Posted by: kentauros | January 22, 2011

Winter Heat


So, it’s been a couple of months since I last posted here. The Christmas season is always busy, but not so much doing shopping; no, it’s baking time, and I spend a week, easily, in the kitchen. The other reason I haven’t written is I haven’t done any meditating or had any provocative visions or insights, save for what I do in my other writing. However, something that most would think relatively minor occurred this past week, but if you lived here, you’d know it wasn’t so minor.

I had this past Monday off, only to then have an involuntary day off on Wednesday. That had to do with staying warm, since the weather seems to want to give us a cold winter after all.

I’ve lived in this apartment since Oct. 1998, and the furnace hasn’t worked since about 2000, maybe 2002, but I think it’s been longer. Our landlord (the epitome of the typical “cheap bastard” landlord) (he’s not really a bastard, just exceptionally cheap, but I like the phrase) decided it would cost too much to have the furnace fixed, so he went and bought us a couple of those oil-circulating radiator heaters. They do a fair job, and in the past few years I’ve positioned them in front of the return air vent to draw the heat into the system for better circulation. That works best on weekends when I can have them running all the time and not having to shut them off when I leave for work. Then I just lose all that built-up heat from overnight and have to start over at the end of the day.

Well, the “cheap bastard” changed his mind this week when the two heaters tripped the breakers to my apartment. Just my unit, and only the two bedrooms. This has happened before, so I learned to put one in different rooms, instead of on the same circuit. That didn’t help this time. So, after I and my neighbor/handyman messed with the circuit breakers some, he called the landlord and I learned he was ready to get me a working furnace. He also “didn’t know” I was without a furnace. I don’t know how he can run this place and not be aware of things like this. Anyway, they would have the heater repair guys out there the next day between 9 and noon, so I had to call in about missing work.

My supervisor is a great guy, very easy going and he had no problem with me missing a little bit of work. Even when I called later that day about missing more, he wasn’t concerned at all. Why can’t all supervisors be like him? 🙂

So, I got up and ready, expecting to be able to leave once they got there as the neighbor had said the night before that he had a key to my place and could lock up once they were done. Only, I find out the next morning something else when he calls (early, mind you) to make sure I’m awake, because, you know, repair people can show up hours before they’re supposed to be there. I argued with him about that, not liking that one bit. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at or between a certain time, I expect that to happen, and will complain to someone if it doesn’t. Anyway, he tells me that he can’t find the key to my apartment, so I’m stuck there until they fix it. They finally get there around 9:30 and proceed to find one part that needs replacement. However, they don’t have that part and have to leave, to return in 30-40 minutes. That happens as they said, they work on it some more, find another part that has to be replaced, but they can fix that or have the part. Then they finally determine that the unit is too old for their knowledge and have to call another guy that knows old units. That takes more time. By now, it’s after noon. While he works on and finds yet another part that needs replacement, I call in saying it’s kind of pointless to come in at that point and get a nice, easy-going response that everything’s cool.

The older repair guy comes back with the right part, the three of them fix it all up and I have a working furnace by three pm. I was glad I was there when they first started working on it, because when they got the burners going, everything that had built up on them (dust, mold, whatever) was burned off and turned into plenty of smoke. Had to open the windows to let it all out while they worked, but by the time it was fully fixed, all the smoke and odor was gone, both inside and from the furnace.

It’s working great now, and I haven’t noticed any undue effects from having it back, such as worse allergies or asthma. Still, it was an ordeal, mostly relaxed, even some napping in there, but a waste of my day, and loss of wages I could use. I also learn after it’s fixed that the handyman/neighbor has indeed found the keys, so I’m a bit irked with him…

Now I just need to take half a day off to get my driver’s license renewed AND get new license plates for the car. I think I’ll wait a week or so, since both don’t expire for at least another month. I don’t mind doing them early and out of the way for another few years. Now on to fixing billing issues due to my credit union merging with another credit union. Life’s never-ending hassles!

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