Last Thursday, the contractor said, "Do not use the water upstairs. Or, you can use the water, but the drain is not hooked up." On Friday afternoon I asked if I could use the upstairs bathroom and he said 'sure.' He said there was a 99.9% certainty I would have my washer hooked back up that night. This did not happen, nor did it on Friday or Saturday afternoon (why did he say he would come and work Saturday afternoon?).
On Monday, I left, hoping reasonably that I might be able to do laundry that night. I got to work. The nice man who wanted only to print 450 copies of a newsletter about Peace with Justice was there. The newsletter was not printing very well at the office down the hall, so I said, "Come, use ours, we'll bill the UCC."
Now the UCC and my computer are not on the same server and are in many ways separated from one another, though we do share the slowest T1 on earth. Both Lisa-of-the-UCC's and my computer's were running _very_ slowly, like ten or 15 seconds to change windows, a similar lag when typing (the letters would appear singly and with hesitation). And the computer could talk to the fancy printer, but only very slowly, so when I asked it to print 450 copies it had to spool it very slowly 450 times. Very slowly.
After about 100 copies, I noticed that the hyperlinks in the newsletter (which they had assured me was entirely black and white) were appearing in color, jacking the cost of each 4 p copy from five cents to forty. I had been trying to give Peace a chance so I had asked them before but they swore there was no color in it. Right. Periodically the copier would misfeed and need to spool all over again. I did it in smaller batches, in monochrome.
I called the former IT guy In DC who was unhelpful. I had bounce notices from addresses in Germany and other places to which I have not sent anything, so I assume we were zombie'd. Getting a new, on-the-scene IT guy can be my boss's first job when he gets back.
I did have a pleasant time with the Peace gentleman; he is from Virginia and there are few other suitable words for him. He's charming, and he gave me food and we had a good time dissing Sarah Palin.
Paul the contractor called and said that the washer was not happening on Monday. Indeed... there was a problem, because when he had said I could use the upstairs bathroom he had only meant the water and the drain had not been connected all weekend.... no matter what kind of day I had had, his was worse.
The copier, chuntering along at last, announced that it would need its technician soon, so I left a service call. They said the tech would be there Tuesday. This kind of warning usually comes about 4 days in advance, so it was with displeased surprised that I read about four minutes later that the copier wanted its technician NOW and there would be no more copies. As it was already an hour and a half after I usually leave, we left.
For whatever reason, the slowness and clumpiness of the computers was intensely wearing. I went home and tried to quilt the difficult bit (the difficult bit I am on, anyway, I am sure there are others) and then went and watched TV.
This morning the shower was cold. I resolved to ask Paul about it.
I went to work, where the bookkeeper was keeping books only the copier wasn't working. Indeed, it was not, and I asked the tech service if they were coming and they said oh, yes, before lunch, and the nice Virginian gentleman stayed until about 12:30 and I said I would call after the tech came, which of course he did not. The computer was back up to speed.
After the Virginian man left, the bookkeeper tore into me for saying anything unkind about Sarah Palin (actually, I had been wondering where TIME Magazine heard Palin had slashed the budget of a teen mothers' home in a time of prosperity, because that sounded like something they damn well ought to footnote). Despite not agreeing with Palin's stance on abortion, she said it was a GOOD thing to have someone with no experience in government, and how could I say she wasn't qualified? People with education are always saying that and it was so unfair, Judy knew lots of smart people with no education, and people with education in HER opinion were too often living in their own little world.
I said you could say that about Alaska in general, for that matter, and I didn't like SP dissing community organizers. Judy said if Obama was such a great community organizer why hadn't we heard of anything significant he had done while community organizing? And on, and on, even though I apologized to her and said I had certainly not intended to say anything hurtful since I liked her and valued her company. "Well," she said, "You should think who else is in the room before you spout off about politics." I hadn't been talking to her, but never mind. I was glad she hadn't heard me yesterday. I was also irked that she was nasty when I tried to apologize for inadvertently offending her. I said that building was a well-known liberal stronghold.
Later, when we had changed the subject, she explained how much the general economic malaise was affecting her and her boyfriend and I wanted to say "Well, whose fault is that? and you're voting for MCCAIN?" but I was afraid she would hurt me.
Paul reported that the washer needed one more part but the drains were working again. I asked about whether he had turned off the hot water. He went and checked around and reported that I had no oil, which is annoying since I am on automatic delivery.
I would like a peaceful life, with a chance of laundry.