Friday, March 14, 2008



Dear gas company ... oh dear, dear gas company -- how I love thee.

No, srsly.

This has been a really bad no good terrible week. Through massive mismanagement (mostly mine but I have faith in my ability to cast about frantically until I seize upon someone else to take the blame) and A Series of Unfortunate (and stupid) Events, we have been living with neither heat nor hot water for most of this week.

Now, although I just heard a collective gasp from everyone in California and other places that don't do The Cold (tm) it really hasn't been that bad. I'm not as crazy as The Yarn Harlot, who seems to think that it's some sort of fun (or even marginally sane) to hike 2km with a 50-gallon wine cask on her back so that she can sit in a deserted cabin and be taunted by deer for six days but I'm not really a delicate little flower. A little of The Chilly has caused me little distress.

It's been above freezing outside all week; the temperature in the house has gotten below 16C (60F) a few times and I must say that it hasn't been a great deal of fun (I get very cold when I'm tired) but hardly "breaking the ice to haul water from the well" kind of cold.

Washing hair in ice cold water, or boiling water for 2 hours for a bath? Also not fun. Dishes? Remained undone until the smell started bothering me (everyone say "ew" and just get it out of your systems and we'll move on, all right? Honestly, some people.)

Today I spoke to the people at our gas company. I've heard a few tales of woe from some folks regarding service from this company, but I must say that apart from one young lady who was slightly (only very slightly) abrupt on the phone with me today, I have never had one moment of trouble with them. They're good about payment plans, delayed and partial payments (we've had issues); everyone on the phone has been exceptionally pleasant and they've always done what they've said they're going to do, often exceeding expectations.

Based on empirical evidence, I expected that when the lady on the phone told me that I would have restored heat and hot water services "today", that it would happen ... you know ... today.

She said I could have an appointment for either the 8-12 slot, the 12-4 slot or the 8-4 slot. I wasn't quite sure how this worked but I said I'd like someone to come after 9:30 and I'd just wait until they got there.

I waited. Noon came and went. I phoned (and got the slightly-abrupt lady who informed me that reconnecting and relighting appliances wasn't a priority). I waited. 2pm came and went. I waited. 3:30pm came and with it my daughter's return from school. By this time I had boiled many big vats of water, as I had realised that no matter when (or if) the gas was hooked up, the water would take an hour or more to reach "bath" temperature and there was no way I could wait that long and still work tonight.

I had a quick bath and hit the hay.

Sleep came and went and it was all of a sudden 8:30pm and time for me to get ready to go to work. And to wash my hair.

In ice cold water.

There was much cussing ... nobody had come to hook up our all-important heatythings and we had visions of spending the weekend with no heat. I had visions of trying to finish the massive dyejob I have planned for this weekend with no warm water (and with three children in the house as I'm taking care of my friend's two on Saturday night).

There was more cussing. I told my husband that they're a good company but you know if someone's furnace is blowing up or there's a broken gas main then yes, that's likely more important than whether or not I can spend an hour or two communing comfortably with my rubber duckie.

He remained unconvinced, as he is apparently less willing than I am to wash his hair in icy water straight off the mains.

And then when I got to work there was an email from him. A blessed, lovely email, saying that the dude had shown up (they're doing reconnects at 9pm on a Friday night -- where else are you going to get that kind of service?) and that all of the heatythings were a) making noises and b) making heat and that my faith in the company was in fact well-founded.

I am indeed a happy rabbit.

If you're looking for me this weekend, I'll either be in the bath, or covered in dye. I don't intend to spend a dry moment before Monday.

I went into septic systems and wells with fear and trepidation in my heart, but only rarely have had the heater go out at such a time as I've had to shower cold. But then, well temp water here in Maine is a bit brisker than in the south!

Glad to hear you have modern temperatures and water.... have a wet weekend!
i know what it's like...
apparently when your hot water tank blows up and leaks all over your basement--that is not a priority took them almost 3 days to get to me....

i hope you have heat and hot water soon
did you specify 9:30 AM or PM? It could be that the gentleman was even a trifle early...
Aaaaaahhhhh.... ye're all wet.
YAY for the HOT!
Hooray for hot! I am SO not a cold shower person. It took three days when our water heater blew up - not a good thing.
Ho yar, hot water is a lovely substance, and very much missed when we don't have it!
Welcome to the modern conveniences! As the frequent "beneficiary" of ice storms and tornados I have often been treated to the simple life, and I must say that modern houses are not designed to manage well without utilities.
One summer when I was young we spent three months without hot water, heating bath water in saucepans on the stove for half-inch-deep baths, taken only when really needed (and swimming at the lake). But it was summer, so there's no real comparison.
Dunno what I'd do without the warm. But, I suppose I'd figure it out. But that reminds me...where did I put the check for Central Maine Power? They may want that. Congrats on getting everything back on line and running!
Ah, YES! Our delight and pleasure and enjoyment of our forays into 18th century is assured....because we know we DO have hot and hot running water to home. I don't do cold wash for my personal body; if confronted with the threat of that for any number of days (plural) my choices would be a) live with it; or b) check in to the nearest rent-a-room (with bath). SO glad normalcy is restored to the hutchness....
Yep. Hotted water is quite nice to have, even when the snow isn't up to the rafters. Glad you were able to work out something.
It's the AMs and PMs that'll get ya. Everybody's rude on the phone here, no matter what the call is for. I just report them all. Hell, being unemployed has its advantages.
Could I just take this moment to mention that I adore you even more now than before? Not that you're a fuckup or anything but it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who has had her utilities shut off for, er, "massive mismanagement."

I prefer to pay my utilities quarterly. Sometimes that doesn't work out so well. But, goddamn, months go by so damn quickly!

What a relief. Cold water = unhappy bathing. I can handle a cold house. I can even, if push comes to shove, wash dishes in cold water (although it makes me cranky). But having to wash my hair or my kids in cold water more than once does bad things to my temperament. Can't wait to see the results of a weekend of dyeing!
Surely you jest? Your house stays THAT warm without any heat? You must have a very deep layer of insulation in that place. You're talking to a girl who grew up in Florida, though, so what do I know?

Get spinning. I have money burning a hole in my purse.
I'm sorry you had such a crappy week, but HOORAY for hot water & heat! I hope this week goes better.
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