Saturday, July 22, 2006

You have to haggle

Yesterday I broke down and bought an air conditioner. I calculated that the cost of infinite iced coffees out at air-conditioned coffee shops all summer long is probably higher than that of the machine and the increased electric bill; that it's not worth renting an apartment if I end up moving back with my parents, who have air conditioning; that my fan is loud and pointless; that I am weak and pampered and can't take the heat.

So I went to PC Richards, near the Atlantic Center, and asked what they had that fit what my building's super said I should look for. The cheapest such model was out of stock, and the next up, which had all sorts of useless functions, like you can program it to turn on ten minutes before you get home, cost far too much. I wavered, asked about cheaper models, and otherwise, in my decade-old rain jacket, looked somewhat the worse for wear. The salesman knocked the price down a bit. I was surprised, and desperate, so I said fine, let's do business.

As he was ringing me up, I noticed what the price was with tax. As I was in fact born yesterday, I hadn't taken sales tax into consideration, so before handing my card over, I said I'd go across to Target before making a final decision. At this point, he lowered the price once more, and said he'd keep it that low even once I'd returned from Target. Which I did soon enough, once I learned that the Target did not have any air conditioners. I'm not going to say how much this monstrosity ended up costing, other than that it would have been a really, really, really great pair of shoes at the Barneys Warehouse Sale.

So I'm outside of PC Richards, waiting for a cab to take me the millimeter to my apartment. No cabs in sight going in the right direction. A man with no particular identification asks me, "Taxi?" "Yes," I say. "Ten dollars." That is not a $10 cab ride. "Sorry." I would just wait for a normal cab. That was absurd. "Eight dollars." "Sorry." I stood for another maybe fifteen minutes, when he finally said, "Six dollars." I caved, and was it worth it? Hard to say--I now need to haggle my way to an air-conditioner installation-- I neither own nor know how to operate a drill. At least I now have a use for the remaining two square feet of floor space in my room.


Anonymous said...

The great thing about living in Indiana is that everything is about 10 times cheaper,we have more floor space and most I know have central air conditioning. I think it's because Hoosiers are sissies and can't take the heat. The only problem is wanting to live in Indiana. I'm not trying to rub things in and I hope the thing gets installed easier than it was obtained.

Anonymous said...

If you are still having problems maybe I can help you install your air.
-- Ling