How I got a job fixing air conditioners on the ranch

I got lucky during a local raffle, and won a weeklong stay at a dude ranch out west.

If you don’t know what that is, a “dude ranch” is part working ranch, part hotel. It’s a tourist destination, where you can go to rough it just a little bit, and get your hands dirty alongside real cowboys and cowgirls. Would I have paid money for it? No way. But it was a free vacation, so I went into it wanting to have a great time – and I did. As old and rustic as the buildings are, the rooms are all air conditioned, with wifi and flat screen TVs. Day by day, I enjoyed my stay there a little bit more, and on the last night there the air conditioner in my room broke down. I didn’t have my tools with me, so I asked the lady at the front desk about having a handyman look at my AC unit. She said it would take a while, because they had to call in an HVAC contractor from the nearby town. I explained that I was an HVAC tech, and if I had a standard toolkit I could get the thing working myself in about ten minutes. The official handyman for the dude ranch came up to my room, and carefully watched me take the front panel off the AC unit and get inside of it. By the time the air conditioner was working again, the handyman was on the phone with his bosses, telling them they should hire me to work there!

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