Monday, April 10, 2006

Breaking Point

I am in tears… this is all too much. I have been so stoic until now… treating everything as an adventure… but now, it all seems just too much and I have had enough. If we don’t have our gas turned on in a couple of hours then we are leaving! Well, we will be off to a hotel anyway.

We had Mike, the gas contractor out on Saturday night. His compressor was out of power, so he was not able to test the lines to find the offending gas leak. He told us he would be back on Sunday after lunch. We were cursing ourselves for having a late lunch, as he was running late and was not able to make it over until after 4pm. He did his best to fix the situation and found and repaired a leak near the location where the leak was detected. He could not properly test the system as there was no gas to run through the lines. We called Peoples Energy to come and reconnect our gas. They were sorry, but as their “computer system was down”, they could not dispatch anyone – I would have to call back after 7am Monday morning.

Yet another day without a shower and I was becoming more than a little irritated. I am so thankful that I bought an electric kettle as this enabled sponge bathing and a bath for Nic in the kitchen sink. Paul ‘cuddled’ Luc to sleep, providing some much needed body warmth after he had noticed Luc’s lips going blue during story time. We are totally hamstrung: no heating, no hot water, no stove, no oven, no ability to even wash clothes (as the clothes dryer is gas powered). We only have the bare essentials with us: no extra blankets or doonas (duvets) to help with the cold, and a limited supply of clothes. We were so optimistic about this whole system being resolved quickly – perhaps we should have gone to a hotel as soon as the gas was turned off on Friday. Another really annoying point was being trapped at home while we waited for plumbers, technicians etc. The weather was superb: a lovely clear weekend and we had to make sure someone was home at all times to provide access. Luc and I managed to escape for a little while on Sunday afternoon, and made it to Oz Park. Luc had a great time playing soccer, chasing dogs, and playing on an adventure playground. I had to drag him away from the park before he became too dirty and too cold (as we had little in the way to resolve either). Paul, the big darling he is, snuck out in the evening and bought some chai, chocolates and pudding to steam in the microwave to make me feel a little better... and a little warmer.

After several attempts this morning, I finally got through to Peoples Energy at about 7:30am and was told that a technician would be there very soon. In the meantime, Home Depot called at around 9am to let me know that the tradesmen would be there to install the new hot water system in the next hour. The hot water system is now installed. Of course, the technicians were not able to test for any gas leaks within their connections as the gas has not been turned on! One step closer to my hot shower...

11:30am - four hours after my call to Peoples Energy and still no sign of any technician. I called to find out how far away they might be, only to be told that my call had not been logged! I could not believe it. I got in touch with Paul to make sure that I had not dreamed the whole phone call. He assured me that I had indeed phoned – I was not dreaming. This is the straw that has driven me to tears.

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