Thursday, November 3, 2011
The chimney dance
Yesterday I had the thankless job of calling the chimney folks on behalf of my mother.
My mom has this stove sort of thing that heats a room, and it happens to be her favorite room to be in, and it could be heated other ways, however, this stove is the favored way. So if the stove is on the fritz the room is closed off.
A few weeks ago the chimney folks were over to fix the thing but they needed parts. My mom paid for the parts and the chimney folks said they would order them, and they left.
And that was that. End of story.
"Call them up, will you?" my mother said. "Tell them I'm old and sick."
So I did.
And you know what happened, is what always happened, the two words I never heard from the chimney company were "I'm sorry."
No: "I'm sorry this is taking so long."
No: "I imagine your mom must be getting impatient."
They found the order and everything, was the good news. My mom had paid a deposit of something like $350. But all I got was that the parts had not come in yet. No apology, no time frame. Just: "It's a busy time of year."
The woman I talked to even got in a "honey." "Honey, it's a busy time of year."
Of course I was sweet as pie. Aren't we always? We always figure that the nicer we are, the nicer people will be to us.
I am starting to rethink that.
I am starting to think that if you are nice everyone walks all over you. Obliviously, too. They do not even give you credit for getting out of their way. They do not notice! They just walk.
I see that in Leonard Pennario's life, never mind that he was the world's greatest pianist, and I see it in mine.
Exhibit A, this chimney schuft yesterday. Can't be nice like Burt in "Mary Poppins."
Wow, just watching that cheers me up! I had forgotten a lot of that. How Admiral Boom gets into the act.
Then: "It's the master!"
"What's all this?"
Sigh for the days when chimney specialists were men of talent and principle.
My life would be different!