I'm no good at useful assertiveness. Normally I do absolutely nothing until I run out of patience, at which point I become incoherently enraged and yell at Brian until he calls and yells at the offending party. And THEN something gets done. It really is an ineffective way to do business, but that's what normally happens. Not this time.
Our heat has been out since Monday night, and this is one of the two weeks out of the year in Alabama when heat is actually necessary. As a result, we haven't slept at home all week. Brian and I once spent a week in Birmingham without heat or hot water in 20* temperatures, but a baby changes everything. So each day, our maintenance guy would promise that it's working now, and each afternoon, Brian would discover that he's wrong, our heat still won't come on and we have to spend another night away from home. Unfortunately, we usually realized he was wrong after business hours, and he wouldn't return our phone calls until the next morning. Three days in a row we have done this.
This morning I left a message for the maintenance man that said, "I just want to be clear. Your day does not end until my heat is working and I can go home." The result? I have the home numbers of the property manager and the maintenance man, an apology delivered in person from the rental company, reduced rent for February, a promise that they will respond in the dead of night if necessary, and, most importantly, HEAT.
I guess the cliche about a mother bear and her cubs is true.