My heater is fixed.
Before I tell you how, it IS noteworthy to mention that I did try to fix the problem myself (it’s that little bit of unapologetic narcissism that allows me to think that I am capable of such things) by unscrewing the grill cover (turning off the power at the breaker first) and peering intently at the complex coils, fans and wires that comprise my heater. Immediately upon removing the cover, I realized I had no idea what I was doing and spent the next 15 minutes trying to put it back on, as the screw holes in the wall are conveniently located juuuuuuust a few millimeters off from their cover counterparts and thus requiring a tremendous amount of patience for the cover’s replacement (which I, naturally, do not possess).
So this morning I answered a knock at my door wearing my best (read: threadbare but warm) fleece bathrobe to discover Mr. Maintenance Man on the other side, having come at the most inopportune time to fix my heater. This is exactly the situation I was trying to avoid (read previous posts below). He stumped into my place, toolbelt jangling and making pleasantries in an unrecognizable but heavy accent, fiddled with the knob (duh) and in two deft turns of a screwdriver had the grill cover of the heater on the floor (damn him). “Ahhhhh,” he said knowingly, “it needs to be reset.”
Who knew wall heaters had a reset button?!
A tap of the finger and – tada! – heat was flowing into my apartment once again.
Damn the simplicities of modern technology and all the complications that ensue as a result of them. In the words of Judge Smails, “The world needs ditch-diggers too”…or in this case, maintenance men.