Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Yesterday was a bit of a disaster. Arriving home from work, I found that the electricity had gone off. The land-line telephone, an electric model, didn't work. My mobile had run out of juice during the day. I went around to all eight units in my block: nobody home. Not a one. I was expecting a carpenter to arrive at 5:30. He was to measure up the big bookcase in my study with the aim of installing another shelf for my growing collection (currently, the shelves are quite far apart and I gauged there's room for another).

So I went next door and started knocking on doors over there, trying to find a telephone. Number three bore fruit: they were home. A bunch of Indian students. The guy who opened the door, named Hiresh, said he had a land-line in his apartment but that he was waiting for his flatmate to return home. In the end they found a working mobile and I could use that to call the electricity company, EnergyAustralia. No blackouts in my area, the operator said, but she offered to dispatch an electrician: $88 call-out fee plus hourly rates. I asked the operator to call my electrician (John Moses) for me, but she demurred.

I returned to my flat and located my address book, then stepped onto the footpath to await the carpenter: it was already 5:30. He didn't appear. Then I went back to Hiresh. At first he said he couldn't let me use the land line, but then, apparently changing his mind, he called me back, asked me to sit on the couch, and plugged the telephone cord into the back of a sticky-looking telephone, which he then placed, at my disposal, on the coffee table. I called John Moses.

I waited on the balcony of my apartment, expecting either the carpenter or the electrician to arrive at any minute. At 6:30 the latter pulled up in his truck. We were getting somewhere.

The problem will require another visit from John to fix. He got it working again and I immediately called John Szabo, the carpenter, who apologised, saying he'd completely forgotten about our appointment. He was just then at a nursing home and would come over immediately.

The bookshelf job is not a big one. When he arrived he took the measurements and we calculated the distance that there would be between shelves after adding a new one: 28.6 centimeters. He told me his charges and had me remove one of the shelves so that he could match the stain colour on the new shelf. He'll return on Sunday — if he doesn't forget.

1 comment:

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The man with the toothache thinks every one happy whose teeth are sound." George Bernard Shaw"