Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away!


Yesterday, I took a break during lunch and walked to a nearby gardener's market to pick up some flower bouquets. It was hot and muggy, and partially cloudy - but overall, it was a nice day outside (remember: I LOVE the heat!). The Man does not provide me with a window in my office - so I just assumed that the weather remained kind of sunny for the rest of the day.

But I was mistaken. There were flash floods in the Chicago area for a few hours in the late afternoon, as I learned when my friend came to pick me up from work to go to dinner. After a nice meal, I took a cab home and immediately knew something was wrong as I walked toward my place.

EVERY SINGLE owner of a condo on my block was standing outside, and many were crowded around a guy wearing a Department of Water Management uniform.

Uh-oh.

I busted through our front door and yelled to see if my husband (who had been home for at least an hour) had bothered to look downstairs. "No, why?" was the reply. I hurriedly explained that everyone's place on our street had flooded... and then we both went downstairs, bracing for the worst. At first, all seemed to be well. There was nothing we could SEE that was wrong. I made my way to the back guest room, while my husband inspected the front room.

"YEP, there's something!" he hollered and I ran to join him. He was walking around on our carpet near the furnace room, and I could hear a sloshing sound with each step. We opened the furnace closet door and lo and behold, there was a dirty brown mess of dried up water all over the floor. Awwwww, CRAP!!!!

Needless to say, Tuesday night sucked. There were essentially two rectangles of damage - one in the back-half of our TV room (luckily all furniture was spared) and the other down our hallway. We spent hours pulling up the carpeting, peeling off the sopping wet padding and throwing it away, and then draping the carpet over various folding tables and chairs to get the airing-out process started. We bought two extra fans from Walgreens, bringing us to a total of four fans strategically placed to blow over the most carpet possible. The dehumidifier was set to run non-stop, the air conditioning was also turned to run constantly, and we called it a (late) night.

The morning alarm came waaaaay too early. I had an 8:30 meeting where all of my fellow employees looked at me with pity as I explained my plight. Which of course comes on the heels of my kitchen being flooded just over a month ago. TO ALL THOSE WHO DO NOT OWN A PLACE - keep renting! You will miss the building's repair man when you don't have one at your beck and call anymore!!!!

After putting in some more time for The Man, I called a friend whose place flooded last night, too (the third time she's had to deal this situation). She recommended a carpet company for me to call to see if they would put down new padding and re-lay the carpet. I called them, while my husband called Home Depot. My husband reported back that Home Depot wouldn't re-lay "damaged" carpeting. The place my friend recommended took down all my information and said they'd call back. I wasn't holding my breath.

I then decided to try Home Depot myself. Someone who sounded half-dead answered the phone. I explained the situation, and then she said, "Lemmetransferyoutothacarpetspecialist."

Hold music, hold music.

Finally a young man picked up.

"HELLO???" he yelled, accusingly but yet disinterestedly.

"Ummm... is this the carpet specialist?"
"It is."
"Who is it that I'm speaking with?"
"Be for real."
"What? I mean, what is your name?"
"My name is B 4 Real, ma'am."

Pause.


WHOA.

I then proceeded to tell B 4 Real my problem, but I have to admit, it is REALLY hard to expect that you're going to be given great service by a guy named B 4 Real, much like it's hard to take him seriously. He immediately cut me off and said, "We don't do that. We don't touch carpet that's already had wear and tear. You can buy NEW carpet, though..."

Of course. They want you to spend thousands when all the carpet needs is a steam cleaning...

"I don't get it - my friend's done this three times."
"Done what?"
"Had her same carpet re-attached three times after getting water damage, and it's been fine."
"I don't know what to tell you - that's crazy."
"What if I don't need any warranty or guarantee?"
"We're not going to do it. Good luck!" And he laughed as he hung up.

Is it wrong that I want to go to the store just to see B 4 Real in person? And to ask if that's his birth name or if he just "goes" by that?

Around 1 PM, I checked the weather forecast and sat frozen in horror as the graphic for "thunderstorms" popped up for the late afternoon. I decided to head home so that I could hopefully prevent any further damage if things started backing up again.

Luckily, the company who I called in the morning DID call me back, and said that they would be right over to give a quote - so I was happy that I was already en route home. The carpet company representative arrived, took stock of the damage, and said it would be $400.

"Just make me feel better and tell me that you've seen worse," I pleaded.
"Oh, I've seen MUCH worse," he said, nodding his head.

Now the clock is ticking on when the carpeting will be completely dry, as it is set to be put back down a few days from now. Then we need to get it deep cleaned and that needs to dry before three of our good friends arrive for the 4th of July! Wish us luck.

As I wrap up this post, the skies have turned darker.... nooooooo!

- e

1 comment:

Emily said...

Hey, E,

I am an avid reader of your Lost blog. Just started reading this blog. Your writing style is very entertaining. You should definitely quit your job with The Man and get a job with a magazine. Your talents and sense of humor would be best served in a writing capacity (maybe you do this already for The Man?).

Anyways, I look forward to reading this blog until--and after--Lost comes back. Keep up the good work and please don't get swept away in the next flash flood. :)

Signed,

Another E (in Cali)