0001 Lakera 22: Flushed

The universe giveth with the right hand and taketh away with the left.

Last week was Athamara, the details of are not yet written, but suffice to say that this is the big Lapinian end-of-year holiday celebrating love, friendship, and togetherness. Gift exchange, group gatherings, cuddle piles, lots of expressions of happiness that other people remain as part of our social circles. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to happen. With nobody having been told about it, it ended up just being a week off of work for me, a nine-day weekend that I really needed.

Today, after plowing through my backlog of email, I discovered the following unfortunate things:

  • I apparently didn’t turn on my out-of-office reminder before leaving work Kimya week. No big deal, in and of itself, except that…
  • Two days ago, my realtor sent an email telling me that the oil tank at the house had run out! No problem yet but something to address pretty damn fast.

Putting these together, of course, meant that sometime between then and today, we had pipes freeze and burst. The oil delivery truck showed up at the house and immediately called to say that water was running down from the second story through the living room and into the basement. They very helpfully shut off the water main to keep the damage from getting any worse, but I have no way to survey the damage that’s already been done.

Now, way back when, I had oil set up on an automatic delivery to prevent this very sort of situation. I just got a bill in my mailbox on a regular basis, and I paid it, and I never worried about getting low because they just knew when to fill the tank, and all was golden. So, when I moved, I assumed the same thing would continue, and that the bills would just show up in my new mailbox since I had mail forwarding.

Some time back in November, I discovered much to my shock that they weren’t actually mailing me bills; they were stuffing them in my mailbox. A good chunk of time went missing between the arrival of one bill and the next, and in that window the oil company I had contracted to do automated delivery actually flagged my account as delinquent and disabled the routine shipments. Now, I can’t really fault them for this; I’d have done the same if enough time had passed, especially if the house seemed empty and the only contact number I had was disconnected. So, I can’t really blame them for this.

I can, however, get right pissed at them for not turning automated delivery back on after I called them in a state of great contrition and paid the delinquent bill in full. I even explained at the time that I had moved and that I wasn’t going to be there to check on things. Now, it’s entirely possible that they asked me if I wanted to go back to automated delivery and that I said no. I won’t deny that that could very well have happened. At this point, I honestly don’t remember. If I did, then mea maxima culpa.

Either way, I still have frozen pipes in my house.

I have no way to check the extent of the damage; I’m not there, and I can’t really get there in any sort of a reasonable time frame. I just spent a week’s vacation and can’t really afford to take any more time to go back and look at the house. Even if I could… it wouldn’t do me any good. I would just lose more sleep over things. I suppose in that sense, ignorance is bliss. The more facts I have, the more likely I am to chew the walls endlessly, working myself up into a fine froth over something I can’t fix.

I’ve already called the insurance company to file a claim. Having had this scenario already happen three years ago, I have no idea if they’ll honor it or not. At best, they say “this is what your policy is for” and it’s all good less any deductible. At worst, they say nothing is covered and then I call the mortgage company and tell them they’ve got a lemon on their hands and I need to talk with their collections department, ’cause if insurance won’t cover it, I can’t afford to fix it myself and I won’t be able to sell it for anything close to what I owe on it.

It would be very nice if the Luck Plane could please stop bouncing me so close to the bowl. Thank you.

Three steps forward, two steps back.