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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The sewer saga continues...

Oh my... does it continue.

Okies, let me give you the low down on the situation. Grab a stiff drink (or two. Hell just let the bartender know you'll be needing more). It's going to be long and it ain't at all pretty.

1. Our bank (the one that holds the mortgage) won't help us because our credit fell behind because of all my medical bills last year.

2. The credit union at work won't either for the same reason.

3. USAA's credit union won't either for the same reason.

4. USAA's Home owner's insurance won't help because it is considered a 'wear item' and has not damaged the house, nor completely backed up into the house.

5. Three other banks that deal with people in our credit sitation won't help because there is not enough equity in the house.

6. The Department of Health can't help because they do not have any programs in Alamance county (where we live.)

7. The Rural Development Office won't help because it is not a septic tank.

8. The USDA won't help because we make too much money.

9. The city of Mebane won't help because they are not allowed to do work on private property (even if I am willing to sign a waiver.)

10. Out of 12 plumbers we called, only the one would allow payment arrangements and would take $2,000 off the bill if we did the digging ourselves. That brought the bill to $2250.

11. The Army Corps of Engineers only helps businesses.

12. The Clean Water Trust only helps businesses.

13. The Department of Social services won't help because we make too much money.

14. The County of Alamance won't help because it's not a septic tank.

15. The state of North Carolina won't help because they don't have a program for that sort of thing and recommended the USDA.

16. The VA won't help because they only do home loans.

17. The EPA won't help because it is not considered a disaster area.

18. FEMA felt the same way.

(You thoroughly depressed yet? No? Oh you wait... it gets even better! *nodnod*)

So where did that leave me? Digging.

So let's roll back the way-back machine to this past Tuesday evening. It's about 9pm when I hear a knock at the door. It's my neighbor. He proceeds to swear and yell at me, then threaten me if I don't get this fixed.


He proceeds to scream at me that he's been patient these past three months...



Three months? I only noticed the problem on the 19th of February. (Now keep that in mind...)

So as he proceeds to just get louder and more beligerant, Eric comes down and calmly pulls me back into the house and tells our neightbor that he can call whomever he feels he needs to call and closes the door. Eric saved me.

So of course, I'm naturally upset. I can hear my neighbor out there screaming and yelling to his girlfriend. Yes, the same one that works for the City of Mebane and the same one that gave me all sorts of hell when I asked her to send out someone to diagnose my problem. (Keep that in mind too...) I can see the flash of his camera and he continues to yell for a few minutes.

About 9:30pm I hear a knock and lo and behold, it's a police officer. Yes people, he called the frigging cops on us over our sewer line! So I let her in and begin to explain to her the situation. And that's when I lost it. I began bawling (and I mean bawling) and sobbing because all the helplessness and rejection that I had endured this last month all came crashing back all at once. And like I told the cop, I only noticed the problem on the 19th of February. If it had been going on for three months... why hadn't he said something sooner? I was home the -entire- month of January recovering from my surgery... he could have knocked on the door then. Right?

So there I am, sitting on the end of the bed, just bawling and sobbing. Once again, I was so thankful Eric was there. He explained everything to the cop and by the time she left, she was saying:

Cop: *in a -thick- southern ladies' accent* "Oh you poor thing! Oh! Bless your heart! You've been trying, you really have. Bless your heart."
Me: "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" *schniffle and schnort* "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

So she leaves and I hear her talking to our neighbor and after a while all is quiet.

I didn't sleep but three or four hours that night. But I did send an email to the Director of Public Works (my neighbors' boss) and to the City Manager, begging for help. And I mean, begging.

Now a quick side note, when my neighbor was all huffy with me last month, I had sent an email to her boss letting him know the situation. I said:

Dear Sir,

I wanted to let you know about a situation that occured with one of your staff when I was trying to get some help with a problem at my home.

I live at XXX XXXXXXX Street in Mebane and just this past Monday, I called the Public Works office and talked to a lady named (name removed to protect the moronic). I informed her that I had what I thought was sewer water bubbling up out of the ground and running down mine and my neighbor's yard and I asked her to send someone from your office over to figure out what was wrong. She huffed at me. (Literally huffed!) And then she informed me that if it was between my house and the meter it was my problem. If it was between the meter and the sewer, then it was the city's problem. I told her I didn't care if I had to pay for it, I just wanted someone that knew what they were doing to please come out and figure out what the problem was. She huffed again. (Literally, a huff!) I had to nearly beg her to send someone out there. She huffed one more time and then put me on hold so she could talk to someone. When she came back on the line she sounded like she could care less about the whole situation and was rather rude to me.

