Lois is Always Right

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OK, the title might be a slight exaggeration. In the 26 years that Lois and I have been together, I am reasonably sure that she’s been wrong at least once, perhaps even twice. 😉

Of course, being a man, I still argue (like a blithering idiot), until (yet again), she ends up being right. 🙁

I could set up a completely separate blog about this topic alone, and write a new story every single day, and never run out of content. Instead, I’ll just cover three very recent examples, and try not to let the length of this one post get too out of hand.

In our apartment, we have had horrendous problems over the years with clanging pipes. Randomly, 24 hours a day, you could hear one or a series of loud bangs, sounding like someone was banging on the pipes with a hammer. In the middle of the night, it wakes us up, and during the day, it makes Lois jump whenever it occurs.

About 18 months ago, after trying everything they could think of, the super tried the one last possible thing. They shut off the water and blew the air out of the pipes. Amazingly, the noise stopped completely!

Nine months ago, it began again, with a vengeance. We immediately told the super that the problem was back, and could be blow the pipes again. I’ll spare you the nine months of excuses, and sheer idiocy of his responses, but, he never did it. Most people would have given up. Lois isn’t most people.

She waged an escalating campaign with the management agent (which also led nowhere for months!), eventually reaching the owner of the management company. Finally, last Friday, they blew the air out of the pipes. Did the noise stop? You betcha. It is simply inconceivable that the same super who successfully solved this problem 18 months ago was so pigheaded this time around.

Second, Insurance. We received our annual homeowners insurance bill two weeks ago. When Lois saw the premium, which was up a small amount (again, as it is every year), she immediately called the company. She pointed out that we’ve had the house insured for 19 years, have never made a claim, and yet were watching our bills ratchet up dramatically.

Our original policy was with Geico, but in 1997 they exited the homeowners business, and automatically transfered us to Travelers, and we’ve been with them ever since. When the policy was transfered, it had risen by 33% in 9 years. In the next 10, under Travelers, it has risen an additional 33% (over the transfered premium!) so that it was now slightly more than double the original premium.

The representative that Lois got was not sympathetic. In fact, she was downright threatening. She told Lois that if she insisted on re-rating the policy, it could easily go up, perhaps way up, and that we’d be better off leaving things alone. She told that to the wrong person. 😉

After asking for a supervisor, and getting the same exact nonsense, Lois tasked me with doing some research. I was not happy about it.

To make a long story short, while I took care of everything, which I wasn’t happy about, Lois was really right. In the end, I signed up with Hartford yesterday, and my new premium is less than half of our Travelers premium, and is less than our original premium when we first insured the house! To add insult to injury, my new deductible is 20% of the one I had with Travelers. I could drop my new premium even further if I was willing to live with the old deductible.

Of course, I fought her along the way. At one point, I made the mistake of telling her that even if we could save money, it would likely be $200, and simply wasn’t worth the trouble. She enjoyed throwing that in my face yesterday, as the savings are not only dramatically more than that, but they are also annual, as in the gift that keeps on giving.

I got five quotes, and the worst one was cheaper than what Travelers was charging us. Just for yucks, Lois called Travelers yesterday (before we signed), to give them one last chance to do the right thing. They didn’t, and they’ve now lost a good customer.

Last one (for the moment). I reported here that we had bad dampers on our heating system. As a follow-up to that, I also reported here that we had bad service associated with replacing the dampers.

When Lois hears a noise, she can usually intuit whether something bad is about to happen or not. Of course, I argue every time that it’s just normal, even though it rarely is…

So, for the past two weeks, she has been complaining to me that every time our heat kicks in, there is a strange whistling noise, and when it shuts off, there is a thud. I heard the thud, but didn’t think it to be unusual.

Over my objections, she called the heating company and scheduled an appointment to check it out. That happened yesterday afternoon. The guy started out as unbelieving as me, and was borderline rude to Lois. Once he (finally) tuned in to her complete frustration with him, and to the fact the she wasn’t going to let him bully her with his attitude, he actually started paying attention to what she was saying.

Once he did that, he agreed to open up the heating ducts to check out the new dampers. Voila, he said they were installed incorrectly! He worked for over two hours, reinstalling them, and (shock, shock), no noises on startup and shutdown.

He told Lois that if it hadn’t been corrected, the motors would have likely burned out much sooner than normal, so it was a good thing that she called.

Even though he was rude to begin with, he took his job seriously, and apparently did it well. Lois tipped him quite generously. Of course, this shocked him, and he tried hard to refuse it. Again, she won. 😉

Is there a lesson here? Sure, Lois is always right! Have I learned that lesson? Of course not! Without a doubt, I’ll be arguing (probably shortly, even today) over whatever the next issue is. 😉