Captain Obvious the Ass…And Other Joys of Country Living

Guess what AWESOME thing happend to us over the weekend? 

Grandpa LLW headed downstairs to the “guest quarters” (’cause that’s how we roll, yo) to use the bathroom and called up a second later, “Hey, hon, um…do you know you have a flood down here?”

Our “guest quarters” were flooded with poop water, yo.

After about 9 seconds of inspection, we quickly deduced – with a combined thimble’s worth of plumbing expertise – that there was something going on with the septic that was causing it to backflow out of the lowest drain in our house – the basement shower.  Thank goodness my father had gone down there and noticed – as it was there was already water seeping into the adjoining  rooms.  Who knows how bad it otherwise could have gotten before anyone noticed the situation.

Mr. LLW arrived home a few minutes later and we started making calls to emergency plumbers.  We quickly described the situation to the first to call back and they promised to send someone out right away.  In the meantime we were under strict instructions not to use the water (or, at least, not to let any go down the drain) as it was likely to come right back in again via the poop shower.  Baby LLW got a sponge bath in the kitchen sink while Mr. LLW got tasked with bailing buckets of nasty out of the bathroom and dumping them in out-of-the-way places outside.  As a dainty woman, I was deemed unfit for such work.  No objections here.  Mr. LLW was welcome to get on with his manly, poop water scooping self.  There’s a time and a place for feminism and this wasn’t it. 

And so we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Well over an hour later, Captain Obvious arrives at our doorstep.

     -“This looks like a septic issue.”

     -“Yep.”

     -“That’s going to be a problem.”

Without further explanation he heads downstairs with Mr. LLW to check things out.  A grand 10 minutes later they re-emerge.  It is indeed, Captain Obvious declares, a septic issue.  Unfortunately – and here’s the clincher – he doesn’t do septic.

     -“Soooooooooo…that’ll be $250.” 

     -“Come again?”

     -“Ma’am, that’s our fee for emergency visits.”

I laugh in (somewhat feigned) appreciation of his joke.  It quickly becomes clear that he is not kidding. 

     -“Sir, I’d be happy to write you a $50 check out of respect for your time.  I am not paying you $250 for coming out to a house in the middle of farm country, we’re you know full well that we have septic and the problem is poop water re-entering through the lowest drain in the house, and telling me ‘whoops, we don’t do septic’.  That’s something you should have mentioned BEFORE you came out here.”

     -“Ma’am” he says, arms all a’flail, “it’s not me.  It’s the owner.  He says it’s $250.”

     -“No problem.  I’d be happy to discuss this with him.  What’s his number?”

     -Eyes agog.  “My OWNER?  Ma’am, I can’t give you my OWNER’S phone number!!”  Clearly, there is a degree of reverence here.  Okay, that’s cool.  I can work with your weird owner-fetish, mister.  Just give me an invoice and I’ll call your company in the morning.  What you need to understand, Captain Obvious, is that you are not walking away with $250 for “forgetting” to tell us that you don’t do septic.

I should mention that all this time I am standing on our front walkway with Baby LLW on my hip.  This always makes me feel a bit “Cops”, which adds that certain necessary element of redneck daring that it sometimes takes to get your point across in a friendly, collected manner.

A conversation ensues wherein he comes back with a “compromise” of $175, I try to clarify that I’m not trying to argue with him, since we have nothing left to talk about, and reiterate that I’ll take an invoice for “discussion” with the powers that be.  He finally agrees to that – and that $50 for him that I’d mentioned earlier – at which point I further clarify that that had been intended as more of an “either/or” offer.  Conversations continue while poop water continues to rise up into my basement.  Mr. LLW *might* have mentioned my legal background….and in the end the guy splits without giving us an invoice and refusing my final, parting offer of  $50 for his time.  Really, I wasn’t trying to be an arse.  They just weren’t getting anything out of me connected to the “service” that they’d offered by forgetting to mention that they didn’t handle anything related to septic.

We ended up getting someone out about an hour later who fixed everything quickly.  An industrial carpet shampooer and about 15 loads of laundry later and I really hope we’ve mitigated the damage.  In the meantime, I’m braced for a call from this awful company.  At which point I will, without hesitation, disclose their name.

With love,

LLW

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