And I can tell you, if it's the (name removed to protect the moronic) I think it is, then she's my neighbor! Yes, the one that has this water running down her yard. She's sicced the City Police on myself and my husband before about the height of our grass (on three occassions) and never once did I complain. My husband is a disabled veteran and sometimes has a very hard time doing any work around the house, let alone yard work. All she had to do is knock on our door and ask why our grass was a bit tall (well within the legal height I might add) rather than get the city police on my husband's case.

But I digress, I had to push her to send someone out. And when they came out Monday, they informed my husband that they were unsure of the problem and would have to come back. When they came back Tuesday with a lot more equipment, they realized that part of the problem was ours and part of the problem was the responsibility of the City of Mebane. Those men were extrememly nice, and very quick! I have never seen such good work. If not for the hay that is on my yard, you'd probably never notice that they were out there with a back-hoe yesterday. :)

So I wanted to let you know, that I am glad that I had to force one of your employees to do her job and send out a work crew because if I hadn't I wouldn't know that I had major issues with the sewer lines to and from my house and the city meter. It jsut made me so angry that my taxes go for her salary and she was so rude to me when I asked for a service that is supposed to be provided immediately when asked for by a homeowner.
I thank you for your time and hope you have a pleasant day. And I'm sorry that I even had to email about this sort of situation. All my other dealings with the City of Mebane and it's employees have always been courteous, professional and kind.

Mrs. Lisa P

He called me the very next day to tell me that he had talked with the City Manager and with my neighbor and even read her my email and told her that he felt she should not have treated me that way. He then apologized for her conduct. I accepted.

So back to the situation at hand, like I said, I emailed him again along with the City Manager. When I called the City office on Wednesday morning, I ended up speaking with the Assistant City Manager. She was very courteous but like before, told me that there was nothing she could do that the city can not do work on private property. I broke down again. I've just been so stressed about this! So I told her I'd sign anything it took. I pay what ever I had to, just please, please help me.

She said she'd see what she could do.

An hour and a half later, after I'd still been on and off crying because I had been calling other offices trying to get help, I got a call from a plumber. He was the first one that had given me a quote. But he wouldn't do payments. But lo and behold, now he could. See, the Assistant City Manager had called the City Manager on his day off as he was reading my email and they got together and decided to call in some favors. They told this plumber of my issues and asked him to help us out. So he will. He will be by on either Monday or Tuesday to replace our line. (I need to send that woman, the Assistant City Manager, a thank you card. Maybe even flowers too.

And we'll actually be able to afford it.


That's my story. Now go slug another drink before you keep reading. :)

So it's all pretty much taken care of. But of course, these people are still my neighbors and man, I want to stick it to them! So... as I pondered over my Falling Leaves sock yesterday at lunch, I decided to call my neighbor in her office. Yes. I really did. I informed her that she could tell her boyfriend that the repairs would be done on either Monday or Tuesday, and that I had only noticed the problem the day before I had originally called her office. I then said "Have a good day." And hung up.

I can't believe I was so calm. I really, really, really wanted to just scream at her. But I'm better than that. I've been looking at fencing. Very tall fencing. One that maybe has the 'one finger salute' in bas relief on the side...

Of course, my day at work on Wednesday, I looked something like this:

Upon seeing me like this one of the women in my office gave me this:

A Guide to Stress Management

Just in case you've had a rough day, here is an 8-Step stress management technique recommended in the latest psychological texts. The funny thing is that it really works.

1. Picture yourself near a stream.

2. Birds are softly chirping in the cool mountain air.

3. No one but you knows your secret place.

4. You are in total seclusion from the hectic place called "the world."

5. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

6. The water is crystal clear.

7. You can easily make out the face of the person you're holding underwater .

8. See! You're smiling already

In response to comments:

Stephanie said:
I was 8 months pregnant and they forced me to endure that. I was sick all week, but since I'd deferred earlier in my pregnancy, I couldn't defer again. (Thank goodness for zofran or I'd've been puking all over everyone.) I was swollen hurt all over for a week afterwards.

Oh my goodness! You are kidding me?! I thought no matter what, if you were pregnant, you could defer. What state do you live in?

Marlene said: How WIERD! I've been called for jury duty too. And I'm rather looking forward to it! What if I'm sequesterd? Oo! All expenses paid...in a cheep motel...oh well. It was a thought.

*laugh* I thought the same thing too!

Marlene also said: Seasonale? Do you have to take it every day? If so, I'm out. If I were on regular birth controll, I'd be sooo preggers right now.

Yup, once a day. See if I had to get the shot, I'd probably be pregnant. I can barely remember to get my allergy shots.

... Dammit! I have to go get my allergy shot! (I was supposed to go yesterday.) *sigh* See you all later!