Sunday, August 14, 2011

Black Fridays

I had one of those Fridays where I should have stayed in bed. We have a house we are trying to sell, and one of the compressor/condenser units went kaput. Fortunately I had it under a service contract with Sears. The technician came out several weeks ago, diagnosed the problem, declared the unit reparable and ordered the requisite parts. I kept checking the house, and in the fullness of time the first part arrived -- all seventy-eight pounds of it. Picture me hefting the thing over the sill in the 109 degree heat.

An animation of an axial compressor. The darke... Image via Wikipedia

The technician said there would be two boxes. Several days passed and no second parcel materialized, so with sinking shoulders, I headed for the phone. (You know how much time can be consumed 'on hold' these days while somebody in India tries to fix your problem, presuming they grasp your problem in the first place.)  Finally, I penetrated the phone tree and spoke with a live person. I was shuffled to another person, put on hold several more times, and finally was told there was only one box in the shipment. Now, I'm a desert rat, and I know from painful experience what compressors and condensers look like.  I told her that was not possible given the size of the box. She insisted there was to be only one box. I was ready for her though. I had the packing slip from the box in my hand. It said the other item would be shipping separately.  More precious moments of my life on hold. She came back and said she would follow up with me later. She called back the following day, and said I was right. There were two boxes, but the other box had been shipped directly to the technician who would be bringing it with him on Friday.

Friday arrived and I journeyed to my other house at 7:30 am for my service 'window' of 8a - 12p. At 12:15p I called the repair department to inquire about the location of my technician. About a half hour later, the gatehouse where my other home is located called to say that the technician was there. The guard handed the technician the phone. He was the same technician who had diagnosed the problem and he realized that he had been sent to the wrong address. I gave him the correct address. He and his assistant arrived in another twenty minutes.

"Where's the other box?" he asked.

"According to Sears, you have it," I informed him. He and his assistant returned to their truck to utilize the special computer for communicating with the powers that be in the Sears parts and repair department.

They returned to my entry. "The parts in El Cajon," he said. "They'll ship it and we'll have to reschedule. The next appointment I have available is next Friday."

"Lucky me," I said.

I have another week ahead of me of checking on the delivery of the elusive box. Or cooling my heels 'on hold.'

What I want to know is how I find my way through the phone tree to the young woman who told me the part had been shipped to the technician. Did she just make that up to mess with me? Did her boyfriend break up with her and she had to direct her rage somewhere else before she exploded? Does she not have an air conditioner and harbor envy for people who do? Does she like to fantasize about sixty-something women lifting eighty pound boxes? Inquiring minds want to know.

Have a cool Friday!

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