Sunday, February 8, 2009

And then the weekend....

Well, loyal reader(s), I'm sure you've read the Frustration Friday series. And, if I may be permitted to whine a bit more, Saturday went worse.

Nope, not about the bounced-check issue. I'm fairly certain we have that resolved. No, the house in Mississippi is not the issue, although if you're looking for a nice investment property, let me know.

No, the problem is the house we're renting down here in Monticello. We were trucking nicely through Saturday, cleaning the kitchen, doing some laundry, and about 3 o'clock that afternoon, Angie went down the hall to the restroom. To discover that there was about 1/2 inch to an inch of water standing in the bathroom floor, and a nice flow from the toilet into the hall. On top of this, the bathtub is about 3 inches deep. Which is a problem, since the bathtub isn't on. So, we stopped the washer, and started drying up with towels. Then we called our landlady, got her permission to call a plumber, and called one.

And waited. So I called again, and called another plumber. And called another plumber, and waited. Meanwhile, we relocated up to the church so that we could, well, do things you can't do when your sewer doesn't flow. 3 more calls to plumbers, 3 more messages left. A call made to a plumber that advertises '24-hour emergency service' went unanswered, and 3 messages unreturned. I called the 1-800 number for Roto-Rooter national service. They asked for the zip. No affiliate down here.

By 5, I'd called and left nearly 20 messages on various plumbers' machines. Apparently, the economy is good enough down here that plumbers don't work weekends. I have gotten used to a lot of smaller town life, but this one has me boggled. You can't even check your messages and call me back? Not even tell me to go away?

So, I called one of my church members who knows lots of folks, and asked if he knew a plumber. He gave me the same numbers I already had. But, he brought his pipe snake, and try to snake it. No luck. He went home, I brought dinner to Ann and the kids. Then, after showering the kids, we went home, to put them in bed and pack up stuff for today. David and another man from our church, Ricky, were out in the yard, having convinced Brett, another man from the church to help them get another drain snake, to make a longer one. Again, they fed it down the clean out, no luck. It hit something solid, and wouldn't go farther. Then, they went back and got some seriously mean drain cleaner. Which fumed and smoked, and cleaned, well, nothing.

So, tomorrow, hopefully, I will be able to get a plumber to find it in his heart to come out to my house, somewhere within whatever his working hours are, and figure out the problem. Meanwhile, I appreciate the small-town heroic efforts of my church guys, but shouldn't someone who advertised '24-hour emergency service' have been available? Even the city public works guy said he would not expect any plumber in Monticello to answer the phone on the weekend, even for him.

So, if you want to make some side money, come to Monticello, and be an after-hours plumbing person. You might not work every weekend, but you could make some serious money when you do.

That's my whining for now. I want my sewer to flow. I know that many people in this world don't have sanitation like we do. I know it's a blessing. But, come on, this is America. For what we pay for housing, water and sewer, it ought to work. I can order a pizza at 2 in the morning, but I can't get a plumber at 3 in the afternoon?

So, Monday morning, I will start calling plumbers again. And we'll see how long that goes.

Maybe I won't pay them until it's convenient for me to pay them. And not return their calls when they try to collect.

No, I won't do that. It's tempting, just like the whole situation is irritating and hard to see how God is at work in it. But somehow, I will believe that He is. He's certainly stretching my patience, which scares me about what's next. But til then,


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