Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Can You Say 'Oops!'?

We live in an area, that although it's well developed, many houses still access their water via well. These aren't the old fashioned, lower your bucket on a rope kind, but rather underground wells with electric pumps.

Last night, Dear Hubby was cooking dinner and the water was fine. When I went to rinse the dishes after dinner (not only do I rinse, but I sort of 'pre-wash' my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher - how neurotic is that?), I noticed the water pressure was low.

Hmmmm. Dear Hubby went out to the shed (which we built around our pump/filter to protect it from the elements) and noticed that the pump indicated zero water pressure. Zero, zip, nada, nil. He inspects the pump - no signs of damage. He checks the circuit box. All looks well.

When faced with potentially bad news, I usually slip into "action mode." So I left an answering machine message for the company that services our well/filter. That's about all the action I can muster at 8:00 p.m. so I switch to Plan B: panic. Well, not exactly, but I do often assume the worst and work myself up into - if not a tizzy, then a 'cranky state.'

Here's how the cranky state works: don't talk to me because I'm busy catastrophizing (is that a word?) - i.e., surely we'll need a whole new well system and it will cost thousands of dollars and take weeks to install. We'll have to cancel our vacation, dip into the kids' already meager college funds, they won't be able to get a decent education and therefore will NEVER be able to move out. Logically, I know this is unlikely, but cranky state is like a runaway train.

I did manage to get some sleep - rare in cranky state - until 5 a.m. when I hear weird noises from our hot water heater. Lovely. Dear Hubby theorizes that it's the sound of gas warming the empty tank so he turns off the gas. Noise stops.

At 7:15 a.m., the well company returns my call and they'll send someone out to the house. I go to my sister-in-law's house (she lives 2 blocks away) to shower, leaving Dear Hubby home with a still-sleeping Son #3. I come back home, Dear Hubby heads to s-i-l's house to shower, then off to work for him. At 9:30, the well guy arrives, does some checking - everything looks okay. He takes this little thing to test electrical outlets and realizes that the well isn't getting any juice. AHA!

Time to shift gears - I don't need a whole new well after all. This must mean that I need to have the entire house rewired for electricity, right? Because in cranky mode things are never that simple. Or are they? Well guy asks whether he can peek at our circuit box. Sure. Go ahead, but my husband already checked that.

Click goes the sound of the circuit switch being set back in the "ON" position, purr goes the sound of the well's pump as it re-starts. "DOH!" is the sound that Dear Hubby makes when I inform him that it cost $75 for a stranger to switch the very circuit that Dear Hubby said was fine. (Ca-ching is the sound of the cash register at Belk Dept. Store where I decided to relieve my stress at the Clinique counter - it's gift week.)

The well guy offered not to charge me the service fee, stating that he could just write "not home" on the work order. I thanked him, but said I'd rather pay because next time I need them - and there WILL be a next time - I didn't want them to think I was a no-show and be bumped to the bottom of the list. Neurotic folks belong on top of the list, don't you think?

Dear Hubby isn't a complete idiot, though. In his defense, the top two switches in the right side are always in the OFF position because we have a gas (not electric) stove and dryer. He just didn't notice that the switch underneath those two was also in the OFF position and shouldn't have been. (Note to self: do NOT resist the urge to go behind him and double check next time. I do it with the alarm clock and it drives him crazy. Too bad!) Oy Vey!


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad it was all taken care of and didn't cost you the children's college funds. LOL. I would have taken the guy up on the offer and got out of paying!!! LOL

Lala's world said...

that was funny! I am so like that too! right now our built in vacuum and garage doors are not working, so I had to call an electician! I been in plan B: panic mode for 2 days now!!! if one more thing goes wrong I will seriously need stronger meds!! for my family of course!! hehehe

Just Being Me said...

Is it bad of me of LOL at your story. I think my favorite part was the description of "cranky state." I now have a term for the condition I get in myself. I'm glad it ended well.

Just Being Me said...

Is it bad of me of LOL at your story. I think my favorite part was the description of "cranky state." I now have a term for the condition I get in myself. I'm glad it ended well.

Just Being Me said...

oops - I hit the button twice. sorry

Nicole said...

I can't believe you WANTED to pay. Oh my, I would've said OK in a heartbeat.

It is amazing what all we need water for. You never realize it until you don't have it.

So glad that it is all fixed and working!!

Sue said...

That's too funny! I do the same thing - immediately have to imagine the worst.

Growing up we had a well - it was annoying when we lost power because that meant no water.

Glad it wasn't anything majorly serious!!

Elle*Bee said...

flip flop mamma, I was tempted, but I didn't want them to think of me as the little girl who cried 'wolf'.

LOL with lala. I soooo know what you mean. The strange thing is that when it really is something serious, I generally handle it very well. When it comes to little piddly stuff, well...that's when I tend to lose it.

Laugh away, just being me. I'm laughing about it now.

nicole, I was getting so stressed by the dirty dishes piling up in the sink that I couldn't rinse. It was driving me bonkers. Our home wasn't damaged during Hurricane Katrina thankfully, but we couldn't return home for 13 days b/c we didn't have electricity, and no electricity = no water for those of us on a well.

sue, my husband is a glass half full kind of guy. I'm keep trying to convince him that my approach is better - if I expect the worst, I'm rarely disappointed, but often pleasantly (surprised as I was today).

I'll tell you: if I didn't have access to my sis-in-law's shower and couldn't wash my hair and shave my legs, I would've moved from "cranky state" to unholy terror (I'm kinda high maintenance). :-)

Jenmomof4 said...

I am glad it was just the switch. I had that happen with the air conditioner. I felt like a goof. Myhusband was out of town and I had to call the air cond. man and all he did was flip the switch.

Elle*Bee said...

jen, the bad thing was that he and I both discussed the possibility of the switch being tripped. He even looked but didn't notice it. (Hmmmm...I wonder if there's a correlation between that and listening-but-not-hearing. Kidding!)

Elle*Bee said...
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