Ever have one of those days?
- Event: Tuesday morning no hot water. Shave anyway, but can’t shower (at least not without making a lot of unmanly high frequency vocalisations).
Action: Look at combi-boiler downstairs and notice low pressure indicated. So I add water.
Event: Still no hot water.
Action: Notice fault code on display of combi-boiler. Look at manual and discover that “no flame is detected.”
Event: Can’t figure out how to re-light boiler.
Action: Call annual emergency boiler service and ask them to call my mobile phone, they say that they cannot attend to problem until tomorrow. They will call my mobile phone, which I gave them again. No hot water or heating.
- Wednesday: Event: Engineer calls home and speaks to Rina who gives her mobile number to call (instead of mine), then she calls me and says the engineer (apparently part of the Royal Family) has agreed to come and inspect within 30 minutes.
Action: I rush home and try to call engineer (either Andy or Wayne) but his number is unlisted. Make it home.
Event: Engineer arrives eventually and fixes boiler within one minute by pressing a secret button. But, says it sounds funny and begins to fiddle with it. After considerable time says, “Mate, your boiler has packed up. It needs a new fan. Earliest is tomorrow . Someone will call to arrange installation. “
Action: I call service and ensure the part is ordered, remind them to call my mobile phone when they can arrange work. No hot water or heating.
- Thursday, Event: Nobody calls, so I go to work. Rina calls me and says the engineer called her again and said he had left her a message, which she did not check. Says he will be at house within 30 minutes.
Action: I try to call engineer but number incorrect, get another number and leave message and text saying that I am on my way. Cancel an appointment at work and rush off to house in car.
Event: Car suddenly breaks down (clutch I think) on busy steep road near Apex Corner. Blocking huge construction lorry and rubbish lorry. Three big blokes push car to a side street.
Action: Try calling Rina, but goes to messages, same with engineer’s number and other numbers. Go to nearby mini cab office but told it will take at least 20 minutes to get a cab since all are busy due to the pouring rain (forgot to say it was raining). Wonder if I should call recovery service and wait, or wait for response from boiler engineer. Get small pack of cigarettes after abstaining for over one month, and sit in car trying to call someone, anyone.
Event: 90 minutes nobody answering phone. Still raining. Turn off car radio because everything is irritating.
Action: left voice and text messages, same with clients that I needed to cancel. Nobody is answering their mobile phone. Conspiracy?
Event: Colleague of engineer calls me and says his mate will be in the house within an hour.
Action: Take mini cab (£12) home and wait. Call garage to ensure I can tow car to them later. Look at website to buy another car.
Event: 13:12, solitary wrap on door. It is the Wayne. Says he has had a busy and difficult day. I say, “me too.” We look at each other, briefly. There is an understanding of some sorts. Brings in tools and begins to take apart the boiler. After 40 minutes says it will be working fine once it builds up pressure. I sign a blue form and he leaves.
PART II : THE CAR
Action: I call Recovery Service and give details. Told that I need to be with car before a recovery vehicle is called. Will have to take cab and call again.
Event: Walk to bus stop and discover bus 614 can take me to Apex Corner where the car is. Comes every 10 minutes. 40 minutes later finally catch the bus. Cost £2, instead of £12. Call Recovery Service and they arrive in 30 minutes. Car towed to garage.
Event: Told that car cannot be examined until Tuesday , which means it will sit there for five days.
Action: Ask to speak with manager and “encourage” him to inspect car today, which he says is impossible. He is very apologetic and polite despite my arrogance. They probably think I am a typical arrogant American, but I don’t care. Got some of my angst out.
Event: Take bus to nicely heated home.
Action: Take a shower, make self cup of coffee, turn on TV news and PC, and suddenly get urge to buy lottery ticket.
Event: Call from garage saying they have already inspected the car and suggested work that will cost me £900, or they can ask “sales” to contact me about trading in. Not sure if this is good or bad news.
Action: Realise it is a Bank Holiday long weekend. I will manage. May get new car. House is warm and just had a good shower. Will have glass of wine with dinner.