Monday, October 17, 2011

How I Lost My Wedding Ring

Dear Reader,

I know I’m a klutz, no two ways about it. I almost always, place my wedding ring on an out-of-the-way shelf. But Saturday night, I put them on the counter beside the sink, the most dangerous place ever! I was washing my face, when my cat decided to jump on the counter and push her face into mine. I had soap in my eyes when I pushed her away and felt something against my hand, then the distinct ping of metal on porcelain.

Ahh hell, did my wedding ring just go into the drain? Turns out after a lengthy search, I had created the fast-moving series of events toward the “perfect storm” of losing my wedding ring. The bathroom hasn’t been finished being renovated, so the molding on the floor isn’t installed. The ring would’ve had to have fallen perfectly to be where it was. It was a miracle we’d even seen the ring. It was half behind the drywall, half under the wall framing, wedged between the top flooring and the 2x6.

My dad and I tried to get it out with pliers, but this ended with the ring disappearing altogether underneath the 2x6. So, at 10:30 at night, we sawed out a huge chunk of the bathroom wall, and the laundry room wall. We sliced through the 2x6 framing, ran knifes under the remaining wood, trying to find the ring.

We didn’t see the round cement support for the washing machine drain 4 inches to the left. When we did, I had a sick feeling that was exactly where my ring had ended up during the process. It was too dark to go under the house at 11pm and try to see where the pipe support went to.

8am Sunday morning, we were under the house tearing more stuff up, then back upstairs—and we broke a water pipe. We lasted three hours before we called a plumber (there might’ve been a better tradesperson to call, but regardless, we were dealing with a pipe, in a way, so a plumber it was). We also decided he could also look at the broken pipe while he was there, since we had to pay this $70.00 call fee, no matter the result of the visit. So today, it gets interesting. By this morning I had no hope. I hadn’t slept. I’d cried too much. Didn’t matter that my husband kept telling me it was an accident, he’d get me another one. Just wouldn’t be the same.

My brother stayed home to greet the plumber, who was supposed to phone me with a quote before he proceeded. Now I don’t call trades people that often, but this dude had to be the biggest joke ever invented. As I sit here writing, I’m debating why I didn’t call this post “The Only Reason The Plumber Is In One Piece, Is Because He Left Before I Got Home.”

My brother tried to explain what had happened. But when the plumber phoned me, he was clueless, mostly because the plumber wouldn’t allow my brother to complete a sentence before interrupting him. The guy ran on assumptions. So I filled him in via phone. He tried to talk over me, it was too bad. I can play this game, when I want something done, and when I am PAYING YOU TO DO IT, it will be done. I made sure he understood me—or I thought I had. I told him, feel free to rip up the flooring in the laundry room, because we are renovating. The plumber told me he can’t. Where he has to go has to be accessed from underneath the house.

Mr. Plumber gave me a long list of whys. Then told me in a sly voice there is a limited access fee because of where he has to go (the same place my dad was yesterday). He gave me a quote of 427.00 CAD, which he implied included the 70.00 call fee. I swallowed, and I mean hard. I can’t afford this, especially considering nothing is guaranteed—but I really, really wanted my ring back. I thought to myself, could we do this ourselves? Like come on, we’re amateurs, and the fact that my dad called a pro, told me how much he agreed. We already broke a pipe! How much more damage could we do before indefinite success?

He lectures my brother about how we should’ve done this ourselves (Am I paying you ¾ of a single one of my entire paychecks this close to Christmas, to voice your damned opinions?!). He belittled our efforts. How this isn’t a plumber’s job (his boss took the job even knowing what it was when he sent his employee), and how unsanitary it is to go underneath a house (that he voted to go in).

By the end, suffice to say he found my ring (don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about that). But it’s a mixed emotion at the moment. Given the fact how much work now lays ahead. I feel horrible—more so than I did before.

His precious quote I had to preapprove? Did not include him putting everything back together, after so carelessly shredding everything up. For him to do that, would be more money. The pipe we broke? All he had to do was take his wrench (which we didn’t own one that fit this particular pipe) and tighten it, he quoted my dad 168.00 CAD (screw that, we told him). My dad ended up fixing it himself this evening after a great deal of trial and error.

During the post conversation with my dad, the plumber let it slip that yes, going in from above, would’ve been messier and not any more work. You know what, that 300.00 limited access fee wouldn’t have applied had it done it the way I specifically asked him to. I came home to a total bill that was 580.00 CAD for an hour’s worth of work, and a torn to hell space under the house, where the now unprotected pipes are laid bare in the face of winter just around the corner, here in Canada.

Next Saturday, rain or shine, we’re off to the hardware store to get supplies to replace the insulation he took out, as well as new wood sheets to protect the pipes from freezing, and other bits and pieces.

Apparently, you can’t even trust referrals. We got these people’s names from someone we know at work, who swore by them. But, tomorrow is a new day, and that is one company that will have an earful. By the time my dad is through with them, they would’ve wished I was the one who phoned.

So that was my weekend adventure, one I hope I never, ever have to repeat.

Hope your weekend was better that mine, lol!

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