I always wonder what they expect when they come to a particular house. Today we had a whole-house humidifier installed to the furnace. It’s a straightforward, time-consuming job. The guy who showed up was young, had a smile, and seemed pretty understanding that I hadn’t gotten my kids to school yet because we expected him tomorrow.

If he’d shown up tomorrow, husband was on track to work from home and be on top of everything he was doing. Instead, I got to sit in the mechanical room and chat with him. Most of these guys are good-natured. I learned a lot about them during my internship in college, where I worked for an HVAC controls company, so he’s literally the kind of guy I worked with back then, except it’s no longer the 90s and stuff.

So I ask him about what else he’s doing, and we commiserate about how birds get in the way. He’s never quite sure how a job will go. My husband prepped the water line that goes into the humidifier, and he had a large mechanical room to work in. The next job he’s going to today is in a closet, in a condo, and he’s not even sure water is hooked up in there. His height is another barrier – closets are not made for men over 6′ to comfortably work in generally. I hope he has good luck, but often not so much.

His manager called, and he forgot to tell that dude that he was expected tomorrow. I told him that was very important to express to the managers. While the service guy laughed, I know he understood my point. However, I think my tomorrow will run smoother despite the mix-up, and today I am working with a short time to do a few things. Luckily I’m flexible.

One of my favorite parts of listening to him today was how he didn’t have “real” tools. He even had to borrow my broom to clean up after himself. I wish I could write a note to those managers: He needs all the tools. They send him into all the jobs, and sometimes he has to call someone else to show up at a job. Every job brings something unexpected, and sometimes they’re good things- like the waterline this morning- but most often the other way. Be kind to any service people who come into your home. They most want the job to go smoothly and everything to work when they’re finished.

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