I’ve Been Robbed

True story. Last night, a stranger came to our door. I let him in, and he stayed for about 30 minutes. He left with $1,069.

That’s the short version.

When B arrived home last night with the boys, the furnace was making a weird sound and the house smelled like burnt plastic. As neither of us are licensed furnace repair people, we called in an expert for a special after-hours visit ($169 plus tax).

About an hour later, a man pulled up in a repair van and I led him to the basement. He unscrewed the furnace cover and poked around for a second. “Weird noise, burnt smell…looks like you got yourself a broken blower motor” he said.

He pulled out a laminated sheet from his file folder and pointed to a number. “That’s what it’ll cost to replace it. I think I might have a new motor in the truck.”

The number he was pointing to was $770. Plus tax.

It’s a weird position to be in. A stranger is in my house, there’s no heat, it’s getting colder outside, and he wants me to give him $1,000 on the spot to make it all better. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had “SUCKER” written all over me. It’s the same feeling I get when the mechanic says “You need a new something-something and we had to replace the thingamajig.”

Of course I said yes, and we’re the proud owners of a beautiful new blower motor. It’s not exactly the Christmas present I had in mind for my wife, but I think she’ll appreciate my attempt to spread holiday warmth throughout the entire house.

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