Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The little things that make it worse

On Thursday a man from the gas company knocked on my door and told me that he was going to change the meter and that I had to give him my last payment receipt. After an hour of turning the house upside down I had to give up: I’ve lost it. I go down and tell him:

- Look, I’m sorry, I don’t have the receipt.
- Then I can’t change the meter.
- No problem, don’t change it.
- I have to change it.
- ?...!

The sad thing is he decided to change it and while he was trying to do that he ended up breaking my deteriorating pipe. He didn’t take the trouble to climb the stairs and tell me because his team is not the “repairers” only the “changers” nor did he try to clean up the mess. He cut off my service, reported my rupture to the company, who later reported it to the office of I don’t know what, who then sent a “repairer” team… in less than 24 hours (this last is the science fiction part).

Friday afternoon, after 24 hours of doing without fire, and everyone knows what that has represented in the long life of homo sapiens, and terrorized by the terrible coming of the weekend, I went out to “resolve” the problem with a private contractor. What happened was the nice gentleman from the company had not broken just any pipe: 4 meters and 20 cm of a ¾ inch galvanized zinc pipe that’s not found “even in the spiritual centers.”

One of my most supportive and good neighbors, so good that he still believes in the Perfected Social Enterprise, spent the day giving me reports about the gas company, whom he called for two consecutive days. I suppose that at some point he told the laconic receptionist, politely, to go to hell, she invariably answered: That is already taken care of, for more information call XXX (where no one ever answered).

On Saturday afternoon we took the project in hand. We reconstructed the pipe with one we found on the roof, connected what was left of my pipe directly to the street and, after tremendous anguish, I made coffee. I’m still waiting for them to connect the meter.

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