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whitetiger
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05 Aug 2009, 2:04 pm

This is what the maintenance guy just screamed at me. He said he had to paint 2 apartments and he was in a time crunch and nobody else called him to change their lightbulbs, so why should I? He said his skills were far above the menial task of changing a lightbulb.

He scared me. I kept apologizing over and over.

You see, I am afraid to change the lightbulb. I am terrified I will break it. This is just one of my quirks.

I called the front desk and talked to the manager and told her he was mad and what he said.


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whitetiger
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05 Aug 2009, 2:20 pm

I hope this doesn't sound idiotic. This REALLY shook me up and made me want to cry.


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zena4
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05 Aug 2009, 2:32 pm

Hello whitetiger,

Next time someone is going to change the lightbulb, ask him (or her maybe) to show you how to do it.
And if it's possible for you, do it while he/she's there.

Don't you have a neighbour who could do that for you?
Even if you have to give a tip, it's ok.

Before that, you can handle one and manipulate it to see how fragile it is (not so) so you won't be afraid to change it afterwards.



anxiety25
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05 Aug 2009, 2:48 pm

What did the manager say when you called her up in response to what he did?

I mean, screaming at someone is silly over things like that. So what if he needed to paint 2 houses, you are one of the tenants and needed something to be done as well. If they sent him over to do it, then obviously he shouldn't have had a problem with it, as it's part of his job to do things like that. If they didn't see it as being part of his job, they would have told you to do it yourself and never would have told him to come over.

Maybe you can ask if another guy can come next time it happens, or convert to using lamps-they are much easier since you don't have to climb on anything and reach up to do it.



whitetiger
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05 Aug 2009, 2:52 pm

The manager said she would talk to him because it was inappropriate. I mean, he yelled as he was leaving, "Change your own lightbulbs from now on. I won't do it!"


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anxiety25
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05 Aug 2009, 2:58 pm

Well that's good that she's gonna talk to him. At least you know he's not being let go with that attitude.

Ask her if she can send someone else next time you need it done since you've had a problem with the guy she sent this time. It's not fair for you to feel uncomfortable around him all of the time when things need to be done.



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05 Aug 2009, 3:13 pm

Be careful with light bulb changing, depending on the way the house wiring is a bulb can be live even if it is switched off. I always do my own bulb changes but I am careful not to crack the glass as I screw in a bulb. If you crack the glass it is possible that you will cut yourself and or come into contact with live metal bits in your hand.


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mitharatowen
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05 Aug 2009, 3:18 pm

I can understand the paranoia you have with lightbulbs, whitetiger. They are a bit fragile, probably not as bad as you think, though. But you just have to be careful and it should be ok. I agree with the idea of handling one for a while while its not plugged in to anything to get used to the feel of it and learn how to handle them.

Have you considered using CFLs? They seem a bit sturdier to me.



whitetiger
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05 Aug 2009, 3:28 pm

Thanks all. Unfortunately, he is the only maintenance man for this whole apartment complex. He was always nice before. I don't know why he wouldn't value our previous positive relationship more than this. He really tried to make me feel ashamed of something I cannot help.

I had to take a klonopin over this. I think I took in some of the shame over not being able to do it. I mean, it's in my last psychological report that I cannot change light bulbs! I can't do any minor home maintenance. Luckily, my BF is coming home, probably in about an hour. He's been gone for 2 months. He or his friend Johnny could fix the lights for me if they go out again.

Part of me wants to call and get him to do it again just because he was and is supposed to do what the residents request. Do they really want to be liable for broken lamps or electrocution?

It's like.. Don't come into my home and give me a nasty lecture when you were sent her to help me, you prick!


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mitharatowen
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05 Aug 2009, 3:29 pm

I'd guess that you asking him to do such a 'menial' task makes him feel like a lowlife and he feels like he is 'above' such a task.



anxiety25
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05 Aug 2009, 3:34 pm

whitetiger wrote:
It's like.. Don't come into my home and give me a nasty lecture when you were sent her to help me, you prick!


Ha! Exactly! You get 'em tiger!

I would be tempted... (the warped part of me) to call every day for him to do it, lol. I wouldn't do it, of course, because it would be mean and probably asking for an argument over it... but it's a fun idea to play with in my mind.



pschristmas
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05 Aug 2009, 4:00 pm

I'm sorry you had this experience, Whitetiger. I'd think he'd be happy to get an easy call once in a while! Hopefully, the manager will be able to set him straight.

It's funny, I always used to worry about the same thing when changing lightbulbs. I finally had to just force myself do it, since no one else was going to. It was a while before I could do it without having to talk myself into it. If you know which breaker controls the room, you could flip it off and cut power to the entire room before changing the bulb. Seriously, I've done it. I thought I was the only person out there who had these weird little fears. There are several things like this, though. I still can't use matches, for instance. Terrified of the things.



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05 Aug 2009, 5:12 pm

Lightbulbs can be tricky to change, so your discomfort is understandable, and the maintenance worker's reaction baffling. At least the front desk seems helpful.

A couple of additional thoughts occur.

1. Though CLFs may appear sturdier, they are far more hazardous to you if they break. The gas inside is potentially toxic, as are any fragments. The EPA and other websits have good instructions for how to clean up a broken CFL bulb, and how to dispose of them safely (again, because of the gas inside).

2. If you are worried about changing a bulb in a live socket, unplug the lamp or light that the bulb is in (assuming the bulb is in such a light). This eliminates the electric shock risk. I've been shocked a few times. It's not a pleasant experience.

3. Wear gloves when changing bulbs. Thick rubber gloves, leather gloves, whatever. You'll virtually eliminate your risk of injury from a broken bulb, and reduce or eliminate the risk of electric shock if you touch a live bulb socket by accident.

Good luck with light bulbs in the future. I suspect this fear is rather common, given the many different light bulb jokes I've heard in my life.



whitetiger
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05 Aug 2009, 5:23 pm

Thanks everybody, for your support. I feel far less stupid now. I was just messed up after he left! Seriously messed up! Shaky, needing klonopin, fighting back tears, at the edge of meltdown.. and then everything after that just added to my overwhelm.


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Eller
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05 Aug 2009, 5:40 pm

Maybe he thought it was a prank call - after all, most people can change lightbulbs without any difficulties. It might be difficult for him to imagine there is someone without an obvious physical disability who CAN'T, so he assumed you were calling him simply to annoy him. It would explain why he was angry.