Yelling at the Wrong Person

I have to apologize in advance.  I am really worked up over a relatively minor issue (although in my world, anything that interrupts my sleep is not minor) and now that’s about all I can think about.  Thus, that is what this blog post will be about.

My smoke detector is not working.  Again.

This summer, the stupid thing started giving false alarms.  They occur sporadically (although much more frequently at the wee hours of the morning) and don’t last very long.  The most I’ve heard at one time is three beeps in a row, but even that is enough to rush adrenaline through the veins and interrupt a good night’s sleep.  The first time I called about it, maintenance came out, changed the battery, and it was fine for a few months.

At the beginning of September, it started again.  I replaced the battery on my own, which did not resolve the issue.  I called maintenance, explained the issue, and they came out again.  And again, all they did was replace the battery.

While I was quite irked at this point – they threw away a perfectly good battery! – I decided to keep the note and wait it out.  Sure enough, ten days later, it false alarmed again.

Tomorrow I am planning to call the maintenance hotline for a third time.  The person who answers is not the person responsible for the repairs, but she will probably get the brunt of my frustration.  Keeping in mind that she just answers the phone, I will be as polite as possible while still getting my point across.  But here’s what I really want to say:

I have an ongoing problem with my primary smoke detector, and this is my third time to call about this issue.  When I called two weeks ago, I was very clear that the problem was not the battery.  Not only had I already changed the battery, which did not resolve the issue, the sound that it was making was not the beep that indicates a low battery.  The sound is instead the “wake up, you’re about to die” alarm – not something you want to hear randomly at 2am – and I am insulted that you think I’m too stupid to know the difference.  The only step that your staff took to resolve the problem was to change the battery (and dispose of a brand new battery that I had purchased, by the way) and ten days later, the smoke detector is once again alarming randomly.  Clearly the detector itself is faulty, and needs to be repaired or replaced.  If I come home to another note that says the battery was changed, I will take down the detector and it will not be going back up on my wall. 

Actually, that sounds frustrated but not too angry.  I think I will use that after all, if I can keep it in a calm tone of voice, and maybe I’ll finally get my point across!

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