Monday, September 21, 2015

A/C update... updated

My company's building manager (whom I met in the lobby this evening, and who was a wee bit tipsy) will be invading my apartment tomorrow around 2PM, while I'm at work. He and a third A/C guy will be there,* presumably to replace the old, outdated, malfunctioning unit that sits across the hall from me, hidden from view by heavy, louvered shielding.

It's like a riddle, isn't it? "How many Koreans does it take to fix an A/C?" Thus far, the answer seems to be five: (1) the A/C service guy who works inside our building, and who passed the buck along; (2) the Samsung guy who came yesterday, did nothing, and declared the hallway unit would need to be replaced; (3) the guy at HR whom I had emailed regarding my situation; (4) the building manager, whom I just met downstairs; and (5) the other repair guy who, presumably, will be replacing the old hallway unit, per the Samsung guy's prophecy.

Shall we go for six? How many other people can we involve?

This is a country in which things almost never go linearly from A to B. My boss told me his horror story late last week: his car began to overheat while he was driving along; he pulled off and called his go-to service center for help. As it turned out, he hadn't placed the gas cap on his radiator correctly, so the liquid had boiled and the cap had popped off and disappeared. No more cap. All my boss needed was for someone to drive out with a new cap and some water (or whatever) to stick in the radiator. This simple request proved almost impossible to fulfill.

"We don't have radiator caps," my boss was told by the go-to service guy.

"Can't you drive around and find an auto shop that sells them? I'll pay," replied my boss.

"Uh... we'll send a tow truck to tow your car to a center that has radiator caps and water," said the go-to service guy.

That's the Korean way: make the work five times harder than it needs to be.

More on (yeah... moron) this air-conditioned comedy as it happens.

The BM (heh) also told me that I'd start receiving bills next month, and that my first bill would be a bit jacked up because its pay period will include all of September plus a few days in August. Not a problem; I'd already been warned about the "admin fee" that I'd be charged for living here; it'll normally come to around W150,000 or W200,000, which is a damn sight better than paying $500-$800 a month for rent.

*I had to send HR my door-lock entry code so that the guys can get in tomorrow. I hate doing that because it means I have to change the code yet again. The first time around, the building manager helped me with setting the code, but he did so by asking me that code I was going to use, then typing that four-digit number onto a notepad on his cell phone. So after he left, I sifted through the Korean instructions on the door lock and figured out, for myself, how to change the code again. I did so, but now I have to reveal that code to these jokers. Very annoying. I'm running out of clever four-digit numbers. (And yes, I realize that I can make longer code strings than four digits, but using "8675309" seems rather trite. Maybe I could go for "e": 2.718281828459045. Or maybe a Fibonacci sequence. Or perhaps Dolly Parton's measurements from when she was in her prime...?)


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