Complaints

One of the biggest reasons I left the restaurant business was because of all the complaints. If anyone knew how hard it was to manage and run a restaurant by yourself they wouldn’t complain about small things so much. On any given night, I was supposed to make sure all the reservations were set to everyone’s liking. Many of the rich guests would have liked that I bow at their feet when I walk in. I have to also prepare that night’s menu and make sure we have all the products. I would have to make sure all my chefs were prepped and then prep the waitresses. At the end of the night, I went home exhausted because all I ever did was do what my customers asked. They always found reasons to hate the food, ask for substitutions, or even fight with me about what they thought I should do with my own restaurant. It was the final straw when I had customers yelling at me about the temperature of my restaurant. My heating and cooling in the restaurant is perfect. At the beginning of every year I make sure I schedule a HVAC tune-up and even had a ductless HVAC unit put in last December. On this night, I first had a young gentleman ask me if I could turn the air conditioner down because his prissy girlfriend was too cold. Only one half hour later I had a crabby old last scream at me because she was having hot flashes and couldn’t take the furnace blasting heat the whole night. She demanded her money back. I can’t believe the nerve of some people acting like they deserve such things.

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The Meltdown

My family has owned a chocolate business since the early 80’s. We have become known for the best chocolate around the area because we have a special process that keeps our chocolate a great texture. Unlike other chocolatiers, we melt our chocolate only until it’s soft and mushy. We then use air to push it into molds and let it harden back up. It results in a product that isn’t as pretty, but it tastes a lot better than our competitors. It’s much better for you as well. As summer approaches, it can become a process to keep our chocolate at the right temperatures. Likewise, in the winter if we can’t heat the candy quick enough it does not mold properly and we have rejects. On a particular night in summer, it was my turn to close the shop and make sure everything was in order for the night. I’m supposed to make sure our HVAC system is activated, so our heating and cooling goes through a cycle. The air conditioner makes sure that the chocolate hardens at the end and the furnace melts it into the molds. I set the HVAC equipment, and left for the night. My father calls me at 6 am the next morning screaming. He said I set the ductless HVAC furnace to the wrong temperature and all the chocolate had melted all over the floor. I single handedly lost our company a few thousand dollars in product. Also, my father will never trust me in his business again.

air conditioner

We spent last weekend at  our cottage on the lake. It was the last official weekend of summer, and we wanted to make the best of it. The weather cooperated and it was almost as if it was the middle of summer. It was hot and sunny, with bright blue skies. We had fun kayaking, swimming and doing a little fishing. We didn’t catch much, but still, it is a great way to relax. After a day of having fun, we knew that there was a lot of work to be done to winterize the cottage. I hate that part of owning a cottage. We have to bring in all the outdoor furniture. The window screens have to be removed and cleaned, and we replace the weather stripping if it needs it. Most important is checking the furnace to make sure it is working safely and efficiently. Although we do not keep the heat blasting when no one is there, we do have to keep it warm enough to ensure that our pipes don’t freeze. We regularly change the air filters and check for debris. We also test our thermostat to make sure it is working properly. Even though we can do these things ourselves, we still call a professional HVAC technician to do routine maintenance on our HVAC system. I feel better knowing that our system is running safely and efficiently, especially since we are not there very often. We do use the cottage during the winter months whenever we get a free weekend. It’s a good place to cross country ski, or to relax by the fireplace.

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I am a student earning my bachelor’s degree and to broaden my horizons, I chose an introductory course in corrections as an elective. I’ve always been interested in the correctional system, for unknown reasons, and really enjoy watching prison movies. In my class, we were given a discussion question about what we think might incite or contribute to an inmate riot. I think my answer was unexpected. I think a broken air conditioning system may incite or contribute to an inmate riot, especially if the air conditioner was not working for a long time and/or if it happened in the middle of summer. All the jails that I have ever seen have small windows that do not open. Obviously, jails and prisons are completely dependent or almost completely dependent on HVAC systems for air of any kind. And, most prisons and jails are overcrowded. If the air conditioning went out, temperatures would rise quickly, due to body heat. And, as temperatures rise, tempers would rise also. I know that when I am uncomfortably hot, I can get awfully cranky. And the temperatures in the jail or prison wouldn’t be the only problem if the air conditioning went out. Humidity would also quickly become an issue as inmates showered to clean off sweat and try to cool off. The prison would not be able to let all the inmates out to recreation at the same time, so, the inmates would be forced to suffer in the oppressive heat and humidity. The more unhappy and uncomfortable the inmates become, the higher the chances of a riot. And the more inmates that are unhappy and uncomfortable, the worse the riot would be.

air conditioner

Every year, my little agricultural town in the south has an old fashioned county fair. We have a mechanical bull, pig catching contests, chili cookoff, cake walks, arts and crafts , pony rides, a petting zoo, that kind of thing. It’s held on the fourth of July weekend. It can be dangerously hot in July. A few years ago, a person passed out and many people got sick during the fair. We were in the midst of a terrible heat wave. But, for many, this fair is a community project. For others, it provides months of planning. The county really wants everybody to be able to participate without risking their health, or even their lives. So, since the year of the heat wave when people got sick, the county planners make sure that there is a large tent available to provide shade and air conditioning for people who get too hot or those who just want to cool off. The summer temperatures often get in the triple digits, and providing that air conditioned tent has no doubt helped out many people. And because fair goers can find relief from the heat, they can stay longer. This year, I’ve noticed that the air conditioned tent is now much more than a place to cool off. The food is now served in this air conditioned tent. It’s even become a meeting place for many people to sit and enjoy their lunch out of the stifling temperatures outdoors. This air conditioned tent has become an awesome addition to a fun time by keeping people healthy and safe from the elements.

