In every culture I’ve ever encountered, gloating is, all in all, frowned upon. And it should be, because there is an element of malice in it. Lots of cultures tolerate boasting and even encourage it in the form of machismo, but boasting is to gloating what irony is to lying. It’s the element of ill will which turns our stomachs. None of us think we harbor a lot of ill will, which is silly, since only one of us was Mother Theresa. I think it was Gehlek Rimpoche who said that we all say we don’t have much anger, that we don’t think we have a problem with people, but just wait until someone accuses us of something we didn’t do; all that anger and ego will pop up, larger than life and scarier than Pee Wee Herman in a darkened movie theater. Well, I’m just going to admit that I do feel so beleaguered and harried by all the distemper amongst the engineers and contractors who’ve worked or not worked on my non-functioning solar system that I’m just going to go ahead and gloat.
I admit it. I’m gloating. The boiler is a lemon and will be replaced. It’s just like I said four months ago, when Dale called me a bitch over it. I called the area representative for the manufacturer, Laing, and explained what the boiler was doing. He said right away that the circuit board was probably bad, and he’d send me a new one directly as soon as he got back in the office. It was a five minute phone call. Four months and three ulcers later, the wind is finally at my back (but don’t expect miracles: the winds of change are blustery mothers). I also called the tekmar area rep about the controller, and he sat with me on the phone for 15 minutes, having me poke a volt meter here and there, and determined that a relay in it was bad. Fifteen minutes, people. I emailed back and forth to Pat for weeks about this.
Careless of the fact that I was doubtlessly pushing the envelope at this point, I went ahead and called the area rep for Viessman, and explained that there was fluid emerging from the body of the solar panel, so he said just send it back. Dale grilled me for an hour about how impossible it would be for it to leak, and then hung up on me. The Viessman guy said he would contact Radiant Engineering and let them know that I’d be returning a panel. That very afternoon there were 55 hits to my blog, with Dale’s name, Radient Engineering, and Jasmine+solar having been plugged into the search engine. I’m glad I figured out how to password protect myself from his unwanted probing. If the man would spend half as much energy on troubleshooting problematic systems as he does on indignation, he might get some work done.
On the other hand, perhaps I should be flattered by all the attention. They say that great art is disturbing, and obviously, I’ve disturbed quite a few people with my writing. And just in case a blog is actually some arcane form of journalism, H.L. Mencken made a pertinent point: “All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.” And perhaps I’ll take comfort in the words of Andre Gide: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”