Kirkkitsch’s Blog

It’s Hot As Balls Inside!!
August 3, 2012, 6:00 am
Filed under: Life

Well, as you may or may not know, the temperatures this week have been between 105º-107º. Naturally, the week before was just as bad AND… wait for it… my home A/C decides to go out on me. I discovered that it had stopped working last Saturday, when I got home from work and walked into a sauna on the surface of the sun. Poor Chumley was standing in the doorway of the kitchen in her slip, which was ironically very reminiscent of that scene from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. I said “Maggie, is that you?”, but she just made a sarcastic fart noise and walked away. Typical.

So, naturally, being broke, having JUST been paid the day before and spending it all on bills, I had to wait before I could call the A/C company for an appointment.

After 2 excruciating days of an interior temperature of up to 97º (at it’s highest… 88º at it’s lowest), I called Monday to see how much it cost. As it turned out, it was $70 (technically it’s $69, but c’mon) for a service call and then labor, etc. was a la carte. I knew my A/C unit was only THREE years old, so it had to be under warranty; as it turned out, it had a 10-year warranty! Hallelujah! So I made an appointment for that afternoon.

Tweedle Dum shows up around 3:30. I’m told to turn on the A/C, and he goes outside to check the unit; the exterior fan was NOT turning, and yes, I checked the breaker box et al. before calling, just in case. He comes back inside and tells me that the capacitor is dead. He then checks my interior air filters… which admittedly were 3 months beyond their expiration date. Oops. Still, there was NO WAY that was the culprit. He tells me to replace them, then calls to see if the aforementioned part is covered; turns out it is (it better be for 5000+ fuckin’ dollars!). He then asks me if I ever rinse off the vents of the outdoor unit. I said no. I then go get a hose and he halfheartedly rinses them off. The unit is not running, so I ask when I do this in the future (He recommended once a month), should I turn the unit off. He says “Yeah, if you don’t wanna be electrocuted.” I was like “Um, no, that would be bad.” He never goes up into the attic. After replacing the capacitor, he tells me that she’s all fixed and that it might be late into the night before the house cools down. He then charges me $164: $75 for the part…which is under warranty (?), it even says so on the receipt he wrote out, $20 for “washing the A/C unit” (WHAT?!)… and finally $69 for the actual service call. I have to admit at that moment in time, I didn’t pay that close of attention to the cost breakdown, I was relieved to have it fixed.

…until it never cooled off. Yeah, I gave it two days. It just never got below 77º. Ever. Not even at night. I called back and made an appointment for Thursday. Two guys came this time and one of them almost had this attitude of challenging me to tell him something he hadn’t heard before. It was if he showed up all ready to smack down any issues I had. I told him what the previous guy had done and told him that it would just not get cool. He asks me what I had the thermostat set on and I told him that I have it programmed to switch to 70º from 9AM to 7PM, then it’s set to go down to 65º after 7. He jumped on the “65º”, like I figured he would (everyone always thinks anything below 70º is “CUCKOO-BANANAS!”): “Oh! It’s NEVER going to get that low.” I told him it HAD in the past. He looked at me with unblinking eyes, as if I was lying. We looked deep into each other’s eyes. It was a magical moment. He then said “What do you want us to do?” I said “Make it cold.” I don’t think he liked that part, but I was already SO over the attitude. He and company went outside.

In the meantime, I called an expert on A/C units and got coached on what I should ask when/if he came back inside after briefly fiddling around outside. My friend told me that the AC panels needed to be REMOVED and THEN washed, otherwise it was half-ass (which described the first guy to a T). He laughed at the “Yeah, if you wanna get electrocuted” comment. I told him I thought that was odd too, since it obviously gets wet when it rains. If getting electrocuted was that easy, wouldn’t there be bolts of electricity emitting from it (think the opening title of the movie Weird Science)? Some other things I told him I witnessed, also caused him to raise an eyebrow. We agreed I got a certified dumbass.

He also said to mention that the unit had no problem getting the house comfortable LAST year, the hottest summer on record, which is true. So when I went outside to let them know and ‘LO AND BEHOLD! they had actually taken the panels off the unit and were cleaning it PROPERLY!! I took my granny-ass back inside and left them alone (my mom was always hovering over service men who came out! Even as a kid, I was like “Goddamn! Leave them be! Who the fuck wants a shadow when you’re trying to do your job?”).

Anyway, they come back in and ask to go up in the attic (like dumbass SHOULD have the FIRST time!!). And you know what? I wasn’t “bananas” afterall: The interior coil has a leak *AND* the unit was LOW ON COOLANT!! I knew SOMETHING was up SOMEWHERE. So, they added coolant and said they would order the coil. The other guy (Patti LaBelle stayed in the truck) talked to me about the bill and said that the part was covered by the warranty, as was THE LABOR. Wait, what? Then how come the last guy charges me $75 for a part (detailed as “under wararnty” via the receipt) AND $20 for a half-assed “wash?” He said he didn’t know and that I should talk to the woman who does the billing. I assured him that I would. He didn’t charge me at the time. He was nice and we shook hands before he left.

So, all that is left is to call the place tomorrow when I get off work and make an appointment. I sure-as-hell hope I can be enough of a big, mean grownup to get those bullshit fees taken off, or at the very least, used as a credit toward my next bill. I hear you can get more flies with honey than vinegar. We shall see.

P.s. And NO, none of the guys who came out were remotely as hunky as the one shown here. Movies, TV and pornos LIE!! I’ve also never had a hot cable repairman, electrician and/or pizza delivery guy, though I did have a hot guy from the phone company once. Meh.

P.s.s. Thank you to all the locals who offered help, shelter etc. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

4 Comments so far
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GodDAMN. And people wonder why Tech School graduates get no respect.

Comment by cheryl

The A/C going out is the worst. And why, oh why does it go out in the middle of f-cking summer. Never, ever in the winter, ever. Grrr! What a fiasco! I feel for you and sweet Chumley. After our homebuying attempt from hell last year, I am glad we rent from a good company that stays on top of the A/C and maintenance. I am so tired of this record breaking heat, let’s all move to Maine. 🙂

Comment by twoveganboys

Kirk, I love the way you write! I laughed out loud over Chumley in a slip! I hope you get reimbursed on that billing. In the summertime I like my house to be so cold and I burrow under afghans in the living room or my blankets at night. Is that weird?

Comment by Cindi

Thank you, Cindi! We must have the same twisted sense of humor, because I read the story to a few people and they didn’t so much as flinch. Ha!
I am the exact same way, as far as setting the thermostat low at night. Totally not weird. I can be fine with it being 70º or so during the day, but nighttime is MY time and it needs to be cold!
Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it! 🙂

Comment by kirkkitsch

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