I realized at an early age that I had a few quirky personality traits. Being a wee bit obsessive when it came to problem solving, negotiating anything, finishing most projects (note I said most – you should see my desk!) even if it would take until 3 in the morning, has on several occasions just about done me in. And frequently, particularly when I was younger, I would try to hide this trait under a bushel basket.
In most instances, the obsessivness – or profound stick-stick-to-itivness 😉 – has worked in my favor. My clients liked it because on first meetings, I introduced myself as a pit-bull with lipstick. I told them I would negotiate almost to the death to save them money, follow up to make sure they got what they paid for, and to assure they not pay one cent more then the agreed upon budget.
In some instances, like on an early date shortly after I met the man who would be my husband, not so much. I had cooked dinner for him, and some point the garbage disposal decided it did’t like what I was feeding it, and stopped eating, leaving swampy, watery ick in the sink. I tried to fix it, but it was time to sit down to dinner. For most people that would have been it until after dinner. I, on the other hand, couldn’t relax and enjoy the meal until I had fixed the disposal. It was amazing he stayed until the end of the date!
We have recently moved west from a warm to a cold area and brought our hot tub with us. I had asked the company who packed it up if there would be any issue of the lines freezing and was told no, when we tip it up the water in the lines will run out. Yeah, right, as I found out a little too late at the new house….
We moved in, called the local company to get the spa up and running, and found out….some of the lines were frozen which resulted in the heater being destroyed. With that came a constant drip of water where the heater was trying to become disengaged from one of the lines. After a weekend of a work light being hung in the spa electronics compartment, and a sump pump dropped in the spa water to circulate and warm the water to prevent further freezing, I called the local spa folks to see what my next steps were.
They were fairly certain that based on my description, the lines had thawed, and I should be able to remove the sump pump and begin circulating the water with the spa pump. With the front of the spa removed ( oh yeah…I’ll try to fix most mechanical things, too), the spa folks on the phone with me, I turned on the spa pump…..and no movement of water. I told them it looked like two lines were still mostly frozen, which they doubted, so they told me how to remove the parts and pieces to start a prime. I told them I’d call them back with my progress.
Well….I couldn’t do it because the clamps were very cold, as was the heavy plastic line which was as hard as steel from the cold. And dammit….I had a pretty good idea the lines were still mostly frozen no matter what they said. I thought about some of the unique ways I had fixed things and realized that if 104 degree water could run through those thick plastic lines for days, weeks and months on end, hitting them with the heat from a blow dryer would help determine if they were indeed frozen.
I grabbed the blow dryer, and for 3-4 hours while plunked on the cold, snowy ground, would heat the lines for a bit, then try to turn on the spa pump to see if there was water moving. I was sure I was seeing more air in the lines, and because of the heat, I was able to squeeze them to speed up the thawing process.
After quite a few cold hours, and with pit-bull obsessiveness locked onto the project….YYIIPPPEEE!!! I was rewarded with moving water!! I called the spa folks back to let them know the lines had still been frozen, but the water was moving and asked when could they come up to fix the heater. Because I negotiate to the death, I also called the parent company who makes the spas, told them their vendor in the south had failed to blow out the lines which had caused the damage to the heater and now needed to be replaced. After a bit on the phone with them they came around to my way of thinking and agreed to replace the heater…..at no charge.
I could have thrown in the towel and been cranky – OK…REALLY pissy – that our spa was broken due to somebody else’s lack of attention to detail. I could have accepted that we’d have to spend $450 for the heater plus the labor charge, to fix the hot tub just to get it over and done with, but I didn’t. I rounded up my quirky personality trait, clamped onto the problem, and solved it to our benefit. It took a bit of time, a cold butt and obsessive determination, but I know the world should never, EVER, underestimate the power of a pit bull with lipstick.