Sunday, February 12, 2006

Remodel Hell - PG&E Redux

Ernie called me while I was in jury duty, and told me that PG&E had agreed to come out again, this time on Friday. He said they had to cancel the appointment because they were backed up but neglected to tell anybody. Thankfully on Friday I was off.

So I sat around on Friday, all day, just knowing they were going to show up just as the sun was going down. It wasn't that late when a truck with a lone driver pulled up in front of my house, facing backward. "Are you PG&E?" I said to the guy, completely missing the big letters on the cab of the truck. "Yep." He whipped out his cell phone and said, "I'm going to call Eddie." "You mean Ernie," I said, as I, too, whipped out my cell phone. "Yeah, right." He then said, "No answer." I agreed to keep calling Ernie, and I left a voicemail.

He said he'd do the work, and I nodded fiercely up and down. "You'll be without electricity..." and I replied, "Fine. Just do it. Please."

I finally reached Dan Martinez, and he said he'd get an electrician out there. "You can still have PG&E do their thing, and the electrician can arrive afterwards." About a half hour later. Great.

So the PG&E little cab was electrically hoisted into the air, he fooled with the new electrical wire springing out of the roof of the house for 15 minutes, then came back down and said I was done. He pointed out the new electrical know, so they can bill me. He then asked me how long I'd been waiting for the service. "Six weeks," I said. It's actually been longer. He nodded. "Yep. We've been busy."

About 45 minutes after the PG&E guy had left, at about 4:30, two guys in another truck pulled up. The Electricians. They immediately disconnected the electricity. They had a really hard time, it seems, getting things to work. One was banging on the old fuse box while the other was in the attic, and they were yelling Spanish to one another while working. Two hours later, as I'm typing in the dark on my computer, one of them emerges to ask me, "Do you have something outside?" I had no idea what he was talking about. He asked again: "Do you have jacuzzi outside?" No, I answered. No jacuzzi, nothing electrical outside except for sensor lights. He disappeared again, saying over his shoulder, "I'm going to try to throw the breakers." Five minutes later, after waiting 2 hours in the dark, all the lights finally came back on.

But before they disappeared for good, I wanted to check everything. The T.V. worked. But the overhead light in the master bedroom did not. He pointed out that the power was on back there, but that the light switch, or at least half of it, appeared to be broken. After some discussion -- no, make that argument -- he said he could not fix the light switch. It wasn't what he was hired to do. So after they left, I called Ernie and actually got an answer at 6:30 at night. He agreed to send a guy out on Monday morning to fix the bleeping light switch.

Oh, and during the two hours of no electricity, I went outside to water -- it was lighter out there -- and noticed that the gate on the left side of the house wasn't latched. I tried to latch it, but the stable hook is a good four inches away from the end of the gate. That wasn't true a few days ago. I surmised that the guys who constructed the fence moved the latch. There were also a few stray nails and screws that seemed to be a hazard right next to the latch, just standing there in the wood. I angrily called Honey Do Remodel, knowing they wouldn't be answering so late, but left a message. Why would they move the latch and not even mention it? But then, with the help of Alberto the Landscaper, I discovered that you just have to lean on the remaining fence to get the gate to move to the proper spot. I felt kind of foolish after that phone call, but will call back and explain....and apologize. A little remodel hell frustration coming out.

So Remodel Hell continues. We're right at the end, I believe, but there are those few nagging problems. And, as we all know, when the crews go off and do other jobs, they're harder to bring back, which complicates the little nagging problems. Just these two left to fix, and I'll be done.

Oh -- and I really like the way the front looks now, with the flowers coming out during this February warm spell and the new fence. THIS is why I like remodeling: the after effect!!

1 comment:

Tracey said...

I have lived through many remodel hells. I've been living through yours online. So glad you had the electricians show up! I just went through what I call The Flippin' Foor Project. Supposed to take a couple days and it took a whole month. Oy. Your house looks cute and it looks so sunny! May you be finished and enjoy the fruits of your labors very, very soon!