sharing the frustration

Time ticked by and still every time I turned on a faucet, the water gushed out so cold it’s just barely still in its liquid form. The sun had come out and was heating up the house just fine… no wonder it gets so hot in the summer… zero degrees outside, snow on the ground, and no heat or fire in the house and it was a pleasant temperature. I momentarily contemplated opening a window for a little fresh air, then remembered it’s still winter outside. Still, we need the hot water. Every one of our dishes, forks and spoons is piled up neatly by the sink waiting a proper hot water washing. Kaitlyn will desperately need a bath tonight. I would love a hot shower myself.

I tried turning the hot water heater off and back on (every engineer/help desk’s first suggestion), but that didn’t work. After a couple of hours, I thought this surely isn’t right and sent an e-mail to Bill asking his opinion. After another hour without a response, I sent him a text message. He wanted to know if I’d tried turning it off and back on. He also asked for the number to the service company. Great. Problem on someone else’s plate. I went back to cleaning the house.

After a while Bill called me to say he was on the way home… to look at the hot water heater himself. He didn’t want to have his French teacher call the service company just to have them say “did you rattle the hummelfarb?” and him not have done so. I got worried, though, that Bill’s waiting to perform his own diagnosis before driving the half-hour back to Grenoble for his French lesson would mean he’d finally call the company after they’d closed for the day. Because I simply cannot imagine a French service company being open past 5pm. Not a chance. When I nudged him about that, he got annoyed and called them himself. I left to pick up Kaitlyn from school and when I got home 15 minutes later, he was raving mad. Welcome to the thrill of dealing with a serious problem on the phone with someone who doesn’t speak the same language. He kept yelling that he knows enough French to know she was telling him to push a button that didn’t exist. (She kept saying to look for the red button down low… but there are no buttons down low on the heater. I can attest to that.) I finally coerced him into calling the office where his lesson was supposed to be taking place, asking for his teacher (you never know in advance who it will be), and having him or her pick up another phone and dial the water heater people and talk Bill through whatever they were trying to explain to him. It didn’t quite work that way, but close enough. After a few phone calls back and forth, he found the button the woman had been trying to tell him to look for and pushed it… restarting the heater. (it was up on the top) We still have an appointment for service tomorrow… just in case. They’ll be out sometime between either 9 and 11 or 2 and 4.

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