Friday, May 7, 2010

Cruise Interlude--Part Two CON'T---The Gas Company

So, as I was still struggling with this allergy crap, I had to wait one Friday afternoon for the gas company to come out and put a new meter in at the city house.....sometime between 12 and 6 p.m. So the guy shows up at 3:30, puts the new meter in and then informs me that he is detecting a gas leak somewhere....possibly in the ceiling in the basement....doesn't have time to look for it, because he is off at 4, shuts my gas off and tells me when I get it fixed to call and they'll come back and turn the gas on.....THIS IS ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON....I can't possibly get anyone to fix this over the weekend.

OH and he told me the connector for the gas stove was also not up to code.....I informed him that THEY (the gas company) put that on 5 years ago when we had the gas turned on....."well, that's what they used to use but not any more".....AGAIN, I CAN GO to Home Depot and get such and such a connector and have that reconnected when the guy turns the gas back on. This Gas guy was something. He went from "gotta tear out the entire basement ceiling" to "maybe gotta tear out the front yard to see if that's where the leak is"......GRRRRRRRR. I never smelled anything and he explained that the leak is so small, I probably wouldn't smell it, nevertheless it is a hazard and must be fixed.

Anyway, when Papa got home, he called the Toxic Avenger (Polly's husband ), who knows heating and cooling and plumbing and carpentry and all sorts of wonderful things and THANK GOD, he is certified in such things as gas work, who knew?! They talked things over and made plans to meet the next day.

So we went on down to the country house and then Saturday morning Papa drove back up to meet the Avenger. He didn't think we had a leak, but thought maybe the guy was in a hurry and didn't do this or that (sparing you all the details) and that caused gas to register. Avenger didn't have some sort of chemical required to check for leaks that day, his tank was empty and couldn't get filled until Monday....So Monday he was coming back out to see if he can figure out what was going on.....

So we were once again communting from the country house to work, 62 miles one way. Was up at 4 a.m. Monday morning to drive up and drop Snoopy off in the yard at the city house and hopefully the problem would be resolved that day.

HA, but ROUTINE laughs in my Avenger arrived on Monday with his special tank and did indeed find a minute leak in the basement ceiling in the laundry area that doesn't have the ceiling tiles and he easily repaired it without having to tear anything apart. He also procured a new stove connector to install but that ended up being the wrong size, so we agreed that he would exchange that on Tuesday and finish up and we would commute for another day.

Tuesday afternoon all was completed and I called the gas company to see if I could get an APPOINTMENT (HA) for after 4 that day when Papa would be home from work, to turn on the gas. They tell me I have to go on the emergency board for a "turn on" and it will be 20 minutes to 2 hours for an installer to show up and why don't I call them as soon as I get home and it would be taken care of.

Papa got home, verified that everything was done and calls to say he's coming to pick me up from work (we've been car pooling while commuting from the country) and to go ahead and call the gas company and we would be home before 20 minutes passed. Done.

WE WAIT....FOR THREE HOURS and at 8:00 p.m. I call them to find out what's up and "they've been busy, we are on the emergency board and the first available person will be there" I asked when that would be, she put me on hold and then returned to tell me ABOUT TWO HOURS--10:00 p.m. I was just speechless. Papa and I talked, we had to go back to country that night...his car was there....all our meds were there, my make-up bag, and all the groceries for the city house were still down there, so it wasn't like we could wing it one night and go down the next night, we needed too much stuff. Not to mention no gas, it was getting cold in the house, no hot water for showers and we couldn't cook anything.

So he calls them back about 15 minutes later to tell them forget it for that night, we would reschedule for the next day as we needed to leave as it was getting late. They tell him that someone was dispatched already and is on the way (15 minutes earlier they were telling me 2 hours!) but the guy won't be there for another 45 minutes. He told them OK, but if he's not here by 9:00, we're leaving.

So, of course, 3 minutes to 9 he arrives. Comes in put some sort of register on the meter, looks at the gas heater that is in the family room part of the basement (doesn't like the valve although Papa said it was checked and it's fine, no leaks).

Looks at Avenger's work, takes his sniffer thing around, no leaks....checks the stove and that's ok. Lights all the burners, lights the top and bottom ovens, all's well. Takes the next 20 minutes trying to light the pilot for the hot water heater. Turns the furnace on. Another round with his sniffer thing. Back to the basement heater...thinks it's leaking but can't get it to register that it's leaking (DUH, IT'S NOT LEAKING.....) Still doesn't like that turn on valve for it.

Papa has been standing by the cabinet where the meter is and it is ticking like an alarm clock. He asks if that's normal. No.....goes to the meter, starts taking pieces and parts off it if to make it stop ticking. Then announces we need a new meter--this one was just installed on Friday and hadn't been turned on before then!! We just gave each other horrified looks, like it was going to have to be another scheduled job.

THANK GOD, the man had one in his truck. He goes out and gets the new meter. Comes in, disconnects the stove, the hot water heater, and the furnance and the heater downstairs, switches out the meter and hooks up everything again but turns the gas valve off on the downstairs heater, because he's still convinced it's leaking although not registering......wrote that up and left at we have to, I guess, get the valve on the heater replaced in case we ever have a fire, might be an insurance issue, but Papa can still turn the valve on and use the heater whenever he would like to.

We jumped in the car and headed to the country. In bed by 12, back up at 4:30 because I had to be at work at 7 for breakfast meeting....and just as I'm about to walk out the door....can't find my glasses. TORE THE HOUSE APART and finally found them under the corner of the bed,,,,who knows, my country home ghosts playing tricks I guess. BUT THE GAS CRISIS SEEMS TO BE OVER FOR NOW.

Then a funny......the next day,,,,a news alert came out "A three-alarm blaze at the Laclede Gas building in downtown St. Louis broke out about 8 a.m.".....I WAS TOTALLY INNOCENT.

Grinning Grammy

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