Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A/C redux

So yesterday (Monday), I navigated, with some difficulty, the phone tree ("press 1 for option A, 2 for option B") to get hold of an LG appliance-service representative. This was a real test of my listening-comprehension abilities in Korean, and I have to admit I guessed a couple times. Eventually, I ended up speaking to an actual human being. She was very polite, but we kept talking over each other because she insisted on talking in a way that included plenty of unnecessary, scripted phrases (all to keep "on brand," I suppose). She asked me about the exact model of air conditioner I had, whether it was new (it wasn't; I told her it looked old and had already been hanging around in my apartment when I moved in last year), whether the A/C was physically mounted on the wall or a free-standing device (you'd think she'd know, based on the model number), whether the A/C leaked when the device was on, etc. She said they could send out a repairman at 3 p.m. the next day (i.e., today), but I told her to send someone in the morning. She replied that the earliest available slot would be Thursday morning at 9 a.m., so I said okay to that. She then told me that there'd be a fee of just under W19,000, which I'd been primed to expect by bosses and colleagues who had gone through similar experiences. No sweat.

Now, if there's one thing I know about scheduled repairs—and this seems to be as true in the States as it is in Korea—it's that the repairman never shows up at the appointed hour. For that reason, I'm glad we scheduled the visit for 9 in the morning because, even if the guy doesn't show up until noon, I'll still be in my place. (I normally leave for work sometime after noon.)

Thursday will be the first of August. Hard to believe that July is already done, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to the end of summer and the advent of fall. In Korea, August is arguably harsher than July (all heat and humidity, with no monsoon to cool you), and September is basically a summer month as well, for most of its length. Things begin to cool down at the very end of September, and mid-October is when the switch flips and the real coolness settles in, along with the glorious change in color of all the leaves. I still haven't gotten the okay from our HR department yet, but in theory, I'll be walking across South Korea again starting at the tail end of September. Hiking mostly through October is going to be absolutely awesome, although I do kind of dread any cold rain that might head my way. This time around, though, I'll have a waterproof poncho with me, plus a rain shield that can cover my entire Gregory backpack.

But hiking the Four Rivers trail again is still a ways off. I have weeks and weeks to plan and prepare. Let's concentrate, for the moment, on getting the A/C fixed.

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