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The A/C guy

2014
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There are two things in life that are inevitable if you live in the South: The first is that there is a direct proportional relationship between how nice the weather is and the number of people who decide this is a good time to get out the lawnmower, the trimmer and the leaf blower, and the other inevitability is that your A/C is going to blow – probably in midsummer.

Some of you are not like me, you’re smart, so perhaps you have a Maintenance Plan with some A/C company. More power to you if you do, because it wasn’t until the other day that I realized how important this regular maintenance can be.

Brian headshotI’m hardly a Mr. Fix It kinda guy, but I am a brilliant light-bulb changer, I have been known to hang the odd picture, and once, I actually fixed a leak. Admittedly, I was the one who actually caused the leak in the first place since I didn’t tighten some thingamabob when I had to clean out the pipe because it was blocked. But in all fairness to me, A/C maintenance is probably beyond most guys’ competence, not least because you need special equipment.

The problem started a few weeks back with the compressor out the back. Whether the A/C was on or off, the compressor is running. In order to get it to stop, we had to flip the trip switch to cut off its electricity. Now even I knew that there was something afoot, and this meant the A/C repair man would have to be called.

So, the other day, they call and say “Dave is on the way.” We’re trying a new company, so I have no idea who Dave is. He duly arrives and even before this guy sets foot inside my door, I just know, everything’s gonna be fine. This guy oozes, calm, experience and competence. Sometimes you can tell these things in the first minute, you get a feeling in your waters. Well I had a feeling about Dave and turns out, I was right. Once he’s said hello to my dog, who’s come to the door to have a good sniff off him, Dave slips on these “booties” – kinda like a shower cap, only they’re for your feet. He’s anxious not to dirty my floor with his “muddy ‘ol boots.” A touch of class right off the bat, consideration for the customers’ flooring. I like this guy already, and just as important, so too does Rusty, my redneck Shitzu.

I proceed as best I can to give him a summary of what’s wrong without trying to sound like a five-year-old boy saying, “It’s not working because it’s broke”. Dave wastes no time (listening to me) and sets to work right away on the compressor. He brings me out into the back yard and explains the problem. Just as I thought, it was the flux capacitor. He then heads off up into the attic, five minutes later, he calls me up. Again, I knew it, it was the flux capacitor. He explained in patient detail the precise nature of the problem and every now and again I actually did recognize some of the words: “vacuum”, “pressure”, “owner”, “sucks”, “could be ants.” He’s in an out of the house, out the van, up to attic, back down, out to the back yard and all the while he remembers to put on and off his “boot covers.” Before he leaves, the system is running again and I’ve signed him up for regular maintenance. We need more Dave’s in this world.

Brian O’ Nuanain runs “Across The Pond And Beyond”, a company that organizes international vacations. You can reach him at acrossthepondandbeyond.com