Disaster, but not like the TNG episode
I turned 31 this weekend, and had a fantastic time among my friends here in Kansas City. I went to bed last night sleepy and content, cozy in my bed. I was roused by the call of nature at about 6am. As I stepped close to my bathroom, I suddenly realized that my foot was in an inch of lukewarm water.
I followed the water to the door, opened it, and found that there was standing water in perhaps 2/3 of the apartment. I looked around for a source and couldn't find one. We'd had water before, but never anything close to this amount. Also, previously the water had come through a hole in the ceiling, from my upstairs neighbor's place. He plugged the hole and got his windows resealed, and weathered last night's thunderstorm without a drop in his apartment.
I checked my email and found that there had been a water main break in the night. I drew back the blinds and confirmed this information, as what had previously been the corner of 7th and May was now a gigantic muddy hole in the ground, with leaky hoses pumping water out at great speed, and shifty union workers standing around pointing at things.
By about 8am, we got a knock on the door. It was someone from the maintenance staff asking if everything was alright. I stood aside, sloshing water with my feet as I did so, and his jaw dropped. Within a few minutes, Jen with the management company was here, saying that my place was the only one in the building with water in it.
Within 20 minutes men in uniforms were wheeling large black machines into my apartment, and began noisily sucking what turned out to be several hundred gallons of water from my floor. They found the source of the water relatively quickly, as it was still actively filling my apartment with water. The wall of the building had been permeated, and was introducing water at a rate of perhaps a gallon per minute.
The city called me, and said they would be sending an appraiser over to assess the damage and advise the bean-counters as to an appropriate renumeration. As it stands, the restoration guys have sucked up almost all the water, and are working to suck up all the incoming water as it enters. They tell me this will continue until the water main break outside is entirely quelled.
Most of the baseboards in the apartment are saturated, and will probably have to be replaced. The plaster walls are probably damaged badly too. Computers, stereos, Jeff's TV and other assorted electronic effects managed to avoid permanent damage, though some did get wet, and the full impact is as yet to be determined.
The more alarming piece of damage is the part of the wall that in the time it's taken to write this blog post has increased its inflow, the restoration guys are having trouble keeping up with it. Looking outside, the water in the giant hole in the ground appears to have risen in level, though it looks cleaner. Meanwhile, the waterworks guys appear to have gone to lunch or something.
I will update as is possible.
Jeff and I were clearly in the way at the apartment, dodging out of the paths of lots of hurrying people. The water was coming in at about four or five gallons a minute, and everyone was racing to keep it under control. Outside the waterworks people stood in an uninterested circle, eyeing the hole in the ground like it was a rubix cube.
Jeff and I left things in the capable hands of Steve with the city, and confined ourselves to The Flying Saucer to pass the day. Steve gave me a call soon later, and went through a list of the things that he'd found for which he was going to compensate me. The list was impressive, and on top of that, he told me that all the building damage would be covered as well. I expected the latter, but the former was a surprise. I had already made peace with the thought of going on living with crappy water-damaged possessions, so his news was like opening my stocking on Christmas morning, and finding candy when I was certain I'd find coal.
Jeff and I were allowed three nights in a hotel, so after shopping around a bit, we found the cheapest night's stay to be had in the downtown area was at my favorite hotel: the Phillips. After a couple $2.75 pints with friends, we went our separate ways. I went to the hotel by way of Chipotle(saving the receipt), and Jeff went home to see if he could stand sleeping amid the torrent of noise. He could not.
He reported that the floors were dry, all the baseboards were ripped up, and there were twelve very large indestructible fans pointed at strategic angles and positions, making objects flop and flap around. All our possessions have been piled and stacked into noncritical areas. I went there for the afternoon today, waiting for someone to come, but they apparently want to wait at least a day to visit the place again.
So until that happens, the apartment is pretty much uninhabitable, and life is difficult to get on with.
5:58 PM, Aug 20, 2009
From the Can
My new-hire training is proceeding apace, and we now have two of five days of instruction behind us. The lecturing tests even the most well-rested person's ability to remain awake, much less alert. But that's fine. This is all stuff that the important people have determined that we need to know, so we need to just sit through it patiently. Besides, being done will be all the sweeter for it.
One thing that mitigates the boredom very well is the fact that these are some very good people who are receiving instruction alongside me. The company and the program will see noticeable improvement with the integration of this group.
I have three more days here in Boise, before I head home, and then turn right around for another week of training to be held at my office. I look forward to getting back to normal someday.
8:48 AM, Aug 24, 2009
Nuts. I made a very bad decision on my outgoing flight from Boise. In the past, when I would arrange trips like this, to weeklong training sessions like this, I would always allow myself at least one extra day, usually more, not only to give myself some time, but also to provide an opportunity to look around a new unknown place. This line of thinking, I assume, is what caused me to book my flight out of Boise for 3:57pm today, when we finished our training outright yesterday at noon.
What eluded me was the fact that previously I always had a traveling companion, Geoff. Now, Geoff has ascended to upper management while I'm starting over from where I was in 2004, and now I travel alone. Nobody else that attended the training this week, staff or students, had anywhere near as late a flight out as I have. As I write this, most of the people are already gone. My boss Glenn gave me a ride to the airport this morning, and I found that my flight is the first that Frontier has today. As such, there is nobody to receive my bags until 1pm MDT. So I have to keep myself occupied outside security, basically all day. I think I might just eat a cab ride.