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Some things I do not know

November 5, 2014
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The lady was talking about a 100 miles an hour, but my ears were only running at about 50, but accelerating, trying to make sense of what she was saying.

"I was gone for a month and your guy, the big burley one, put an air conditioner in my car when you were off fishing, and it's gone now, so I want you to put some more in, but I don't want the other one, the tattooed one to do it, because he tried to charge me $130 to take my door off, and I found some people at the storage unit who did it for $25, so he was trying to rip me off and I told him that wouldn't happen if you had been here, and I know that because I'm a retired educator after 30 years, so now that you're here I need more air conditioning stuff because I was gone for a month."

I don't know if she stopped talking, or if I tuned her out for a while to digest what I had just heard. I was stuck on why we would take a door off, since we don't do body work, but nothing else was making sense either. My guys had all run for cover, since she had declared that she wanted to speak with me and only me, so my helpless looks toward them for clarification were met with grins. I began interrupting her with questions.

"What would you like us to do for you today?"

"Put more stuff in the air conditioner, it leaked out because I was gone for a month and."

I cut her off again: "If it lost the refrigerant in a month, there is a serious leak, so we'll have to find out where the leak is."

She cut me off: "What does it cost to fix a leak?"

"It depends on where the leak is, but if we just put something new in the car we'll be happy to locate the leak at no charge to you and then we'll know what needs to be done next."

"But what will it cost to fix the leak?"

"It depends on what's leaking."

"What do you think it is?"

"I won't know until we check it out. Let's go in the office and let me check the records while my guy checks your car."

"Okay, but I don't want 'tattoo' to do it."

I asked her name. It was a Scandinavian name that can end with "en" or "on." She spelled it "on." I couldn't find a record under that name. She said it might be under "en." She was right. I asked her which way was correct, she said it didn't matter, it could be either way, it wasn't her name anyway. It was an ex-husbands' and bla-bla-bla until I noticed that two and a half months earlier we had recharged her air conditioning. No new parts, just refrigerant.

My guy reported that he could see no definite signs of a leak, so we put in some dye that will show up under ultra violet light the next time it leaks down. Then once we know where the leaks are we can estimate the repair costs. I explained this to the lady. Again.

"What will it cost to fix?"

"We won't know until we find the leaks."

"Well, what do you think it could be?"

"It could be the compressor, or the evaporator, or the condenser, or the hoses between them,"

"Wait, I want to write that down. What was it again? What would it cost if it's the compressor? Can you put a patch on it? I'll get any parts I need from a junk yard. That'll work won't it?

"No Maam. When it stops cooling again, just bring it in and we'll see what it needs and take it from there. We won't charge you any more until we can give you an estimate."

"How much will the estimate be for?"

"I don't know."

The ex-husband is a lucky guy.



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