Who’s on first? Gas is on second.

grab bag, wackiness

I decided to Do the Right Thing and avoid lazily making myself a frozen dinner tonight. Instead, I whipped out various spices, veggies, and knives, and decided to make a grand creation in my very own oven.

Ten minutes after throwing this soon-to-be-delicious tray into the oven (which was shocked to see something that WASN’T a frozen pizza!), something prompted me to check on it, and bo and lehold, it wasn’t the slightest bit hot.

And yes, I had remembered to turn on the oven!

And whew… I could smell the unlit gas, too. Blech.

But this was just the start of my troubles.

Figuring that it was just a pilot light problem, I got down on my knees with whatever-you-call-that-funky-flame-thrower-lighter-thingie, determined to show the oven who was boss.

Apparently I was demoted.

My roommate had no better luck. We both spotted what LOOKED like the right thing to light, but it wasn’t lighting.

We knew that we had three choices: Call a repairperson (expensive), call our landlord (who’d return our call, if we were lucky, a few weeks later), or call PG&E, our local utility company. We opted for the latter.

Figuring that we might just have some sort of blocked gas pipe leading into the oven, I though it was worth having someone from PG&E take a look… especially since there was always the possibility — albeit remote — that there was a gas leak somewhere.

To my surprise, they agreed to send someone out this evening. They couldn’t give me a time, but hey, I wasn’t planning on going out anyway. I was exhausted from a heavy workout at the gym, and never did get my nap in, so I was happy to stay in and take it easy.

By the time midnight rolled around, though, I was getting dang tired, and my roommate had already decided to turn in, since she has her church (singing) gig in the morning. I called PG&E to ask what was up.

ME: I assumed that “tonight” meant sometime before midnight. Can you give me an estimate of when I can expect to see someone here?

PG&E: Uh, sorry, sir, we don’t have any additional info. But someone should be there tonight.

Sighing, I realized that I wasn’t getting any additional info from them, so I hung up.

An hour later, I had finally had enough. I figured if our apartment hadn’t gone kaboom yet today, we could safely wait until sometime tomorrow. So I called PG&E back to reschedule the visit.

ME: Hi, I’d like to have a service visit rescheduled, please. [requisite providing of info, blah blah blah]

PG&E: I’m sorry, sir, we can’t do that. You reported something to us that could be a potential gas leak, and for liability reasons, we can’t come tomorrow.

ME: Liability reasons? What do you mean?

PG&E: Well, sir, if something happened overnight after a postponement of service, we would be liable for the accident. This is considered an emergency due to the nature of a gas leak.

ME: But if it was really an emergency, you’d have had someone here 6 hours ago, now, wouldn’t you?

PG&E: Well, sir, yours is considered a class 20 emergency. If it had been a class 10 emergency, we would have gotten someone there sooner.

ME: Okay, okay. Um, so when can I expect someone here then?

PG&E: Hmm… let’s see… well, it’s looking like probably sometime tomorrow. But I can’t say when. Maybe morningtime?

ME, looking for object to bang my head against: Okay, so you’re telling me I can’t reschedule for tomorrow, but in all likelihood, no one is coming until tomorrow. Fine. Could you at least have someone call as they’re leaving to come here, so I can get out of bed if necessary?

PG&E: No, I’m sorry, we cannot do that. Given your potential gas leak, you should under no circumstances be using the phone because of the possibility of sparks igniting, and so we would be liable if we called you.

I think I’m going to go back to microwaving frozen dinners.

1 comment… add one
  • Adam Jan 13, 2003

    Two updates:

    First, my sis has teasingly chastised me for ommitting the fact that I called our parents to ask for their advice and sympathy.

    And second, someone from PG&E showed up at the door… but neither my roommate nor I heard him arrive during the night.

    So of course, I called PG&E (oh goodie!), waited the requisite 20 minutes on hold, and then discovered that the soonest I could have someone come out here again would be Thursday.

    Guess it’s no longer an official emergency.

What do you think?