Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lesbian Power Couple, updated edition

When I was younger, living in Los Angeles, I constantly saw well-dressed, beautiful gay women around me, women with things to do and people to see, women changing the world, women who knew everyone. I considered a grey suit and a pair of chunky glasses symbols of power. These women tended to be in relationships with other beautiful women, and these, to me, were Lesbian Power Couples. This was something I aspired to (or thought I did), and if I weren't in a couple, at least I could be a Power Lesbian.

In the past few years, I've had a few people refer to me as a Power Lesbian, which makes me chuckle for a few reasons. I think they call me this because I have a good job and own a home in Los Angeles at 29 years old. However, I am rarely well dressed, unless you consider shorts, tee shirt, and flip flops well dressed. And me? Powerful? Come on.

A couple of weekends ago, we went to Vegas and came home to a broken air conditioner. We called our home warranty folks, and they sent out West Coast Chief Repair. They were originally supposed to arrive between 9 and 12 and finally came at 3:30. They walked in and asked, "What's the problem?" I stared blankly at them. "You tell me." They fiddled and futzed, and asked for the roof access, and after 20 minutes, they came back inside and reported, "It's broken."

My eye twitched slightly. "What's wrong with it?"

"Well, your blower fan is dirty and you have a freon leak."

"Okay, when can you fix it?"

"I don't know." More eye twitching from me. He continued, "We have to submit it to the warranty people, and then they have to order parts, and then we can schedule an appointment to come fix it."

I gave him our warranty co-payment of $55 and sent him on his way, confused as to exactly what I paid for.

A few days later, the warranty place called me and told me they would NOT pay for the repair.

The eye twitch can't be good for the Lasik recovery.

A day after that, West Coast Chief Repair called Gina to give her an estimate. "We have to clean the blower fan, which will be $350, and then we have to do a leak test, which will be $450, and then we can let you know how much it will be to fix it."

Eight hundred dollars to NOT fix it. Great. We agreed it was too much.

A day after that, the new carpet cleaner we hired came to clean the carpets. He came right on time and was exceedingly friendly. He explained that the base rate was $95, and any additional services (deodorizer, etc) were $.25 per sq. ft. He began to take very rough estimates and came back with a price tag of $275 plus the base rate of $95.

"Wait," I said. "We have 1000 sq ft here. 1000 sq ft at $.25 is $250, and you're not cleaning the kitchen or the bathrooms. How are you getting $275?" He tried to argue with me that we had "way more than" 1000 sq ft, to which I offered the inspection paperwork.

After going through his math, I realized his mistake. He was measuring the length and width of each room, adding all of those numbers together, and then multiplying the added numbers. He was coming up with 1085 sq ft for what was about half of the condo. I had to convince him that he was wrong, and he finally agreed to it and the price went down to $132.50 out the door. I don't want to think of how many people don't check his math.

As he was leaving, we asked him if he knew any AC repair people. He did indeed, and two days later, a guy named Moses called me and told me he could come look at the AC. He called me at 10am and said he could come that evening. He arrived, tools in hand, looked at the AC, went to the roof to inspect, called us to tell us to turn on the air, and came back downstairs.

"It's fixed," he said quietly. Sure enough, after suffocating for 2 weeks, it started to feel cooler in the condo. We were overjoyed. The price? $450, total. He came on time, he fixed it in the same amount of time it took the other guys to check it out, and it was $450.

We are totally a Lesbian Power Couple.

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