Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes, we still have mountains in our kitchen

OK, so no mountains, but definite foothills. I exercised some literary license. I'm a writer. Sue me.

Since June 19, when I discovered that my dishwasher's water pump had exploded, I have been living with rumply laminate flooring.

At first, I thought, "OK, so, it's not nice and flat, but it could be worse. Live with it. The insurance guys will come through soon."

But after a few times catching a heel on one of those peaks and being launched into movement that could go along with the lyrics to "I Believe I Can Fly," one ceases to be patient. Especially when one also has a pot of tea in one's hand when one is shrieking, "I believe I can touch the sky" (okay, the ceiling.)

My insurance folks told me that, why, yes, they would cover the floor. All I had to do was get an estimate for the damages.

I had no idea this was some sort of inside joke, kind of like the suggestion to bell the cat, at least not until I tried to get an estimate.

It took me nearly a week to get the first estimate, and I had to pay $51 for the privilege for the first estimate. (No, apparently free estimates are about as common as pink elephants these days, as they SAY it's free, but what it REALLY means is they credit your "account" should you use their labor.)

That guy totally muddled things up by saying that he thought my dining area was messed up, too, though to be honest, I had to really squint to see what he was talking about.

I reported this (including the squint part) dutifully to my insurance agent, who frowned and said, "Hmh. Now we'll have to get an appraiser out to look at it."

I told her that I would get a second estimate. This contractor came out, said, "Nope, your dining area's a-OK. I'll have the estimate for ya tomorrow."

He did. Along with a lovely little postscript that if I didn't use his services, his fee for the estimate would be $75. (See? Like I told you about the pink elephants.)

I forwarded the estimate FOR THE KITCHEN PART ONLY onto my insurance company who forwarded them onto the claims people who were supposed to get in touch with me within 48 hours.

That was Friday. And at least a half-dozen stumbles ago. No phone calls. No appraiser dude. No nothing but the oncoming Fourth of July when contractors all seem to take vacations.

So I called The Insurance Lady back to find that she was Out Of The Office (yes, when the receptionist answered, it DID sound like she said it in caps). The receptionist lady said she would call the claims people and get back to me.

Finally she has called me back. Appraiser Dude has decided to cut a check and not show up. Which is fine with me. But I could have already scheduled Contractor Dude to come in and start ripping out my Kitchen Mountain Range if Appraiser Dude had just called me back.

As it is, with the Fourth coming up, it looks like I'll be tripping over The Kitchen Mountain Range until I can actually con a contractor into actually reporting for duty. Which means I'll be needing back-up music for "I Believe I Can Fly" for the foreseeable future.


Jayne said...

Agh, this sounds so annoying and frustrating. I feel your pain! Hopefully one of them will get their act together and get it sorted for you soon (without costing you a small fortune in 'free' estimates!)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Grrr... that is SO frustrating. My dishwasher had a leak once (a slow leak underneath that eventually buckeled our hardwood floors). Went thru the same thing. Only my floors were attractign ants! (Ants like water apparently) But homeowners insurance did pay for half of our hardwood floors to be refinsihed in the end. That was a huge savings.

Piedmont Writer said...

I'm sorry, I should have told you to call either Home Depot or Lowe's, they would have sent someone out right away.

Cynthia Reese said...

Jayne, it IS frustrating ... but at least now I can begin to hornswaggle Contractor Dude into coming and doing this for us. While they say that laminate flooring is an easy DIY project, it's not for us -- The Husband works six days a week, while I'm 4'10", and so don't have the upper body strength for some of the hard parts.

Aiyiyi, Jennifer ... I'd just been worrying about mold and mildew ... now you've reminded me that this could be the Office Water Cooler for bugs of all sorts!

Anne, the big box DIY store shall remain nameless, but it, ahem, WAS one of them which charged me $51. It's refundable (at least $35 is ... the other $16 is a "lead test" since my house is pre-1978.) if I get them to do the work. But I'm not really warming up to the idea of EITHER Contractor Dude who's sold me estimates doing the work.

Patty Blount said...

*frustrated scream* I understand completely!

There are times when I truly believe insignificant little people seek out jobs where they can wield this tiny bit of power over the masses.

This is one of them.

Linda G. said...

You have my utter sympathy. Situations like this just send me through the roof. :(

But at least you got an amusing blog post out of it! (Leave it to a writer.) You know what would make it even more amusing? A video of you singing "I Believe I Can Fly," that's what! How about you add one? ;)

Kelly Breakey said...

Home improvement projects are a pain when you want to do them. Lets not even get into what's its like when you are held up at gun point by your dishwasher and forced to do it. But on the bright side, you get a new floor.

BTW I am with Linda, I want to see the video of you singing. Come on...what's a little caterwauling between friends?

Margo Berendsen said...

Truly a nightmare! I so sympathize. However I would gladly trade this scenario with you: try calling both the IRS and SSA to work out some files THEY lost but of course the federal government never loses things so it must be my fault. Grrr.

Tawna Fenske said...

Gah! Don't you hate this?

My fridge has been making funny noises for a couple years, which didn't bother me too much until the icemaker suddenly stopped working last summer. I called a repair guy who charged $75 to show up and tell me it would cost $900 to fix all the things wrong with the fridge (which included something about a "motherboard." Seriously? A motherboard in a fridge?)

I laughed and said I could buy a new fridge for that, so I paid the @#$% $75 and he went away.

The icemaker started working again almost immediately. Go figure.


Elizabeth Ryann said...

Oh, man. You keep earworming me with this song, so my sympathy for you isn't as high as it could be. Still pretty high though. That really sucks.