Friday, March 25, 2011

Faulty, broken, broke!

We are one week away from the end of the first quarter of 2011. Chinese New Year came and went, school is in full swing with C taking the first exam for the school year this week. Last week's one-week school holiday zoomed by before I could even feel like it was a holiday as I helped C prepare for her piano exam and this week's school exam.

What do I recall of the first three months of this year? Lets see. Rush here, rush there with all the daily chores of a SAHM, surf the Net, write some articles, wake up at 5.30am daily and groggily prepare C's school lunch and breakfast. Nothing extraordinary. Not much time or energy to write in my blogs or pursue Cooking Thursdays. Such is the life of a SAHM who is on call 24/7. And this morning, I thought to myself - it's Friday today. Office workers will be saying TGIF! In my sleepy stupor while moving between kitchen and dining area to and fro, I coined a new acronym - SWIF - So What It's Friday?! Office workers get a break and change of scenery so to speak come Saturday. I continue what I've been doing during the weekdays over the weekend and my 'scenery' is always my home.

We've been plagued with 'irritations' around the house these few months. It started with the dripping taps in both the dry and wet kitchens. The taps are just two years old and they are supposed to be better quality ones. The part that has loosened cannot be replaced so it looked like we had to buy new ones. Luckily, we managed to improvise and added an extra washer/seal inside, which tightened and closed the gap that caused the dripping. Some $ saved.

Then my 13-year-old dryer decided to call it quits. Before it died, it was moaning and groaning as it spun. Since moving into a house, I've only used it as a backup on rainy days. Yet, due to its age, it gave up on me. I postponed repairing it for about two months. But this week has been very rainy and I figured that I should get the dryer checked to see if anything could be done. No point having a big chunk of metal taking up space and being of no service to me. Yesterday, the technician came and diagnosed a faulty motor, weathering belt and another cracking part. Original parts aren't cheap but I hope they'll last longer. When they get replaced today, it'll cost us RM600 inclusive of workmanship cost. Still cheaper than buying a brand new dryer for around RM2000.

Last month, we got a shocker from our water bill. Our regular bill monthly would be around RM20-30. The last one was RM88.15! The water company sent a technician to check the meter. He said meter is working fine, probably we have an underground or internal leak somewhere so we have to pay up. The meter continues to run even when no water is being used.

He recommended a plumber, so-called water company-certified, but obviously his crony. The young man came to make a diagnosis which cost us RM50, said an internal pipe in one of our bathrooms is leaking and would cost me RM880 to fix. I said thanks and did not call him again to fix the problem. Another plumber (one I had used before) was called in and he diagnosed a different problem. He 'fixed' it and charged me RM150 but after a few days, the meter continued its merry run even when no water is used. Called the guy again and he told me he'd come at a certain time and date. On that day he was to come, he SMS-ed and said something urgent came up, he'd come the next day at 10am. Next day, 10am, no show. My numerous calls to him went unanswered. Sigh, I just hate dealing with contractors. They are unreliable, not punctual, don't turn up as agreed, don't do a good job, dishonest, unscrupulous most of the time. Too bad I have to generalise this group of people as such because in all my dealings with them, 4 out of 5 are like this.

Two days ago, the third plumber came. This one is an older hand, balding with grey hair, English speaking and seems more trustworthy, recommended by a neighbour who sang praises of him. He came to check and diagnosed with no charge but again, his initial diagnosis was right for only one day. The meter continued running again so where the internal leak is is still a mystery. We continue to eliminate the possibilities and will have to call Mr Plumber again soon....and I wonder if and when it gets fixed, how much $ we will have to cough up. Meanwhile, I'm bracing myself for the next water bill.

Two days ago also, I discovered a slightly rotting base of a door post in my kitchen. I poked it and lo and behold, it was a happy colony of termites chewing away....Time to deal with yet another contractor. Called their 1800 number and they said they'd send someone. I'm still waiting for that someone to call and say they're coming. Inspection is free but treatment is charged according to per square foot....yikes... I'd probably call them again today and ask if they're ever coming or I'll take my business elsewhere....

Yesterday, while cleaning my two-year-old cooker hood, a plastic part of the grease collection container broke off. So the container cannot remain in its proper place to do its job. The broken piece is rather tiny I wonder if it can be Superglue-d back...Otherwise, this means calling the manufacturer of the hood to see if they sell that small little container....

So many household inconveniences to deal with, costing so much hassle and unbudgeted expenses. I need a genie in a lamp, a money tree, a fairy godmother right now!

1 comment:

mumsgather said...

Anna, this sounds exactly like a post I would have written, only different parts need fixing and yes, I hate contractors too. If you find that genie, money tree or fairy godmother, do share with me please!