Post by Jenny
Confession: I’m not a huge fan of home service calls. Having a stranger in my space feels so awkward that it completely throws me off my rhythm. I end up wandering around aimlessly, unable to focus on anything. (To be fair, it’s got to be weird for the service people, too, because they never know what they’ll find behind Door #1. A freakishly life-like doll collection? Attack iguanas? Unidentifiable odors?)
The thing I do love is waiting for the service person, because it’s an iron-clad reason to turn down all other commitments. It’s like having a sick child, but without the tissues and Tylenol. “I’m so sorry,” I’ll say to anyone needing me during this window of refusal. “I’m not available from 9-noon on Wednesday because I have to be home for the furnace repair guy.”
In actuality, I am positively giddy because I’ve just been given three hours in which I cannot grocery shop or run other errands. The dusting, vacuuming, and dishes are done, and nearly all of my family’s two thousand pairs of shoes and socks are put away—because I don’t want the stranger to think I’m a slob, after all.
Recently, I had an appointment for a furniture repair person to come look at a problem with a new recliner. He was to arrive between noon and 2, which meant I might have a couple of quiet early afternoon hours for some good writing time. But at 11:58, as I was heading to my computer, I glanced out the front window to see the truck already outside my house. A moment later, the service guy rang the bell, I let him in, he looked at the chair, I initialed a paper, and then he was gone. The whole thing took less than five minutes. I’m sure I was the only person that day who was disappointed with his prompt service.
In order to get more blocks of service call time, I could sabotage major appliances around the house. But it would be better for my checkbook—not to mention my marriage—to occasionally schedule a pretend service call. Come to think of it, our Fetzer valve has been acting up. It might need some 3-in-1 oil, gauze pads, and Quaker State antifreeze. That should take a good two hours. (Are you with me, Fletch fans?)
Do you schedule appointments for writing time?