July 2008 will go down in history as the month of plumbing disasters.
Looking back on what was a horrific month of lots of money being spent with little to show for, I should probably have stayed in bed for those 31 days and called it a holiday. After all, I did spend my "holiday fund" on fixing everything.
July kicked off with a debilitating recurring medical condition that left me incapacitated for a couple of days, and more than a little worried. Although it is a recurring condition, I usually suffer from this condition about once a year, twice if I’m unlucky, so three times in three months was really quite concerning. I felt bad enough to warrant a visit to the doctor, who gave me a script for some rather expensive drugs and sent me on my way.
A week later, I was to discover that indoor water features suck, big time. On a bright and early Monday morning, my bathroom drains decided to completely block up while I was in the shower. I had noticed the water wasn’t draining well but continued my morning routine, only to hear J yelling for me stop the water. I was grateful for J’s presence – he kept me calm while grabbing towels and sheets to mop up as much water as possible that was spewing out from my bathroom into my hallway. I had never had to deal with issues of the same nature and really didn’t know what to do, so it was great that there was someone else to help me deal with the mess.
The building maintenance guy was called, and he came up and found the problem – a massive clump of my hair collected from years of shedding through shampooing had nestled in the central drain and blocked all the secondary drains, causing the water to overflow through the central point, all over my bathroom and into my hallway. A few minutes and quite a few dollars later, Enzo unblocked the drains with his stick and the water flowed freely again.
The building cleaner was also called to help vacuum the water from my carpet. Nanna came up with her "wet vac" machine and spent an hour sucking the water out of the carpet. She also brought with her a high powered fan to help dry out the carpet, which I had to leave on for the duration of the day.
I ended up working from home to let Enzo and Nanna in and out of the apartment, and the noise from the fan grated on my nerves all day, but by the next morning, the carpet was dry and Nanna was $100 richer for her efforts.
July is generally a bad month for me as too many things need to be paid by the end of the month. The most important of all being my car rego and green slip, which this year amounted to $600. So you can imagine exactly how impressed I was with having to fork out nearly $200 to get my drains and carpet done.
However, having reworked the budget a little bit, I worked out I would still be on target even with the extra expenditure, especially since I was lucky enough to be included in some market research which paid $140 cash in the hand.
All of which went into getting rid of a second indoor water feature in a fortnight.
Yes, folks, that’s right. When it rains, it pours, literally. Last week, my apartment sprang another leak. This time, the leak was the result of a broken rubber seal in the hose connecting the taps to the dishwasher, which had been slowly dripping for days before the water finally seeped into my dining room.
To say I was upset would be an understatement. I woke to soggy carpets last Tuesday morning, and immediately burst into tears. The magnitude of the latest drama overwhelmed me and a few people had to deal with a very tired and emotional me.
J copped the first phone call. I could barely talk as I sobbed into the phone, and J’s reassuring tones calmed me down to a point where I was able to make the next phone call to my line manager Ash. Unfortunately for Ash, the minute he answered the phone, the floodgates opened again.
John the building concierge was the next to be hit by my tears. He sprang into action even before I started crying again, and called Craig the building manager immediately. Within minutes, Craig appeared at my front door, and after fiddling around under my kitchen sink for a while, informed me that he would not be able to fix the problem but he knew a guy who could. Not only did he give me the number of Rob the plumber, Craig also mobilised Nanna and her merry men to do their thing with my carpet again.
Armed with large machines, Nanna and her merry men converged on my apartment and worked on getting as much water out of the carpet as possible. There was just so much water – the leak had been dripping slowly for up to a week and I’d only noticed the problem when the water patch covered half of my dining area. If you’re thinking “What took her so long?”, the wall between the kitchen and dining area is an extremely low traffic area and is usually covered by a beanbag and a spare dining chair.
Nanna’s boys did a great job vacuuming the water out of the carpet and left me another heavy duty fan, to be returned whenever I felt the carpet was dry enough. Nanna also left me $200 poorer.
Rob and his merry man arrived shortly afterwards and set about fixing the water leak. 30 minutes later, they left me with a brand new rubber seal in the hose, a new mixer tap for my sink, and $150 poorer.
To say the least, I was extremely disappointed by the turn of events. I had to delve into my "holiday fund" to pay for most of the damages. I was so upset on Tuesday night that I couldn’t talk without crying, which worried J as he would ask me a question, and I would answer through floods of tears. I chose to stay at J’s on Tuesday night as I had to leave the fan running all night, and at one point, as he walked back into his room with a glass of water for me, found me sobbing into his pillow for no reason.
And no, the story doesn’t end there. I still haven’t paid for rego or the green slip, which means I still have to hand over $600 at some point this week. And I’m suffering from the recurring medical condition again. Yay for that.
Thankfully, we are now into August, so here’s hoping this month will be a lot better than the last!