-up appointments for their amelioration, plus the inevitable phone calls to find out why the technicians were late and if they were actually coming at all.  (Sometimes, as with Sylvester, the technicians are running so late a subsequent appointment needs to be scheduled.)

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am extremely reluctant go to the doctors.

A perplexing non sequitor?

I don’t think so.  (For “installing air conditioning”, Read:  Any preemptive medical intervention.  Or even the kind you may actually need.)

I apologize, but I must leave you at this juncture. 

Our housekeeper has just arrived with a report:

Our clothes dryer is making a thumping noise.


YEKIMI said...

I totally understand the reluctance of going to the doctor. Signed up for a controlled research study about new medications for IBS. So I had to go for a physical and part of that was an thing I know I'm in the hospital recovering from a triple bypass. Jump forward to today: Have to have back surgery to fixed busted vertebrate so I'm not walking like a drunken sailor. In order to have the surgery my regular doc has to sign off on it. He refused to sign off on it because the EKG they did for the pre-testing is showing "some abnormalities". So here we go again. Whether it's a case of "Hey, he's got insurance so lets get all my doc buddies some dough while we can!". Or if there's something actually wrong....the only thing I want to do is quit going to doctors because everytime I go in for something simple, it turns into something worse.

Dave said...

Because you voluntarily go through these unbelievable adventures, we're the better for it! Thanks. I'd contribute to your A/C project if you start a GoFundMe page.