Saturday, March 12, 2005

An Entry That Will Be of No Interest to Anyone - Not Even Me

I took off this week for Spring Break. It was either that or start going to work in the daytime and this is the only time during the semester that the library will let me take off. I was all set to go on a gluttonous shopping spree and spend outrageous amounts of money. I did the last part.

I live in a house that’s quite old. I’ve been told it was built in the late eighteen hundreds. It isn’t a grand estate or anything. It was built to house a working middle class family, which it has done for well over a century. This means also that while the house has been maintained, it has never been completely overhauled and given a proper modern renovation with all bells and whistles that come standard in a new house.

The house is heated by an oil boiler. I don’t know the first thing about boilers and how they run and I was given no guidance from the previous owners. I can barely keep oil in the underground tank as it is so when the boiler started making more noise than usual I quirked and eyebrow and wondered when it would go away. It didn’t go away.

I got that sick feeling in my stomach that heralds Major Home Repair, but I tried desperately to stay in denial land where my house doesn’t have asbestos siding, a rotting front porch, splintering floors, or a soon to be broken boiler. I thought maybe the boiler just needs a little TLC. I looked up heating repair in the phone book and started calling companies about maintenance visits. One wouldn’t even come to my neck of the woods, another said they wanted me to sign a contract for annual service that would cost A LOT, the third said the person who handles boilers is out for the week, and another spoke to me on speaker phone much to my echoing annoyance. I finally pinned down one that was at least forty bucks cheaper than the others and made an appointment for him to come out to look at my boiler.

He came, he saw, he itemized. My boiler was in trouble. It needed to be taken apart and cleaned, and a new motor installed. In the end, I had to shell out $593. Goodbye shopping spree.

I don’t think I got robbed by the repair guy. He was here for several hours working on the boiler. He fixed a few other things that he saw which cost little to nothing, and the boiler isn’t making terrible grumbling noises anymore, but damn, that bill punched me in the gut. I don’t live a name brand life to begin with. Any money I save, well I don’t save any money. I’m dutifully chipping away at a number of debts. One of which is for a home repair I had to do soon after moving into this house two years ago.

Like I said, not an enlightening post. It was slightly depressing to write. Finances are usually a depressing topic, but I had to share because sharing is free, and I don’t have moolah for much else. I did go shopping, but I stuck strictly to clearance aisles, dollar stores, and the Good Will.

I go back to work Sunday night. Joy.


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