email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gripe, Lather, Repeat

Yes, I've been complaining lately.  And I'm going to do it again.  It's a bit long...

Electrical -  Sometimes I can't even win using AngiesList.

1.  The first visit had a guy over to add a downstair's light and replace an upstair's light.  He did the downstair's light.  I told him to wire it directly to the upstair's light, but he insisted it was better to wire it to the downstair's switch (of a 3-way switch).  Afterwards, he show me it worked.  Later, I found it only worked from the downstairs switch.  From the middle and upper switches, the lights went on and off oppositely.  He said the big lamp I wanted to replace in the upper stairs needed some nuts to "tighten things up".  And he said the heavy replacement light (a tiffany style knockoff) would need 2 people.  He also looked at the front door motion-detectotrlight and said it need to be replaced due to rust.

2.  So I worked on the "tiffany" lamp.  I found a few nuts at Home Depot that tightened it all up fine.  Then I called the electrical folks to come back with 2 people and fix the problems.  Two guys came by.  They said the big tiffany light wiring was not to code and that it needed a "vintage lamp restorer" to redo everything.  They undid the weird opposite on/off problem so that I was back to the original top light only condition.  They begged off wiring the downstair's light directly to the upper one, saying that, since they would by installing the large tiffany light the next visit anyway, it would be better to do both parts then.  OK...  They also replaced the old motion detector with a new one I had bought.  As one guy did that, he asked about the options (when and for how long the floodlights would come on.  I told him "only when the motion detector comes on, and only for about 10 minutes".  It was daylight, but he said he covered the detector and tested it and it was working as requested,

3.  The nearest "vintage lamp restorer" was an hour away.  When I brought the tiffany lamp to him, he admired it, but said "any qualified electrician should have been able to do this work", and "you should fire them for not just doing it".  Well, I wasn't going to get in the middle of an argument that might require me to make several more hour long trips, so I had him just do the work.

4.  I retrieved the rebuilt tiffany lamp and contacted the electrical company to come and install it and also wire the downstair's light to the tiffany one as recommennded by the 2nd guys in #2.  I specifically reminded the electrical company that the previous guys had said it would take 2 people to install the heavy lamp, plus that they recommended it be wired directly to the bottom light.  Plus, that a hallway ceiling light had died and needed repair (the circular fluorescent bulb only came on halfway).

5.  Team #3 arrived.  The service manager at the electrical company had called just before then and told me that he was reducing the hourly rate to $90 per hour from $110 because of all the trouble in the work and he was sending a "best" team.  OK.  I knew there was trouble right from the start.  They would not wire the lower light to the upper one.  They hadn't brought their "28 drill bit" to get through the wall bases (and I'm not sure why that was MY problem).  But they said everything would work if they wired the bottom light to the top switch.  OK. 

Why are electricians determined not to EVER go up into an attic?  They simply refused to do it!  One guy DID go up in the attic because he was simply forced to to attach 2 screws for a support bar over the heavy tiffany lamp.  And he was pissed about doing that.  Really, he said he was.

6.  Team #3 did wire the bottom light to the top switch and it does work properly.  Both the top and bottom lights go on and off together.  But now I have a 3rd cutout of my drywall I have to repair.  If they had simply fished the wire from the bottom light to the top light. I wouldn't have had the drywall cutout to repair in the main living area.

7.  Plus, I asked them to look at the hallway light.  As they did so, there was a snap sound and a piece of plastic fell on the floor.  They said the existing fluorescent light couldn't be repaired and should be replaced.  OK.  I CAN actually do that.  I forgot to ask them to fix the settings on the motion detector to the settings I originally requested.  My fault.

8.  So I looked at the hallway light after they left to measure the size I needed to cover the unpainted part of the ceiling.  I found that the snapped piece of plastic was a part were the lamp needed to be attached.  The guy had tried to tighten the old light too hard and had broken it off.  I can now try to attach the new (very lightweight) light I bought today or I can have some electrician come out and replace the electrical junction box to allow for thew usual 2 attachment bolts to go in.

9.  And then the bill arrived.  It charged me for the same original work of installing the bottom stair's light that the first guy had charged me for, that the 2nd team had undone the bad work of, and tht the 3rd team had finally done correctly (even though not as I desired). I had to argue with them for 10 minutes about the fact that some of the work was previously paid-for .  And then, all I got was "I'll knock off half the labor hours "TO RESOLVE THIS SITUATION".  But not at the reduced hourly cost.  *I* accepted "to resolve the situation".

I MAY contact the original electrical company, try to do it myself, or contact a different electrical company.

And that is just PART of this past month's annoyances...

A.  On October 1st, I damaged my left arm ulner nerve.  That's the one that controls your little finger and half the ring finger.  It happened before.  20 years ago, I was a passenger on a car that hit a deer.  Two days later, my left 2 fingers were numb.  I thought it was carpal tunnel syndrome (I worked on a computer all day at work and sometimes at home at games).  After some awful electrical acupuncturish tests up one arm and down the other and into my neck (until I finally went into cold clammy shock and passed out), it was determined that there was a minor fracture of the 5th or 6th neck vertebrae.  The prescription was resting the neck and taking ibuprophen at double the recommended rate.  The problem went away in 4 to 6 weeks (can't recall exactly).

B.  On October 1st my computer chair fell over when I slid it off the plywood roller base and the wheels caught on the carpet.  On the same night, I had sat at my computer resting my head on my left elbow for 12 hours while engaged in a strategic computer game.  And immediately the next morning, I engaged in some rather violent shovel work (like digging up sod.  So I don't know the cause.  But I treated it the same.  Until that didn't help after 5 weeks now.

C.  I lost a filling in a tooth 7 years ago.  It hasn't bothered me.  But now there is a slight pain in the far back of my jaw in that side.  Coincidence, I hope, as it feels more like there is a chewed off fingernail bit stuck back there.  And there is a slight infrequent ear ache on that side.  But I get those infrequently too, so it could all be coincidence.

D.  But after the 3rd time my computer chair tossed me down this month (and it hasn't happened before) and I had to put the chair top on the wheeled bottom, I got pissed.  I took the parts out onto the deck and pounded them a bit.

E.  I've mentioned that the old monitor on the old PC has been acting up lately.  In randomly turns on and off.  Something wrong with the on/off button.  I took a small C clamp to the on button and it stayed on for weeks.  But lately it got worse and failed completely.  Same night the chair tipped over the 3rd time, I had to keep adjusting the C clamp every few minutes.  Then when it started going wrong  every few seconds, I disconnected it, took it out to the deck and threw it down hard.  Well, now I know what the insides of a monitor look like.

F.  It is satisfying breaking material objects that stop working (I never act out at living things of course).  Now I have a new (better) computer chair and a bigger monitor.  I expect them both to work fine for years.

G.  Now all I need to do is get my Ulner Nerve fixed so that my to left lingers don't feel numb...  And get that that hallway ceiling light replaced.  Oh yeah, my Photoshop Elements 6 disappeared when I downloaded Mac's OS Maverick...  And there is a new groundhog under the old toolshed.


Megan said...

Mark - this sounds horrible. HORRIBLE. Big big hug. Treat yourself - do something really extravagent and indulgent and wonderful 'just because'. While none of these problems has been life threatening or disastrous, they do wear you down, especially when they all bunch up and throw themselves at you in a mass onslaught.

Take care.

Sydney, Australia

ANGEL ABBY said...

Feeling ya Mark. I feel ya. 2013 has been one long nightmare for me and I can't wait for it to end. Just hoping I have NO more catastrophes!

Tina T-P said...

Sounds like you need a good chiropractor for that neck thing... T.