wasted time

I am seething with frustration, having spent the whole day waiting for an emergency electrician, unable to move from the house in case he arrived, threw a card through the letterbox saying 'I called but no-one was home' and sped off again.

On Monday night the power (but not the lights) cut out a couple of times. We growled about it, reset the trip-switch, and eventually went to bed early. It's not unusual to have power cuts and power surges here, so the first time I assumed that was the problem. The second and third times, we started switching off various things about the house, but not with any urgency.

Tuesday morning we switched it back on, and got on with breakfast… Handsome left before me as he had a meeting, and left the garage doors open. I backed out of the garage, pulled the remote out of the car door and blipped the doors – nothing happened. I growled at the controller (assuming it had run out of batteries) and went back into the house to find that Handsome had moved the other controller from it's home in the utility room. I grumbled into the kitchen and found it, blipped the doors – nothing happened.

At this point I registered that the washing machine, which I had just set going, was off…

Mouse was at home yesterday (it's his October week holiday), so we tasked him with switching off all the appliances one at a time, and waiting to see if the power stayed on – by the time I got home (Handsome was working late as well as early) he'd exhausted almost everything and the time span that the power was on for had reduced to twenty minutes at a time. So I started calling emergency electricians.

It's amazing how many of the electricians in the yellow pages say they do emergency call-outs, but actually don't. Several calls later, I found one in Lanark who said they could have someone with me by 5:30pm. They took all my details very professionally, even told me that I didn't have to explain how to get to our difficult-to-find house, because all their vans had sat-nav. Then half an hour later they called to say that their man was held up, and would be with me by 7pm, then 8pm, then first thing this morning…

I stayed home today, having called my boss early and explained the problem. At 9 am this morning I called the company back and asked what time 'first thing' was – apparently it's about 11 am. At ten past 11 they called and said that he'd be with me 'soon' – and so it went on. All day.

By now, we'd worked out that the problem was with the small kitchen freezer – one of the last things we'd switched off to check because it's fitted and switching it off involves pulling both it and the fridge out from underneath the counter and then crawling in to the back to switch it off. However, once we did that, the power stopped tripping, so there you go then, problem solved. So when they called me at 3:30 pm and said that they wouldn't be able to come out today, and the other electrician (there had been a definite implication that they employed more than two, with the 'all our vans' quote earlier) was on holiday tomorrow, and they already had a job for Thursday, so they wouldn't be able to get to me until Friday evening/Saturday morning….I had no hesitation about saying 'No, don't bother'.

I just really regret the waste of a day – I never had more than an hour before the man was due, so I couldn't go out or do anything. Handsome's attitude was 'well at least you got a day off', but I have tons on at work at the moment, and really needed to be there – and as it was unplanned, I didn't even have anything home to work on. Grrrrr. I thought the days of unreliable tradesmen were supposed to be over?


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