Air conditionerRecently, the A/C company we use came and did their yearly inspection. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage took them around to the places that needed inspection. Everything turned out to be quite well and there were no problems.

That got me thinking of what happened many years ago with another company that did our A/C work. At the time, we didn’t know any company in that industry so we had to take some company that we did not know that much about, which is usually not a good idea.

The first company thought they knew exactly what they would do and how they would do it. They had no idea they had to deal with The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. They were in for a lesson in customer service.

I remember the first day they arrived, I introduced them to my wife and told them that she would oversee this inspection. One guy laughed as he looked at me, and then looked at the other guy; both laughed and said, “This is our expertise. We’ll take charge right here.”

That was when I had an opportunity to laugh. I knew what was coming, and I also knew they had no idea what was coming.

My job was to turn the situation over to The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and then excuse myself to my office. Then, of course, I ensured I was within listening distance of what would happen.

My wife said, “If you follow me, I will take you to where you need to begin.”

The one guy laughed and said, “Ma’am, you don’t know what you’re doing; this is our job, we’ll take it from here.”

It was all I could do to keep from laughing hysterically out loud.

“This is my house, and you will do exactly as I say.” Then, with both hands on her hips, she gave them her infamous stare.

The only thing I regretted was not recording this for future entertainment. These guys thought they could boss her around because The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was a woman. The only thing I could think of was these guys were bachelors. Only a bachelor could entertain such a crazy idea.

“Okay,” my wife said, “you either come where I tell you or get out of my house.” She said it in such a way that even those two stooges understood exactly what she was saying.

She then took them to the first place to check the A/C unit, very solemnly following her to the first point.

They checked it out, and then she took them to the rest of those points for their inspection.

Then they told my wife they needed to go out to their truck and put together their estimate of our A/C inspection.

They were outside for about half an hour, then came in with their estimate and handed it to my wife.

She looked at it, then looked back at them and said, “What is this all about?”

“Those are the things,” the one guy said very seriously, “that need to be replaced on your unit.”

I don’t quite remember, but I think it was over $1,000 that they had added up.

Unfortunately for them, they thought their job was done.

“I do not think any of this is necessary,” she said very seriously.

They looked at her and were not smiling. One of them said, “Ma’am, what do you mean?”

“All this stuff you want to replace is unnecessary for our unit.” She paused for a while and then said, “There is nothing wrong with our A/C unit. This is just a yearly checkup that we already paid for.”

They looked at each other, and then looked back at my wife not knowing what to say.

She looked at the estimate sheet they gave her and said, “Which one of these items needs to be replaced?”

Then she said, “This A/C unit is only a year old. There is no reason that any parts need to be replaced within a year.”

They really didn’t have much to say at this point because they were beginning to see who they were up against.

“We’ll take this to our manager for him to look at, and he will get back to you tomorrow.”

They picked up their tools and escaped the parsonage as quickly as possible. Actually, they were escaping The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage to be truthful.

I must say it was one of my better days, and I enjoyed every moment of it almost as much as an Apple Fritter. But, as far as I remember, that manager never got back to us about all the stuff they wanted to replace in our A/C unit.

My wife found another company to service our A/C unit. It took her a while to find a company that she could trust. Finally, she did.

As I was reflecting on all of this I couldn’t help but think of what Solomon said in Proverbs 18:2-3: “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.”

I have found myself acting like a fool in many regards but I have tried to discipline myself in getting away from those foolish ideas. With God’s help, I have been delighting in understanding. I’m not there yet, but I am progressing day by day.

Rev James Snyder videoDr. James L. Snyder, is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. James is an award winning author whose books are available at

Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected]. The church web site is

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