It's been a good year for my Yuppie friend in Texas. You know the one, Jay's his name. What? Oh yeah, you're so right, he's the fellow that keeps sending out all those net trash specials. The boy wouldn't know an honest day's work if it hit him up side the head! Anyway, you should hear the stories he calls up and tells me over the phone. One petty little battle after another, and you'd think the fate of the entire free world hangs on the outcome of every one of them.
I told you he bought a hot tub this year, right? Well yes, it is kind of ridiculous to actually own something which heats water in those blistering summers they get down there, but I think it's more about owning the thing than using it. You know that! Hell yes, he told me how much he spent on his new little toy. You don't think he'd go to all the trouble of calling me long-distance, and then leave out such an important detail as that, do you? No, girl friend, you don't even wanna know.
Well, 'bout a month after they purchased the thing, the problems began. Little stuff at first, not even enough to get a Texan upset, and you know how little that takes. It seems the spa wasn't maintaining the correct temperature. Like they'd set it to be at 99 degrees, and it'd heat up to 102 degrees. Jay really didn't care too much about that, mostly cause he likes that water just as hot as he can get it.
Course, shortly after that, one of the jets in the lounge part of the spa malfunctioned, and, this being a brand new product, he said it upset both him and Karin, the lady wife, somethin' terrible.
No real problem, right? Just meant that someone from the spa store had to come out and look at the thing.
Okay, Steve comes out to look at the spa, just to make sure everything's all right. Now, Steve doesn't actually work for the spa store; oh no, he's a contractor that the spa company hires to do service calls. Yeah, you got it, just another way of distancing yourself from the responsibility of backing up what you sell. It's the wave of the future. Anyhoo, Steve pokes around for a little bit, puts on a good show of knowing what he's doing, and then reports back to Jay and Karin that everything is just hunky dory! The jet in the lounge had some debris caught under it, but he's removed that.
"Isn't the spa supposed to filter out debris?" Jay asks.
"Well yes," replies Steve, "but not this kind of sand. It's a little too heavy, and you're supposed to vacuum that out yourself."
I know, you can see the hook coming, can't you? Yes, Slick Steve was just working around to telling them that it was really all there fault. Of course, that would've been bad enough, but Karin feels compelled to say something.
"We just had our roof redone," says she, "perhaps some of the sand from that got in there when we were inside it with the cover open."
"That must be it," gloats Steve, vindicated beyond his wildest expectations. "And, of course, we can't be held responsible for that."
Jay makes a couple of vain comments about how there were only a few grains of sand, and tries to ask whether they've ever sold a hot tub in a sandy state like New Mexico, but it's all over except for the cryin'!
Well now, Slick Steve must've been riding high, cause he starts in with a lecture as to how they should take care of their new spa. He as much as implied they were fools, and goes into excruciating detail about water changes, filtering cycles, cleaning the cover, and so on. When they finally get rid of him, the tone for all their future interactions has been set, and it ain't a good tone.
The overheating problem never goes away, and, Jay and Karin, who are terrified of another visit from Slick Steve, simply reduce the temperature until it's in the range they want. Then, Karin begins noticing that droplets of water seem to be getting caught inside the digital display. Jay reluctantly calls the company, and they say they'll send someone out. When, after a week, they still have not been visited by Slick Steve or anyone else, Jay asks Karin to call them again, as he's off working with someone in Dallas.
Karin calls the spa company, and is told to call the subcontracting company that Slick Steve owns. She dutifully does so, and is told that they never received a fax asking them to service the spa. She is told to call someone else at the spa company, and that they can't service the spa until they receive this magical fax. Karin calls the spa company again, but cannot reach the person she's been told to talk to. In tears, she reports back to Jay, predictions of doom, death, and destruction intermixed with her story of woe.
Jay is thoroughly unamused by all this foolishness, and is probably thinkin' about that first phone call to me where he bragged about getting this new Yuppie toy. He calls the spa company, speaks to their salesperson about shady and/or incompetent business practices, and extracts a promise from them to take care of this whole thing just as soon as possible. Now, you'd expect that, having been properly chastened, Slick Steve and company would've rushed out to the Brown residence, and corrected this little oversight as quickly as possible. Tain't the case. In fact, the spa at the Brown home is now completely dead. Yeppers, you guessed it, all that water leaking into the display shorted something out, and now nothing works.
Another week goes by, and Jay doesn't see or hear hide nor hair of anybody spa related. It's almost Karin's birthday though, and he can only summon up a small amount of rage to hurl at the spa company.
"I'm going to San Francisco to celebrate my wife's birthday," says he to a person at spa central. "Get it fixed before I get back, or there will be Hell to pay. Got it? I did not spend X amount of money to have a useless piece of plastic and wood full of stagnant water sitting in my back yard."
"Surely now," you'll be thinkin', "it's not inconceivable that the spa company finally redeemed themselves, is it?" Yeah, and if you believe that, I've got some prime ocean front property in Arizona I've been holding on to for just the right person.