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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

“Just cause you got the monkey is off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.” - George Carlin

(I borrowed the Carlin quote from Amanda).
July 6, 2011
Remember the line in As Good as it Gets when Carol (Helen Hunt) shouted “Why can’t I have a regular boyfriend?”  
I’m here today to ask, “Why can’t I have a regular life?”
Take yesterday.  I woke to learn that my water had been turned off, so I called the Water Authority to report my situation and ask why it had been turned off.  After being on hold for 20 minutes (Thank God for speaker phones), I was greeted by a very polite woman.  I told her about my situation and asked her to please have someone come and turn it back on.  She put me on hold again and came back on the line about five minutes later. 
“Mrs. Schlottman, your water is turned off because you never paid your bill in May.”  She got points for pronouncing my name correctly, but she was wrong.  I had my laptop handy and went to Bill Pay and found a copy of the check I wrote in May.  It showed both front and back, and I could see that they had deposited the 
check on May 8.
When I reported this information to her, she put me on hold again but was back on the line in a couple of minutes.
“There were some administrative charges and one late fee that you never paid.”
“Yes Ma’am.  Do you want to take care of them today so we can turn you water back on?”
I bristled. I have never been late paying my water bill.  I like showers and baths and clean clothes too much to take that kind of chance. I’m a widow living with three dogs, and we need water to live, just like the rest of the world.  So, I took a deep breath.
“How much will it cost me to get my water back.?
“Thirty-three dollars.  You can pay now with a credit or debit card.”
I weighed my options.  I could contest the charges and be without water for who knows how long, or I could pay the damned thing and wash my hair.
“Let me give you my MasterCard number.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Schlottman.  Your water will be turned on sometime this afternoon.”
Sometimes it is more important to be happy than to be right.
I took a couple of hours to work on some poems, then, after bathing my body with distilled water I keep on hand for emergencies, I proceeded with the rest of my day.
Errand list in hand, I set out to take care of some things.  When I tried to close my car door, it didn’t click.  I got out of the car a looked at the hook where it’s supposed to click.  A washer at the place where the door clicks when closed was about 80% worn away.  Great.  After several tries, I got the door closed securely.
My first stop, of course, was Auto Zone, where I purchased the necessary part and asked the man there to help me put it on.
“We aren’t allowed to mess with anyone’s car any more.  It’s a liability issue.”
There I stood, part in hand, needing to go several places before returning home to figure out how to do the repair.  (Did I mention that it was 100º and humid as a steam bath)?  Once I got the door to click, I did my errands and came home.  
There is no way in hell I could have fixed that door, so I called my stepson and asked him to come over and help me.  (By the way, the water was still off).  He was here right away and repaired my door.  One problem solved.
No water yet, and the Water Authority was closed for the day.  Wonderful.  Deciding to make lemonade, I offered to take Bert to the hamburger joint around the corner for a sandwich and a beer.  We went by Kroger and bought me some more gallons of water.  
When we returned to my house, there was a hanger on the front door saying that the Water Wiener had come to turn it back on but that no one was home.  Really?  I wasn’t home when they turned the damned thing off.  The hanger advised me to call them this morning.
On hold for 15 minute this time.  A very nice lady told me that they couldn’t turn the water back on if no one were home because there might be a faucet left on.  Seriously.  I checked and found that my patio hose was slightly open.  The nice lady told me someone would be out today.
“Morning or afternoon?”
“Can’t say, but you may turn your water back on at the meter if you choose.”
Right.  I can turn on the water - have all the right tools and everything - learned all about it when I was in nursing school - have the tool belt to prove it.  Oh, Piffle.
Stay with me, there is an end to this.  While sitting here on the deck beginning the post, Israel, the very good and kind man who cuts my grass, showed up. 
I raced out into the front yard in my pajamas and asked him if he could turn my water on.  Hell yeah.  Well, he didn’t say hell; he’s too nice for that. 
So, now I can take a shower and wash my filthy hair, shine my sink and wait for the bug man to come treat the exterior of my house so the effing Palmetto Bugs will stop coming inside and scaring the shit out of me.
© cj Schlottman
  July 5, 2011


Linda @ A La Carte said...

This quote is perfect for this post! Just when it seems like things are settling down they get crazy again....that is my life to a T!
Glad you got to wash your hair!


Amanda said...

Yikes. That water company sounds just like my ex-phone company. Our breakup is very recent, I still get the nightmares over them and they still try to squeeze money out of me.

Love As Good As It Gets. It's one of those few films I can watch again and again.

Sue said...

At least it ended well.
Thanks to Israel!


jeff campbell said...

I am sorry for your trial and error day...three good things though...you turned it into something humorous, at least for the rest of us...you made lemonade from 'lemons'...and you realized it is better to be happy than right. Now that you got all this junk out of the way, the rest of your week should be peaches and cream...Namaste

BECKY said...

Oh CJ, if this wasn't so maddening, it would be hilarious!...ah heck...it IS hilarious!

The stupidity of some companies never fails to astound me. I loved your comment: "Sometimes it is more important to be happy than to be right." I think I'll post that over my desk, in my car, on the fridge, etc!! Very intelligent woman, you are!

I'm glad you got your water turned back on...and hope things stay calm for awhile (?) Hugs!

Martha Mawson said...

So glad you finally got your H2O back. Nothing worse than having no water. Okay, taking to jobsworths who put you on hold is worse...

Now, to catch up on your other blogs since we are back online (yippee - and have updated both my blogs!).

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh My Word! I felt like I had had a bad day until I read about yours. Mine was a cinch! Glad everything was finally fixed. laurie

Daydreamertoo said...

What a day!!!
Sheesh... you would even be entitles to have a bit of a swear word here and there in that little lot of troubles. Amazing!
I'm glad you got your shower, got clean and were able to get it off your chest, somewhat by stamping it all out on the keyboard!
I say again, what a day!