Memoirs of an HVAC Technician
Not a Creature Was Stirring
After climbing up to access a ceiling-hung heating unit in a warehouse area, our technician found he was unable to see the very top of the unit where some dust and debris had caused the unit’s fan to stop operating properly. Our man was on a mission, however, and (after disconnecting power to the unit, of course) reached bravely and blindly into the area to find and dislodge the obstruction. While running his fingers over the fan, he discovered the culprit, a sizeable clump of dust and debris that was causing the problems. Feeling rather good about his work, he examined his find – which turned out to be a rather disagreeable clump of petrified rodent right there in the middle of his naked palm. Though a normally level-headed bloke, the unexpected arrival of a crusty critter on his bare hand was too much for our man, who in his words, “shrieked like a girl” and flung the little mouse across the room. The airborne mouse fortunately missed the several startled employees who happened to be nearby – making the odd display the highlight of their previously dull workday. Anything to entertain our fans…
Hickory Dickory Dock
When servicing an outside condensing unit, you expect to see all manner of insect, perhaps the odd bird’s nest here and there, but one spring afternoon, when our technician removed the outer panel and leaned in to peer at the compressor, he was surprised to find himself nose to nose with a field mouse. Surprised out of his afternoon nap, the mouse, not bothering with slippers or a robe, darted out the only escape route available to it – directly at the tech’s face. Being the brawny, masculine man that he was, the technician assures me that he did not shriek like a scared little girl as the mouse nearly scaled the end of his nose. He maintains that he quickly but calmly backed away with naught but a very manly grunt of surprise before he allowed the little critter to escape. Unfortunately, there were no witnesses to contradict his story…
One clever technician dreamed up a scheme, inspired by his childhood gull-feeding beach adventures, to thwart his flying nemesis. Figuring that no self-respecting gull can resist the snack foods of his youth, the technician brought a gigantic bag of buttered popcorn to the roof with him in the hopes that it would provide sufficient distraction to let him repair in peace. When a generous sprinkling of popcorn at the far corner of the roof immediately drew the gulls attention, our ingenious technician declared, “Victory!” and proceeded to the offending rooftop unit to begin his day. Within minutes the gulls realized that their benefactor had slipped away to what must have been their nesting area. Angered by the deception, the gulls quickly plotted their revenge, flanked the technician, and proceeded to drive him off of their roof in a flurry of flapping wings and stabbing beaks.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
A duct installation job brought two technicians into the dark recesses between wall sections of a local trash-to-energy plant. After an exhausting day of squeezing in and out of about a two-foot wide area in almost total darkness seeing nothing more unpleasant than theoccasional cobweb, it wasn’t until the last trek between the walls to finish up the project, that one of the technicians caught a small movement out of the corner of an eye. A quick double-take revealed the movement to actually be two curious little glowing eyes staring anxiously back from a deep corner of the small space. Before the technician was able to fetch his partner, the two small eyes, suddenly became six. Some sort of wall-poltergeist angry for the intrusion? A hallucination caused by too long a work day in tight socks? Now alarmed and fearing the worst, the technician slowly began backing his way out of the enclosure with all six glowing little eyes following his every move. Fortunately, our hero emerged unscathed from his encounter, narrowly escaped death and dismemberment from the mysterious glowing eyes of what turned out to be a very cute, but very irritated family of raccoons.