Softening You Up

Repairmen say the darndest things. One of my favorites is “It’s on its last legs.“, as though the furnace or air conditioner is a centipede that’s down to its last two legs. We’ve all heard that “throwing good money after bad” is, well, bad. And lately I’ve heard about quite a few repairmen referring to the very repairs they make as “Band-Aids”. Some companies have even made that genericised trademark the official name of their repair.

So why are these commonplace sayings “darnedest” when said by repairmen? Continue reading Softening You Up

Shoo Fly Keeps Bothering Me

I was minding my own business fixing a furnace when, like a fly that refuses to be shooed, I get buzzed by that name yet again… “The Requisition Technician”

That’s a pseudonym of course. Someday I may go Bulworth and reveal his identity, but not today. Whatever his name, I hear it too often!

Anyway, as I was repairing the furnace I got to talking with the homeowner about the air conditioner. She happens to have old invoices, so I take a look-see. And what do I see? Continue reading Shoo Fly Keeps Bothering Me

Req Tech Wrecks Again

The Requisition Technician has a bad habit of wrecking pocketbooks.

This time Wreck It Req Tech was called to fix a furnace that was heating intermittently. Over the course of three service calls he replaced a thermostat, replaced a leaking hose and called it, well… not good. He didn’t call it anything because it still wasn’t working right. Instead he reckoned… ba dum tss… himself unable to deal with the problem because he’s “not trained in Carrier” equipment.

Too bad he didn’t say that before he made three trips to the home and charged the homeowner Continue reading Req Tech Wrecks Again

The Big Dig

The Requisition Technician looked at furnace today. I supposed that’s redundant since it’s winter and he is a furnace repairman. Anyway, Req Tech jiggled some wires and the furnace started working. RT then said that it would take a lot of work to dig into the furnace and figure out what was really going on, so he didn’t dig. Instead the homeowner dug into his pocket for $100 and handed it to RT who then left. The furnace stopped working again a half hour later. Continue reading The Big Dig

Lucky Number 700

There’s an old joke that goes something like this…

A man takes his VCR in and asks, “How much will it cost to fix this?” The repairman pauses for a moment and says, “Three-hundred dollars.” The man retorts, “But you haven’t even looked at it.” The repairman quips, “Yeah… but for $300 I can fix it.

It seems that The Requisition Technician has turned an old joke into reality Continue reading Lucky Number 700

Blame It on the Rain

This furnace had an intermittent problem. The Requisition Technician got the call to fix it. He blamed an incorrectly angled exhaust pipe. He said he doesn’t work on such things, but neither did he refer anyone that does. Req Tech then charged the homeowner $80 and left.

Getting soaked for $80 was bad enough. The fact that the diagnosis was so obviously wrong was even worse. Why obvious? Continue reading Blame It on the Rain


The Requisition Technician visited this furnace.

That is all.

Visiting really was all Req Tech could do. That furnace has a variable speed blower motor. The licensed, bonded and five star rated RT said he isn’t trained to work on them and left. That’s like a plumber saying he isn’t trained to work on those newfangled low-flow toilets. Both the toilet and the motor came to widespread use in the 1990s. Every furnace manufacturer sells variable speed motors. Every real repairman works on them. And by “work” I mean we plug this tester in and flip a few switches. That’s really is all there is to it.

Two Weeks in the Life

I really do see this stuff on a daily basis.

I must admit that A Week in the Life found limited commercial success. That might be because it was released during the winter dump months. Or that might actually be because I don’t charge anything for admission. I have to do something about that. ;^) Regardless, it’s time for a summer sequel. In keeping with sequel tradition, I’m going bigger and badder by chronicling two weeks of summer life.

Continue reading Two Weeks in the Life