Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Every Village Gave Up Their Idiot...

...so they could all be together and run our town council.


And they're multiplying and taking over every business I deal with, it seems.

Last week, we had a few days with no water. Which was not splendid. In fact, it was quite annoying. We also had no communication about what was going on.

I found out Saturday morning, because Kevin was in fire training, and he heard it on the radio. Yes, it had finally made the news. We're not very important here, being just technically, a village of 800-and-some-odd residents. So, Friday, we had no water. Until around 6 pm, when it came on for two hours, and then it went off again.

More of the same on Saturday.

What really annoyed me was finding out later what had happened. There's a drain* here that often overflows. Because, the village being cheap doesn't do some things properly but does a shitty job and then they have to redo it, or spend a bundle cleaning up messes, later. There might be a few of you who remember my rant about them moving the sidewalk in front of our house, which used to be a good five or six feet back from the very wide street. But they ripped it up, narrowed the street and, on top of that, moved the sidewalk right down beside the road, with a slope between sidewalk and road. So, months ago when I put my back out, it was from trying to shovel off the snow that had been dumped there by plows. Because the town bylaw requires you to clear your walks. In our case, all 230 feet of walk, and now that they moved the sidewalk, 235 feet of walk.

Plus whatever the snowplow dumps after I shovel it the first time.

So, there's a drain in town that overflows. What exactly does that mean? Well, sometimes, the fire department gets called out to pump it when it's rained too much, so that the water doesn't start to mix with the sewer system. Except last week, when it was pouring, they decided not to do that. Now, part of me says, Good, they shouldn't call the fire department. Why, you ask? Because my husband is on it, they don't get paid, it isn't a fire fighter's responsibility to clean up town messes and I'm not particularly happy when my sleep is interrupted at 1 am so he can go do a town job, for free.

That's bullshit. They know they have a problem with this drain, so they should fix it.

Last week, it rained and rained, and they didn't call the fire department. A couple guys working for the village gave it a good, old college try. Things went wrong, obviously. And they turned off the water because they were afraid the supply had been contaminated.

But then they turned it back on, didn't tell us anything, and - duh! - being dinner time, we used the water. We stocked up everything.

By Saturday afternoon we were on a "boil water" advisory. Now, it's been raining again, and guess what? Kevin called to tell me that we're still on a boil water advisory, and that the water might go off again.

I just stocked up the pots on the stove. The pressure in the pipes is already off the norm. In other words, I can hear the air coming. So, I know they've turned the water off.

I am not in a good mood.

Ever since the Walkerton tragedy people are extra cautious. But you'd think that, instead of paying out the back end and spending piles of money on overtime for town employees who have to deal with this - and some of them were out pumping all night Friday night - that they'd invest in fixing the problem.

Is that too much to ask?

And don't tell me that they likely can't afford it. The village came into a bit of a windfall with energy money because of a company drilling out here. I don't want to talk about it, because we're still in a legal "situation" with the energey company, because they've been thieving the natural gas out from under our property. We're an oddity - we own our mineral rights - so this is another headache we've been trying to deal with.

Hence my remark about the idiots multiplying and working for every business we have to deal with, because the bank lost our legal documents over the buy-out of the mineral rights.

Only 9 months after they got them.

So, we have to redo them.

And then I come to my office, turn on the internet and it's down. Okay, so it's back up now, which is a good thing, because I was thinking seriously about going back to bed, getting up tomorrow, and hoping for a better start!

And those cute kittens? They think my legs are climbing posts.

I'm going to try to find my happy place.

Once I clear out the 40 emails that are in my inbox.

I hope you're all having a better day. C'mon, tell me your village idiot horror story - some business you've dealt with that makes my annoyance with the town council look petty and ridiculous. Is it mean to ask you to make me feel better by telling me you have it worse?

Sounds mean, doesn't it?

Don't forget to check out the Killer Year blog! Brett Battles is posting today.

* I'm probably using the wrong word, but I can't remember the technical term for it.


Tanginika-Simone said...

Those kittens should put you in a good mood just by looking at them. They put me in a good one, that's for sure. Hope you find your happy place soon and your heart smiles.

James Goodman said...

Think happy thoughts...

That sucks, I hope the day gets better.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Tanginika, thanks and yes, the kittens do help me smile! In answer to your other question, my book isn't out until November, so no sales yet! It isn't finished yet!

James, I'm thinking happy thoughts! And reading your jokes from yesterday when I'm very grumpy.

JT Ellison said...

What a few days you've had. It will all go up from here.
Dose kitties are so cwute... no typos, that's my version of babytalk...

DesLily said...

I can make you smile with a horror story and only do it in 3 little words:


(I saw a smile! yep! I'm sure of it!)

Mary R said...

Watch ROXANNE (again if you've seen it before).

Money quote: "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream - and I hope you don't find this too crazy - is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, "Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!" That would be bad."

angie said...

Yikes! Not having water sucks. Knowing it was entirely preventable is doubly suckarific. Also a drag to hear that the mineral rights thing is still dragging on with snafu's on all sides. Wish I could lighten your mood with a horror story of my own, but I gotta admit you've got all of mine trumped! All I can say is it's gotta get better soon!

And the Killer Year blog is looking good, BTW. Very smart to pool resources & support each other with debuts. Should be interesting to see how that plays out.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I'm thinking your happy place should be a medieval torture chamber with these asshats on the rack. I'm sure that'll make you feel better.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sneaky JT. Way to get out of those not-typos!

deslily, I didn't just smile - I laughed out loud! I'm SO sorry for you!

Mary, I haven't seen Roxanne, but you know, that quote has really made me smile. Really!

