In Heat

A few years a go, in a summer that was fraught with power outages, oppressive humidity, and extreme heat waves, the air conditioning unit in my house failed. There is never a good time for something like this to happen financially— I’m not going to expound on my pecuniary woe’s, because struggling to pay bills is something many of us are familiar with. There is just never enough money, single parent or no.

I called “Diamond Heating and Cooling”, because they were the people whom my ex-husband had hired to replace the furnace a few years prior. When I asked them send someone over to repair my air conditioner, they laughed and said it would be a few days before they could send a technician out, because of the high volume of calls they’d been receiving due to the extreme weather conditions. My children and I had to sweat through several days, waiting for our turn. Getting an air-conditioner serviced in a heatwave is akin to trying to buy a snow shovel in the middle of a blizzard. There aren’t any left, so you may as well wait for the spring thaw. 

Conan the Barbarian rang my bell, I think using his broadsword. He strutted into my house, spent all of five minutes assessing the situation, and told me that I need to replace the entire air conditioning unit. “Air conditioner need to replace, is old. I bring new one in three day. Here is cost.” He handed me a scroll with $4800. written in what looked like blood. He had me where he wanted me. Supply and demand was my downfall. 

My children and I had been marinating in our own juices for several days at that point. My daughter, lamented our lot in life with cries of “It’s like we’re Amish.” This was the homeowner crisis that elevated me to the zenith of my irrational helpless woman status. My spirit broke, and I heard myself respond something like: “Oh please take all my money! Please take my credit card! It’s just so hot.”

Three days later, having taken the day off work, I sat in a puddle of my own sweat and waited for Conan to rescue me. Just like many a man from my past, he disappointed me. I made several calls, but they all went directly to voicemail. 

The next day, out of desperation, I picked up the phone book and called another company. They sent over a repairman who fixed— yes fixed my old air conditioner for only two hundred dollars that same day. I called the credit card company, and had them cancel payment to “Diamond Heating and Cooling”. 

They didn’t even realize I had cancelled payment until a few days later, and that’s when they finally returned my call. I recounted my bad experience with their “technician”, as well as my good experience with their competitor. I then told them what I thought of their company. They said that I was responsible, at the very least, for paying for the “service call”. I told them they were mistaken, and I was correct.

I haven’t had a single problem with the air conditioner since that one. I try to remind myself of that experience whenever I need to anone for any type of repair. The lesson learned is always get more than one estimate… and never trust a barbarian with your unit.

The Daily Post, July 20, 2015, Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise~ Tell us about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good. Was it a humorous experience or one you’d rather forget? What was the outcome?<a href=””>Brilliant Disguise</a><a href=””>Brilliant Disguise</a>

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