I can add 550 and 339 in my head and know that it equals 889. I always remember to say my “p’s” and “q’s.” Furthermore, my vocabulary (which I credit to years of reading the classics) can leave most of today’s college grads in the dust. Indeed, I can go toe-to-toe with any Shakespearean character, and no, this lady doth not protest too much!
So why am I a complete dunderhead when it comes to dealing with maintenance and repair technicians?
The answer is simple. It seems I have a tendency to put my complete and unequivocal faith and trust in them. I am putty in their hands, with mush for brains. A sap, if ever there was one!
Because if it’s one thing I know bupkis about, it’s fixing, repairing, constructing anything. I’m all thumbs, with no sense and certainly no patience to read a manual. If I can’t save time by not having to read instructions, then it’s not worth it!
In fact, IKEA is my worst nightmare! Why would I buy furniture that I have to then figure out how to put together myself when I can go to Ethan Allen, buy a bed or a dresser and know that it’s going to be delivered, completely built and ready for use?
So naturally, if anything needs repair or maintenance in my home I call the experts.
The alleged experts, I mean.
These folks are really glorified salespeople and they will try to up-sell you just about anything, including the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges. Of course most people can see right through this? Me? Not so much. Make that, not at all.
If I told you all the extra things I’ve bought or agreed to, when the technicians come to my house, it would make you shake your head and take pity on me. Well, can I help it if there’s a fool born every minute?
I once had a leak in one of my toilets and the plumber convinced me I needed to replace all the toilets in my home. Thankfully I mentioned it to my friend, Gale–who is the best handy woman around–and she saved me. Of course, first she laughed her head off. Then, one quick phone call and the toilet-bowl caper was flushed down the you-know-what.
Another guy told me I needed a new water heater. The one I had was barely eight years old and working fine, but yada yada yada, an hour later I had a new water heater and was out 1,500 bucks.
Fast forward this month, I bought a $49 voucher to get my air ducts cleaned. By the time the technician left I was out an additional 800 clams!
Am I just a girl who can’t say no? Who succumbs to sales pressure and scare tactics? I’m pretty sure if a salesman came to my door today, selling me a set of encyclopedia–in this age of the internet, mind you–I’d buy them!
But shelling out the $800 for what was supposed to be a $49 service (That’s what the voucher was for, right?) has finally made me super wary of technicians. I don’t trust any of them any longer. Not as far as I can throw them. Which is why I’ve decided I’d rather let all my appliances fall apart. I’d rather buy new ones than call in the repair folk.
I once watched “Dateline,” where Chris Hansen, that nice man who normally catches predators, fiddled with a water heater screw to make it leak and called in several different plumbers to get a quote for fixing the “alleged” leak. It should have been a simple fix but the quotes given varied from the ridiculous to the outrageous. Pretty much every plumber said the problem could be fixed with a new water heater. Sound familiar? It does to me!
So whom can you trust and how do you handle these technicians? Or are you the kind who can fix everything yourself and avoid this headache altogether? (If you answered the latter, lucky you!)