April 13th, 2004 | Published in Uncategorized
It’s never a good sign when you turn on the faucet and a hissing sound comes out. Phone transcript of call to the water bureau:
Me: Hi. I’m calling to see if there’s a known issue with the water in my area.
Water Lady: You have a problem?
Me: Yes. I turn on the faucet and a hissing noise comes out. There’s no water.
Me: 4805 SE Yamhill
Water Lady: clickety clack clickety clack pop Oh… boy. You’re not gonna have a good day today. (She rattles off a list of addresses)
Water Lady: You’re not gonna get any water for a long, long time.
Me: Oh? How long’s long?
Water Lady: Not until 5 p.m. But you got notified.
Me: No. I’m afraid I didn’t.
Water Lady: Oh. Wow. They were supposed to notify you. You’re gonna have a hard time today.
Meanwhile, bottles to wash, etc. At least I got my coffee made before they lowered the boom, and it’s a good thing Ben doesn’t mind a walk down to the store now and then: We’re gonna be buying some water.
Update: A few minutes later, someone came and tapped on the door. I opened it to a man in a helmet with the word “apprentice” emblazoned on his safety vest:
Apprentice Water Guy (AWG): Hi. Your water’s gonna be turned off…?
Me: Why yes, yes it has.
AWG: Okay, so you know. (turns away, doubletakes, turns back) Hold it! So your water’s already off!?
Me: Yes. Yes it is. I called in and was told it would be off until 5.
AWG: Hold on. Five?
AWG: Oh. Man. I’m gonna have to go talk to my supervisor and make sure our story’s straight, ’cause we thought we found the pipe, but it was the old one, so we had to divert to the other.
Me: Oh. So, I’ll just plan on five then.
AWG: I’ll be back.
The picture above, by the way, is the workers spreading out to notify everyone of the impending water outage that happened an hour before they got here. Everyone now has a pretty orange notification tag hanging on the door explaining that their water will have been turned off by an hour ago. Or, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide might put it, “willem haben been turnened off,” since a retroactive notification of pending outage violates a few of our cherished conceptions of time and space.