01 August 2013

MAINTENANCE MYSTERIES

It’s 2 in the afternoon and I am sitting on our red leather love seat watching my husband instruct the maintenance workers how to fix things in our apartment that just aren’t working as they should. I find it funny, first because he has had to explain to two people including the building manager and the maintenance specialist how to turn on and off the vent feature above our stove, and second because he is too much of a self-proclaimed DIY expert to let the people on the payroll complete the jobs for which they are paid.

Last night I had to beg him not to tear the air conditioning unit off the bedroom wall just before bedtime. He had already taken off the first layer in order to clean the filters in the small utility sink located next to our vertical washer and dryer. After about 15 minutes I saw him pondering.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

”Cleaning the filters,” he replied. Then he informed me that he needed a screwdriver. Why you wonder? So did I. “This thing is dirty and, though I have cleaned the filters, I want to clean the rest of it. Don’t look at it!”

“Why? Is there a bunch of mold?”

“No, it’s just really dusty.”

”Why exactly are you doing all of this without the proper equipment right before bedtime when someone on the maintenance team could more easily do it tomorrow?”

It was simple: he was a man on a mission.

“I just need a screwdriver,” he said, standing with me in the doorway, looking intently at the machine on the wall.

“But we don’t have a screwdriver,” I reminded him. Don’t worry, that didn’t stop him.

”If I could just find something that would work like a screwdriver…”

”No!!” I pleaded.

“Why not?!” he countered.

“Because you’ll take the whole thing apart, it will be in pieces, you will give up or mess up something and then you will be miserable because you won’t have air conditioning while you sleep tonight.”

Somehow, I convinced him to let it be.

Today has been quite a day for visitors. I had a bit of a rough morning, waking suddenly around 6 and then trying to sleep another couple hours or so in order to feel more rested. I did sleep on and off until 8, stayed in bed until closer to 9 and then felt ready to move even though I felt a bit like a sinus infection was looming. It took a while for me to really get going this morning and, before I was ready, we had knocks on the door.

The first was our house marie (housekeeper) to collect our towels. Susie comes three times a day, six days weekly as part of the hotel compound service. She or one of her colleagues comes between 8:30 and 10 to collect our used towels (sometimes whether we have used them or not) and then later after 11 to clean the bathroom, tidy the bed linens, wash any dishes that I had not wanted to clean and sweep and mop the floors. Around 3, we are provided fresh towels.

In between towels and cleaning, we had a water delivery. We have 5-gallon jugs delivered in exchange for our empty ones and, while still in my sweatpants and undershirt, three men came to my door on two occasions each carrying a water jug. They were very kind, asked me to sign and then they left. Paul was in the shower at the time but, when he came out, dressed in office attire, he reminded me that we hadn’t actually paid for our delivery. Oops. “They never asked for payment,” I said.

Susie came back after 11 to do the cleaning. By that time I had at least put on some workout clothes with the intention of hitting the gym at some point today – clearly that would be after lunch since Paul put on his hungry face.

We had just over an hour to ourselves before the fifth knock on our door. This time we had a maintenance man and the property manager coming in to clean the air con and discuss our overall experience so far. We advised the property manager that things were going well and then Paul remembered that the stove vent didn’t actually vent – in the past it just pushed the smoke or steam throughout the apartment and on a couple occasions did not stop the smoke detector from blaring.

And that brings us to Paul, showing the property manager and then the new repair man (sixth knock and seventh visitor on a day that I had put absolutely no effort into looking normal, which happens more often than not these days) how the vent actually works.

He monitored the air con service man while he worked and commented on his performance once the man finished. He stood right next to the vent repair man, sticking his head and hands into the apparatus in an attempt to solve the problem and then did battle (nicely, of course) with the maintenance man about how to fix the problem. Truth be told he was right. He found the venting switch was not positioned in the position that indicated pushing the air outside.

And so, at 2:35, I am still sitting on the couch in my workout clothes thinking it is finally time to get my butt in the gym so that I can shower and dress in normal attire.

Breaking News: I think we will be able to pick up our car tomorrow!



1 comment:

Georgia Fuller said...

I can’t blame your husband for wanting to fix it right away. That's exactly what you want to do when you an important appliance breaks down inside the house. But you’re right, there are repairs that are better left to people who do it for a living. I'm glad that he listened to you.

Georgia Fuller @ Day Aire