A Parable

Sometimes you need to stay in your lane.
Feb | 22 | 2024
  Feb | 22 | 2024
BY Phil Simon
  Phil Simon

A Parable

Sometimes you need to stay in your lane.
Phil Simon
Feb | 22 | 2024

A Parable

TL;DR: Sometimes you need to stay in your lane.
Phil Simon
Feb | 22 | 2024

As I write these words in my home, it’s a little chilly. I suspect that it’s 65 degrees, up a few from last night.

It’s been that way since Thursday when I noticed that the heater didn’t seem to be working anymore. I called the gas company, but the rep told me that there was no area-wide outage. Nope, the problem was mine—and I’d need to get it fixed.

Next step: See what my Nest Thermostat had to say:

I then did a little digging and watched a few YouTube videos. It took me all of about ten minutes to realize that I was way out of my depth. Yeah, the message helped a skosh, but the source of the issue could have been dozens of things: wiring, furnace, pilot light, fuse, or something totally different. It was high time to call a professional if I wanted the heat to work.

I asked my neighbor for a recommendation and, as luck would have it, he told me that a skilled HVAC guy was fixing a similar problem at his house right now. I walked over, made a quick intro, and asked him to swing by when he finished his current job.

He did.

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Enter Brett—the affable, sixty-something HVAC specialist who quickly ascertained what’s what. Long story short: My instincts were correct. The problem wasn’t anything I anticipated or could solve on my own. Brett and his brother purchased the right replacement parts, installed them, and ran tests to verify that all was well. As a thank-you, I gave Brett a signed copy of The Nine.

He looked at me as if I came from another planet and asked, “How do you write books?”

I smiled and replied, “How do you figure out complicated air and heating problems so fast?


We both chuckled. Brett left with a free book, and I can now adjust my house temperature as I see fit.

What You Need to Know

Curiosity is wonderful, but it’s imperative to know when to take control and when to stay in your lane. (Cue Dirty Harry quote.) Whether fixing your heating or crafting your book, rely on skilled and experienced professionals who know what they’re doing.

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