This should have been restful day on the Great North American Baseball Road Trip, but the air conditioner from hell (an oxymoron? a paradox?) prevented that from occurring. The tale will now be told in full.
Over the course of the GNABRT, I am well used to hotel procedure. For the most part, that entails keeping lobbies and hallways cold and setting rooms to similar cold temperatures. Most hotels have individual climate control, either on the A/C unit or through a wall thermostat.
I’ve had a couple of “old style” hotels that use a pipe system, that means no guest gets to make a decision on the temperature; it’s controlled by someone unconcerned with your comfort, just like your Congressman.
This room had the wall thermostat method. I immediately turned it up to 78 for my comfort. For some reason, it still felt cool, so I pushed it to 79 and then finally to 80 (it would go no higher). Still it felt cool.
Worse, the vents pointed directly at the desk where I compose these majestic blogs and I could barely get a few paragraphs out without the right side of my body freezing. I decided no air would be better than cold and turned the unit off.
AND. IT. STILL. KEPT. WORKING.
Ooo wee ooo…
Now, it would alternate between heat (to get up to 80, I presume) and then cold (because, really, 80 must be a mistake). All while the thermostat tauntingly displayed the word “OFF” on its LCD.
Finally, last night, I called the front desk. The woman on the phone assured me she would be right up. An hour and several ice chips later, I called again. She assured me they would be right up.
At last, a knock came at the door. In came a man in a security uniform. Not a maintenance uniform. He walked to the thermostat where it said “OFF”. He walked to the A/C which was not blowing at that precise moment and profoundly announced, “It’s not blowing now”.
I explained the situation and he replied he had no knowledge of these things. Well, of course. He was the security guard!! What in bloody heck was the point of sending up the security guard??
The next morning, I went downstairs to talk with the man on duty at the front desk. He called the maintenance person as I was standing there. I spent a little time discussing which Primanti Bros. I should go to for lunch and how to get there before heading up to meet the maintenance man in my room.
He had been there and gone. The LCD said 76. I flung up my hands and went back downstairs where the maintenance man was explaining to the man at the desk, rightfully, that there was nothing wrong with the A/C. YEAH! Other than it won’t shut off!
Finally, being able to talk directly with the maintenance man, he explained why the OFF would not hold for long, because the safety settings in the hotel always automatically revert back to a certain level after “x” period”.
However, using the ingenuity that can only occur in a non-technological answer to a technology problem, he removed the front A/C plate and reversed the direction of the vents so that they pumped air upwards to the ceiling instead of outwards towards the desk. Problem, at last, solved. Technological tool used: screwdriver.
The day did have a highlight, however.
Taking up the offer of using the hotel shuttle, I had them drop me off on the Pittsburgh “strip” to the original store of Primanti Bros. Regular readers will remember this was the sandwich shop I was told at the Pirates game that I must visit if I never went anywhere else in Pittsburgh.
I sat at the counter and asked the servers which is the sandwich I should be ordering. Without hesitation, the lady behind the counter said the pastrami and egg. Not too excited about the egg and having had a little scrambled yellow at breakfast, I opted for the same sandwich sans egg.
So, they grill the pastrami, melt on cheese, fry up potatoes and then slap the fries on top of the pastrami and cheese. Then they drop two tomato slices on a vat of cole slaw, grab a handful and smush it on top of the previous. Cut that in half, serve it on wax paper and you have what’s showing in the blog.
It was superb. Way too big to eat, but superb.
After lunch, I wandered around Penn Ave, which is a street full of stores and sidewalk displays all selling discount merchandise (and some really good-looking fruit). Plus, it was a warm day, so I was good.
I returned from that satisfying experience to a warm room and all is right with the universe (or at least GNABRT).