So, Week One of the New World Order (well...make that "in Johna-land", anyway...) whizzed by in a blurry haze of "wait, what day is it?"...with a healthy dose of "where am I supposed to be?" tossed in...as well as a sprinkling of "is it my job to pick up/drop off fill-in-child's-name-here?". Or, you know, as we like to call it "The Usual Routine"...but with a slight boost to the intangible...Chaos Factor.
It started with my first day at the new job, on Monday. I showed up, met or was re-introduced to a few of my delightful co-workers, then did some scheduled training for a few hours with IT, HR...and some other pertinent letter-people. Along the way, I got to have some nerdy fun setting up my automated voicemail, and thus automatically establishing me in the handy-dandy "dial-by-name directory" so I can be reached even if you don't know my extension. (Yes, I'm easily amused...I already admitted that, right?)
I also learned how to use the software on my computer to set up or participate in a web-conference (similar in principle to Skype, which we also have, but I haven't played with just yet). Now, I know some people don't like video-chatting, but--as phone-averse as I am--I personally appreciate being able to see the person I'm conversing with...to me, it makes the whole situation more like a real interaction, without having to try to be animated with a disembodied voice on the other end of an electronic wire. All-in-all, it was a productive, enjoyable beginning.
The only glitch is that, with the 2 full days at the office, and the additional long-distance interpreting gig continuing on Tuesday/Thursday, I didn't make it to any of the kid activities after school. Fortunately, both of Derek's soccer games and Riley's cross-country meet reportedly went well...but it felt very weird not to have watched any of the action in person. Suffice it to say, I was greatly looking forward to my Friday, when I could catch my breath and catch up on...you know...stuff.
Aaannnd, wouldn't you know it, Thursday evening a crisis...of sorts....struck Casa WestEnders. You see, at the end of August, our tankless water heater started acting up. Specifically, it seemed to be producing hot agua according to some random schedule, known only to its mechanical brain, regardless of when the household inhabitants actually wanted it. We had a plumber out to service it, mostly a standard cleaning/de-scaling procedure that's recommended annually to ensure consistent performance.
That seemed to fix the issue...until a couple of weeks ago when the kitchen sink suddenly declined to provide anything but a cold stream when washing dishes. Eh, this is ignorable for the time being, yeah? I mean, we still have warm weather right now, so who really cares if your hands are immersed in chilliness for brief periods? But then...after having arrived home predictably sweaty from one of the aforementioned sports events...Riley came downstairs and informed me that he was unable to achieve a comfortable water temperature in his bathroom shower. Uh-oh. A cursory investigation led me to the conclusion that--yep, folks, it was sadly true---we were totally deprived of anything but absolutely frigid H20.
Siiiiigh. 3/4 of the family sucked it up that evening (shivering profusely) and suffered through verrrry short...bracing...spritzes. (In case you're wondering, I refused to attempt to wash my hair under these conditions. I opted instead for a...let's say "camping solution": washcloth, soap, sink....and figured the 'do could survive in a jaunty ponytail for one more day.) The next morning I commenced calling plumbing professionals again--the plural being necessary because the first several I contacted said they could send someone out "Monday...or Tuesday".
I'm sorry, WHAT? I realize this isn't exactly an emergency along the lines of "water gushing out of a pipe and flooding the house, requiring immediate attention and assistance"...but STILL! Which part of "stinky people, offending their fellow human beings, over an entire weekend" are you failing to understand? C'mon, work with me, here! ('Cuz yeah, about the Arctic shower thing? Just. Not. Happening.) Finally I reached a contractor who said the magic words: "Yeah, I can send someone out there this afternoon." I didn't even wait to hear what time she proposed, before I accepted the deal. "Thank you! We'll be here!"
And all I have to say about that visit is: God. Bless. Plumbers. When he couldn't find anything wrong with the unit attached to the outside wall of the house, or the control panel in the laundry room, he had to take the next step. That would be....climbing into the dark, damp area under the porch, to examine some pipe or another. (I swear, my brain went into "la la la, I'm not listening mode" when he told me what he would be doing, as all I could imagine were the thick, clinging spider webs he'd have to negotiate through to reach the far end of the crawlspace...whole-body-shudder...)
In the end, it turned out to be a faulty valve...which he replaced on the spot...allowing steaming water to flow once again from every faucet in the house, on demand. Yaaaayyyyyy! After politely explaining it to us, he packed up his tools to leave. There seemed to be one more little item to take care of, though. "Um...what do I owe you?" I asked in confusion. He waved a hand unconcernedly, "Oh, they'll bill you." Alrighty, then. Let me tell ya, whatever amount happens to appear at the bottom of that invoice whenever it arrives...it will have been WELL worth it to avoid the arachnids and resume the personal hygiene around here!
In fact, I'd feel like I should take advantage of my quiet Sunday, since this coming week Husband will be away for several days on work-related business, leaving me to do ALL of the carpooling and household management myself. So I think I'll have a warm shower...and an icy adult beverage (perhaps not at the same time, however)...to prep for the impending extra dose of mayhem. Cheers!