Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Earthmovers, bulldozers, diggers, they're often referred to in a somewhat negative way, earth-rippers, despoilers of the planet.
But on my way home from work today, a different side of the heavy plant story occurred to me, when I saw this...
Yes, when the men in hard-hats and steel-toed boots leave the site, the laughter and swearing's fading, engines are hushed, it's then, and only then, that you'll see the protective, nurturing instincts of a mother excavator.
Recently, I was told to put on my heating-repair-guru hat, and go try solve the chilly woes of a tenant. This guy rents several thousand square feet of warehousing plus an office from us. He grumbles, bitches and moans, perpetually, about every little thing. A squeaking door hinge, a flickering light, a smell nobody else can detect. Usually these complaints come just after he's received a reminder that his rent payment is overdue. He rents the building on what is referred to as a full repairing lease, meaning that he's responsible for the interior state of the buildings, anything that fails or needs maintenance is up to him, when the lease ends, or is renewed, the premises must be in as good a state of repair and decoration as they were when the lease was signed.
We will do all the works, if required, and charge them to the tenant. This guy chose to get another contractor to do his heating service and repair, because he thought we were too expensive.
So, since the end of september, his heating in the warehouse has not worked. He got his contractor to service it, and the guy issued a certificate to say all was working correctly. He got his contractor to come back and fault-find the unit. Their diagnosis was that the ignition-control unit was shot, and very expensive to replace. They quoted him several thousand pounds for a new heater, which they said was only sensible, as, if they replaced the ignition, who could say something else, like the gas-valve, might be just waiting to expire? He hired mobile, (and expensive to run), heaters for his warehouse staff but only after they'd threatened to walk out.
Then, as a last resort, he rang our office and asked for me to come and quote for fixing the problem.
I started by undoing two screws, on the timer control, this is what I found.
Can you, dear reader, repair the heater for a minimal fee? In ten seconds or less?
Might the service contractor be either: a- incompetent, or: b- dishonest?