Friday, March 11, 2011

News of the ridiculous

1. The landline that was fixed Wednesday had no dial tone again yesterday. I called Comcast and they said they could send someone the next day. I said how about same day since I am using too many cell phone minutes.

The rep said the system would not allow her to add another appointment. I'm getting a little prickly after days of dialing contractors and shivering in the cold, so I asked if Comcast wanted to pay my cell phone bill. The woman said their billing department will credit me for my days without service. OK, whatever.

2. The plumber didn't show. This is the one who was supposed to call yesterday to say when he was coming that morning to fix the leak in a basement pipe. There is a bucket under the pipe, but when I checked, it was overflowing. The plumber said he was down to one instead of two trucks and his crew had more work than it could handle.

I had called his office to say please use the cell phone because the landline was down. Then I waited most of the morning. I called again and he said he hadn't gotten my message about not using the house phone and had left a message on it saying that he couldn't come.

He said all I had to do was empty the bucket and call another plumber whose name he gave me. Thanks, bud. (Actually his name is Bob, so, thanks, Bob.) I did put a mask on to check the basement for water; it was OK, so Meryl did not have to come. But emptying a heavy bucket filled with stale water is not in my repertoire. Somewhat frantically, I started calling other plumbers.

3. The critter control guy came to fill in the hole around the bottom of the beam where the squirrel probably came in. He kindly said he would empty the bucket for me. He squirted some gunk into the hole, but it didn't stick, landing in a pile on the cellar floor. He said all I had to do was go down and pick up the gunk in a couple of days after it hardens. This is not in my repertoire either.

Maybe I gave him a look, because he quickly said he would come next week and clean up the mess. Then he gave me the bill: $278. I told him I thought the price was $199. No, I must have heard the quote wrong. It was $199 for the inspection and setting the trap, and $79 for removing the squirrel and releasing it.

Excuse me? For $79, I could have opened the trap myself. I asked him where he releases his captors, and he said he and his girlfriend let them go in the woods about 20 miles from here, near where she lives. So I'm paying for his romantic outing?

4. My toilet started flushing on its own.

On the positive side:

1. Another plumber actually came yesterday to fix the leaky pipe. I greeted him with enthusiasm, saying, "I am SO glad to see you." He obviously did not know the background, and I think I might have sounded unhinged. "Good to see you, too," he said, eyeing me strangely (or so I thought). He also fixed the toilet.

2. I have heat. I am still in that stage where I so appreciate something I took for granted that was taken away from me.

3. I peeked downstairs, and although it is pouring, the basement is dry.

4. Sometimes I worry that I will run out of things to write about. All this ridiculousness gives me plenty of material.


Ann said...

Good grief, Ronni. I think you've had enough bad house mojo to last you a lifetime. As for the $79 squirrel retrieval and release fee, what a crock. I've got my fingers crossed that this is it and you have smooth sailing for the rest of the year.

PJ said...

My niece Rebecca has had a lot of house problems, so I sent her a link to this post. She only pays $69 per squirrel, but she lives in Iowa, a lower rent district.

Jonny said...

Fedex the squirrel to's gotta be cheaper than $79.00!

Nelle said...

What an ordeal with all that! The only good thing about the squirrel retrieval is that he didn't release it in your yard! Sheesh. I am so glad to know you are in a warm house again. Self flushing toilet sounds like a scary movie.
Hope all STAYS well!