The Gas Man Cometh

So, as I was going to say yesterday before I was rudely interrupted by someone trying to perform acrobatics on the stairs, yesterday was a wee bit chilly in Chez 0ddness.

See, because we *cough* messed up a bill, we have a prepayment gas meter that has, over the last couple of months, been a bit wobbly in its performance. For those that don't get what it is, you take the card to the shop, put money on it, slot it in the machine, and it steals allocates some money for the outstanding bill and the rest goes onto current use. Well, me and Jo have a knack of forgetting to top it up, and only realise when she starts dinner and finds a lack of, you know, gas.

So anyway - of late, when the meter runs out of money, it just locks up. "Call Help" it suggests. Very helpful. However, it A) Only happens at night and, B) When it's cold. So we have to call a Scottish call center, queue for almost an hour, explain what's happened, then get asked to confirm my personal details (because identity thieves would love to report a broken meter...), then get asked to provide a new meter reading, then explain the problem, then get put on hold...

You know, call center crap.

So, we get told "within four hours unless they are busy" which to me says "Like, you know, whenever".

Last night was cold. And we had to have *shudder* microwave food because no gas = no cooker. Also add into the equation I feel gross. Jo has Cel and Lane over to play SingStar, Jaysen was out, and Tam and Nadine (Cel's 11 year old) were maurading. It was like three cats being skinned with little demons running rampant.

Jaysen escaped to a fireworks display. Smart lad. Well, not that smart - he's sick as a wee sick puppy this morning.

Aaaaanyway. You can tell I am exhausted because of the rambling.

So, at some point, a man knocks on the door. "Come to fix your meter sir." Finally my inner monologue says in a sarcastic manner, and lead him to the offending meter. He has a look at it, and smacks it one.

Yes folks, technical skills at their finest. KerPOW! Nothing happens. He does it again and it beeps once. He "Hmmmms" but says nothing. I tell him "We're due for a new one on the 20th of this month" and he nods once. So he puts his magic Technician Card in, and the display wobbles a bit and says "FAIL"

So, I try to make small talk with the very bored looking tech. "Not too busy tonight I hope?" he grunts. Grunts at me. I wouldn't mind if he was doing something technical, but he was removing two screws to expose four batteries. Not rocket science. Not to be put off, I push on. Because, you know, I'm an ass like that.

"Well, hopefully with half the county out at fireworks displays, it'll be a bit quieter than you." I suggest. "Just because it's Bonfire Night doesn't mean gas meters won't go wrong." Ooookay, Mr Literal. "Let's hope there's no gas leaks then - no fun digging up a road with fireworks exploding overhead" I push on.

"I'm on meters tonight, not leaks. And I'm on till midnight."

While he talks, he does more "technical" stuff. He unplugs the battery pack, turns it around, and plugs it into a different socket. I kid you not. Does the Button-Press-Magic-Card thingie, and the "FAIL" pops on the screen again. He sighed.

"Your meter is broken" he tells me in a reeeeally bored manner. And then, the mother of all questions. "Do you want me to replace it for you?" Erm... It's cold. We needed food. And hot water - let's not forget hot water. "Yes pleeeease." I say. "Would you like a cup of tea?" I offer Mr Sigh-a-lot. "One sugar. I'll get your meter and my tools off the van" and he wanders off.

Long story short (too late), he fits the meter in silence, drinks his tea, checks the cooker and boiler, and leaves. Not even a thank you for the tea. Which he didn't actually finish.

And there was no gas leak last night. Shame - I kinda hoped he'd get pulled off "meters" and added to street digging...

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6 Responses to “The Gas Man Cometh”

Em's way said...

Sounds about normsal behaviour for Gas engineers !! I hat e our meter with a passion, and yes you can guarantee it will always run out of gas when its dark and cold grrrr

lane said...

Oi we were perfect on singstar we r the new talent so button it mr or I will put u through it, errrr i mean make u listen to us again.

g-man said...

Should have offered him the tea, but told him he'd have to wait until the gas was on because how else can one heat the water (microwave is not a proper method of heating water for tea!)

Me said...

You know the things I thought of during this post:

A steryotypical American plumber (for whatever reason, Mr. Gasman brought it to mind!)

... and the fact that you people offer food (or tea) to your servicemen. I don't usually see that here (minus the customers that send my dad home with food or alcohol)!

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Hey Dan!!!!!!!!!

How art thou??

I've been busy.. just now getting around a bit!

Posh Totty said...

Been there done that ;o)