Angie, it will be interesting. We had a lot of exciting things happen yesterday, er, that I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about yet. I'll have to ask! But it's been very cool! And for one thing, check MJ Rose's blog post from yesterday

Stephen, what a fantastic idea. I do love the way you think. You wouldn't happen to have a torture chamber I could borrow, would you?

JamesO said...

I could regale you with the story of how the Horse Doctor lost her horse - it was effectively given away by someone who was supposed to be a friend - but it's too complicated to go into the details here, and I think you win on the sucks scale.

We quite often lose water here. And sometimes it comes out of the taps fizzy, which would be nice if it didn't stink of chlorine too. My dad's place is on a private supply with its own borehole, so if the taps (faucets, for you American readers) stop running there, you have to go and pull the dead frogs out of the pipes. Mmmm. Crunchy Frog.

Killer Year's looking good. I just wish I had a book deal:(

Bill, the Wildcat said...

I suppose I have something of an idiot/horror story. In March, a State Trooper hit our car. No injuries, and the trooper was a nice guy who made no attempt to dodge the fact he was at fault. That was the only positive thing related to that accident.

The person with State PD who needed to notify the State's auto insurance company was out sick a week. Until the insurance company received that notification, no rental. I had to call people all over creation to find out what was going on and who needed to do what and wasn't doing it... and it still took nine days from that accident to get us into a rental. My son missed a week-and-a-half of pre-school because of that.

The idiots at the state's insurance company had the nerve to ask for a written statement on the accident... before State PD had notified them it had even happened. Couldn't put us in a rental, but they could insist on a statement from my wife. IDIOTS! You better believe that paperwork never got filled out.

Our car would have sat in the #$@! repair company's lot all that time if I hadn't gone through our insurance company. Took a month to fix the car. We had to shell out $500 for the deductible. I only got the call today that we're getting our refund for that money. Again... after scads of phone calls on my part. Going without that $500 has been killing us financially, too. Made life stressful beyond belief.

Still, going without water... That's no small deal, no matter the length of time. I'd be equally furious in your shoes, Sandra. Glad to hear you're taking steps to be ready for it before the water completely runs out. Hope it'll be enough!

Andrea at Lochthyme said...

That sucks Sandra. Beaurocracy gotta love it...NOT! I could tell you about how my credit card company has outsourced they consumer department to India and they don't speak English very well and they ended up issuing me three credit cards before everything was straightened out. Or an 18 wheeler truck ran over our fence and the hydrant on our street then took off. We needed a copy of the police report for the insurance. We kept being told the police officer hadn't filed it, he still hadn't filed it. We finally get in touch with him and he says we need to get the report filed by the arresting officer and not the accident reporting officer. Auuuugh! And then of course the only person we can talk to and who types up the reports only works two days a week due to budget cuts. This was in January and we are still chasing after the person trying to collect the remainder of our insurance money. Not looking good. Oh and when we received a partial payment from our insurance company my car immediatly broke down for just about the exact amount of the insurance check. So needless to say we don't have a new fence yet. :(

I hope you water situation works out soooooon! And those kitties are adorable.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Andrea, you've got me beat! Well, and so does Bill! I'm sorry guys, but you've made me feel better!

James, what spices do you use with crunchy frogs? I wish you had a deal too. Surely it's only a matter of time before someone realizes you're such a fantastic writer?!

JamesO said...

Lot's of people realise I'm a fantastic writer - they're just not publishers;}#

And crunchy frog is actually best served dipped in melted dark chocolate. Something above 70% cocoa solids is best, and if you can get a hold of single estate criollo beans, fermented rather than acid extracted, so much the better.

anne frasier said...

i'm the village idiot.
i used to live in the country and when the power went off so did the water. moved to the city and two weeks later we had a huge storm. power was off for three days. it was two and a half days before i realized we'd had water all along.

Boy Kim said...

"You wouldn't happen to have a torture chamber I could borrow, would you?"

If Stephen doesn't, I know of someone who has.

If I can just ratchet the Courage Factor up a few more notches I'll be able to tell you if it's any good.

Eileen said...

Water is overrated. Stick to beer. Worked for the Egyptians. At least things will feel like they matter less.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Hmmm. chocolate frogs. Here we like moose droppings...

Anne, I'm sorry, but that's pretty funny! It's not entirely your fault, but you must have felt pretty silly.

Kim, you? Short of courage? Buck up son! You only live once!

Eileen, ah where was that advice four days ago? THANK YOU! I'll even bathe in it for the next few days!

Amra Pajalic said...

Hope it all clears up soon and you're back to normal. Last year I didn't have a toilet for three days because it was blocked and a part was on order. We had to use the good old bombay toilet (plastic bag in the bowl). My skin crawls just thinking about it. I feel your pain.

Amra Pajalic said...

Hope it all clears up soon and you're back to normal. Last year I didn't have a toilet for three days because it was blocked and a part was on order. We had to use the good old bombay toilet (plastic bag in the bowl). My skin crawls just thinking about it. I feel your pain.

S. W. Vaughn said...

My town is so far away from my house that it doesn't much matter what our village idiots do. We're pretty much on our own when it comes to things like water, power, Internet access, and the like. We had to pester Time Warner for 18 months when we moved out here before they laid cable for Internet access.

However, the Resident Idiot (that's me) has had to go out and muck silt out of the well four or five times a year (even in winter; that was fun). It gets clogged. Getting a new one sunk would only be $3000 or so. :-)

Protect your poor legs, Sandra. The cuteness alone could do them in, and kitten claws are SHARP!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well, it's Wednesday, we're still boiling water, but I'm surviving! What more can I say?

We have a well too, SW, but it isn't safe for drinking. We just use it for the grass.

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