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I have this blue jay that eats from my feeder all day long. After he is done eating, he protects the feeder so no other bird can come. He then squawks his head off warning all other birds off. I have decided to get on a first name basis with the bird. I have named him Carl and I yell at him daily for his noises. He wakes me up at seven in the morning, annoys me at lunch time and is irritating when it is time for dinner. Carl is dedicating to his post and has an impressively loud squawk. To not be woken up, I turn on my heating device that makes noises. Unfortunately, my heater is not as loud as Carl. The heating system makes a pleasant and soft humming noise. My bird makes a really loud noise that pierces my eardrums. I can’t handle his noise anymore. I am now hoping my gas furnace has something major happen to it. HVAC units typically make more noise when they are dirty or damaged. When the furnace filter is clogged sometimes noises will happen. I am worried about having a wrecked gas heater though. The furnace is on the lower level of my house. I think I might try a loud space heater in my bedroom. Maybe I could buy one of those machines that make the sounds of the oceans. I will do anything to not hear Carl squawking all day long. It is the most irritating sound in the world. He is big enough that his size should be intimidating enough.

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Whenever something goes wrong at my house, I usually call my son, who lives right down the street. It is not that I am unable to fix things myself, on the contrary I am actually pretty handy, but he is about ten times more-so. Also, my eyes are not the best anymore, so certain things are getting harder for me to troubleshoot. All things considered, I think my son enjoys coming over to help out whenever he can. Just recently though, he took a new job that has him on the road a lot of the time. Of course on his first day away from home, for a week out on the road, my climate control system started acting up. At first it was just a strange sound coming from the utility room. The furnace seemed to be the source of the mysterious hum, but there was still normal warm air coming from the air duct vents. After a little while though, I caught a whiff of something burning or smoldering. When I checked on the HVAC equipment again, the whole basement smelled smoky. I knew there was some kind of serious furnace issue afoot, so I shut the whole system down. Luckily, our thermostat is very responsive so a quick system shutdown was no problem. Being that it is Winter, the lack of heating made the house uncomfortably cold pretty quickly. I knew I had to get my furnace fixed quickly. Since my son would not be returning for a few days, I reluctantly made the call to the local HVAC repair shop.

heating 

Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do. I love getting all of the snacks and dressing warm to be comfortable to watch a movie. Usually I wear a sweater and pants. I do not wear anything too heavy because I do not want to get too hot. This last time I was just at the movie theater it was far too cold. I was shivering even wearing what I normally did to the movies. I had to try to sit with my legs and arms as close to me as possible to try to keep warm. I could not wait for the movie to be over. The whole time I was wondering why a movie theater would keep it that cold in there. There was no need especially since it was not even hot enough outside. I thought maybe they were having some difficulties but no one ever told us about it. Surely, I complained to them after the movie was over. They did not say much. All they did was apologize for the cold conditions. I did not get anything from that. Next time I guess I will have to bring more clothes. At this rate, their air conditioning might not be working by the time I go next time. It might not work because they are running it so high now. The HVAC system is bound to break down and then they will be left with no air conditioning. The theater is going to be really warm and then people will really start to complain about it. They will even lose business over the lack of air conditioning.

cooling

One of my favorite seasons is Autumn. It seems like every year when that time of year rolls around and the temperatures start cooling down after a long hot summer, I just can’t get enough. I love every single thing about Fall. I like summer too, but where I live the weather is way too humid and I always end up sitting indoors next to my A/C unit all day, every day during the summer. In the Fall, I really enjoy pumpkin picking, going to the cider mill and eating donuts. I love going on hayrides and walking through corn mazes. I love having bonfires with friends and family and cuddling up in sweatshirts and blankets. I love being able to turn on my furnace at night when it cools down as well. Even though I want to, I only turn my furnace on at night during Autumn. If it were up to me, I would use the heating unit all day long. To avoid spending money on bills and to try saving energy, I only use the heater in the evening. I don’t really mind though. I just bundle up in a coat, drink hot chocolate and enjoy the color of the changing leaves. After going on a hayride on a cool night, there is nothing better than going home and getting cozy next the heating unit. Sometimes I even get so comfortable that I fall asleep with the heater on. I try not to in effort to save money and energy, but sometimes it happens. Oh well, as long as I am warm and comfortable!

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HVAC friends

My roommate and I are in touch with our local HVAC service at least once every two weeks. It is a sad situation, but at this point we are used to it. Our landlord refuses to pay for any new HVAC equipment, and the air conditioner and furnace in our apartment are simply too old to function anymore. Because we live in a part of the country with regular seasons, however, simply not using the air conditioner or heating equipment is not an option. We have since made friends with our HVAC service technicians. Sometimes Jolene comes over, and sometimes Marcus. Once every so often we get Fred. All of these service technicians are really knowledgeable and are usually able to help us get the air conditioning or heat back in working order. We often call to have refrigerant replaced in our air conditioning, or if it is wintertime we call about the furnace when it quits working. Unfortunately, since the equipment is ancient, these fixes don’t last for long. If it seems like it is going to be a really time-consuming repair, occasionally my roommate and I will order pizza for ourselves and whichever technician is visiting. We can only be grateful that our landlord is willing to cover all of these repair expenses! At this point, if he were to buy new HVAC equipment, we would probably be upset with him for taking away some of our most commonly visiting friends!

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