Published December 2015, snipsmag.com.
I recently moved into a four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath rental home in a metro Detroit suburb. Although I’m a recent graduate, this isn’t my first time living outside of my parent’s house. I’ve had stints in multiple dorm rooms and apartments. However, I’ve quickly learned that signing a year-and-a-half lease for a three-story home, even if it is just a rental, is much different from renting a small garden unit apartment in northern Chicago.
While each of them have quirks, so to speak, the house has a lot more of them. Until recently, I’ve only had to deal with small issues when it comes to the places I’ve lived, such as a leaky faucet, dodgy door handle, etc. In the house, however, there’s more to be concerned with, more details to pay attention to.
It’s these details of the house that fueled one of the more embarrassing moments of my young adult life. About two weeks after moving in, it started to get cold outside. Not ridiculously cold, but cold enough where my three roommates and I decided it was appropriate to turn on the heat.
We did what made sense and went to turn on the heat using our thermostat. Nothing happened. Not only was there no heat coming out of the vents, but there wasn’t even anything displaying on the thermostat screen. We unanimously decided that the thermostat was broken, and we’d have to call the landlord to have it fixed.
We put it off for a couple days and bundled up in blankets and multiple layers of socks to keep warm. (Millennials are known for procrastinating, right?) It was during this time that I was having a casual phone conversation with my dad. He wanted to check out my new place, so I mentioned that the thermostat wasn’t working and he’d probably feel pretty cold when he stopped by.
His immediate response: “Did you check the batteries?”
Oh, the batteries.
No, nobody had checked the batteries. All it took was a couple double A batteries, and our thermostat debacle was fixed. There was no need to alert the landlord, and there was certainly no need to bring out an HVAC sales technician.
Maybe it was just a rookie mistake, or perhaps a super obvious oversight, but regardless, I like to think that the situation taught me a decent amount. Like, how sometimes the simplest solution is the right one, and even if I consider myself to be relatively smart and put together, I don’t actually know it all and can sometimes benefit from the guidance of others.
Coincidentally enough, along with moving into the house, I’ve also moved into a new job title as the associate editor for SNIPS. I’m excited to be a part of the SNIPS team and to get to know you (the readers) better. Just like my house, I know there’s a lot I have yet to learn about the HVAC market and sheet metal forming industry. And again, just like the house, I’m sure I’ll embarrass myself along the way.
Yet, if there’s anything I’ve taken away from embarrassing experiences, other than the urge to bury my head under my covers and wish that they never happened, is that they help you grow, and they make you better at whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. We all stumble along the way and mess up, whether it’s in a new job, new home or new responsibilities, and being able to laugh it off and accept your mistakes for what they are is somewhat crucial.
So, with that being said, readers: challenge me, correct me and tell me if I’m wrong. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know what HVAC/sheet metal topics you’d like to see more of in the magazine. In return, I’ll do my absolute best to provide you with the coverage and information that you need to know.