If I don’t have a stroke by the end of the week, it will be a friggin’ miracle.

  1. Graduation/Recital/Reception at our house over two weekends
  2. New AC not working properly
  3. Limb falls on house and nukes power
  4. Tree now needs to go–loss of shade and checkbook viability
  5. Post Office personnel irritation meter reaching critical (for more reasons than just this story)
  6. Cox Cable appears as a Customer Service black hole
  7. Furnace inspection on Friday; highly suspect that it won’t pass because of old ductwork

The only bright light in this all is that the loss of power and trashed meter socket cost me a sum total of $70 or so–a new socket and a meal for the electrician.

So the limb fell, brought down the lead from the pole, pulled the feed into the house off the wall, destroyed a flowering pear, evicted a young family of squirrels, and left the cable/phone/internet feed dangling in the alley but still partially attached to the house. We did the due diligence of calling the power and insurance companies. We live directly behind the post office and just as we were getting started to repair the electrical, I heard the nightly delivery truck pull up. After he is done collecting/delivering, he always leaves via the alley beside the house. It flashed into my head that I needed to let him know about the cable hanging in the alley so that he wouldn’t clip it on the way out. He was very polite and thanked me for letting him know. He also wanted to know if it would be there for his morning delivery. Yes, it would. Okay, thanks. There wasn’t too much slack in the line and the limb was laying on it, so I figured there wasn’t much I could do at that time to make it any better.

My wife calls Cox to let them know that the cable feed is dangling low across the alley. “Well, we show that the feed into your house is still live.”

“Yeah, it is.”

“We can’t issue a work order unless there is an interruption in service.”

Huh? My wife tells me they will call back at 7:00 pm. Phhttt! No such call.

This morning, the lightning wakes me up and I start to fret about possible holes in my roof from the limb. (I wasn’t able to check the roof because the limb was in the way.) In a fit of frustration, I get ready and come downstairs to check in on work since I can’t sleep and can’t do anything else. Can anyone guess where this going?

A little while later I heard this odd noise like scraping and bumping coming from the living room. The cats freak out and I’m wondering, “What the h****?” It turns out our friendly, neighborhood mail delivery guy did indeed go down the alley this morning after all, snagged the cable feed, pulled it off the house all the way to the junction box, and along the way managed to pull loose an electrical conduit feed that feeds power to the attic.

I call Cox and want to know what in the world I’m supposed to do now that the feed is really hanging low in the alley. “Well, I can’t see any specifics nor update your issue because our system is down until 7:30 [another 2 hours or so] for maintenance, but a work order was issued last night.” Ugh! This is just great.

Whom do I yell at? “Whose responsible this!?” The simple answer is no one. The only person with any real accountability and responsibility was the electrician neighbor who spent his evening helping me out and did not ask for anything in return. The post office doesn’t care. Cox doesn’t care. Even if I wanted someone to pay for the damages from this morning’s incident, it’s hopeless because I can’t prove anything. And to them, I’m just a small ant in the greater scheme of things. The only thing they care about is whether or not I pay my bill every month; after that, I can go swing.

There are days when I consider becoming a monk in some God-forsaken part of the world just to simplify my life.

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