Owing to a perennial Social Security shortfall, I work from 3 p.m. to midnight Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as a medical transcriptionist on the computer in my second bedroom. Wednesday, I received an email from my boss telling everyone that we’re an MT short this weekend due to sickness, so when I got up, I had every intention of stepping up to the plate and working all night to help take up the slack. Also, Friday and Saturday are the last two days of the pay period, and seeing as how I also have this knitting habit to support, I wanted to make some hay while the sun was shining. . .
While I’m girdling my loins to go to work and taking care of business, guess what? My toilet runneth over! I mean, totally full bowl (used, of course) overflowing all over the little mat that goes around the foot of the toilet, and all back behind it — with two cats up on the counter jonesing to drink out of the sink. The first thing I have to do is chase the cats out and shut the bathroom door because given 1/100,000th of a chance, the white one would be right in the middle of the mess on the floor and would probably try to drink it. Before I can pull the other mats out of the way, one is already halfway wet and water is still puddling so I sprint into the other room to get the “rag towels” — a couple of really old towels I keep for just such emergencies — and throw them down to stem the tide. I grab the cordless phone by my bed and call the poor maintenance guy to come snake the sewer line. Again.
Of course, between yesterday and today, we got about 3 inches of snow, the roads are a mess, they closed the apartment manager’s office and told everybody (maintenance guys included) not to come to work today and the on-call maintenance guy lives halfway across town. It’s also colder than the proverbial wedge with a brutal wind into the bargain. I’ve had to herd the kitties off into the bedroom area and put the screen across the hall doorway, because the drain snake has to be plugged in and this building has no outside plugs/points. (Does it sound like I’ve been through this before? Yep.) It took the maintenance guy almost 20 minutes to get here.
In the meantime, I’ve booted up the computer, fired off one email to my boss to the effect that my toilet is backed up and has overflowed all over the floor, the maintenance guy will come snake the drain as soon as he can catch the dogs, harness them to the dog sled and mush over here, and I’ll be on working once the tumult and the shouting has died and the Captains and Kings have departed,* and a second email to the apartment manager which was, I thought, remarkably civil and restrained considering the circumstances. While I’m waiting, I boot up the programs I’m going to need for work and check what’s in my work pool and nothing is due for at least six hours yet so I’m cool.
Anon, the maintenance man cometh, and knocks on the door, hands me the plug, and I plug it in to the electrical outlet in my washer/dryer area while he heads to the trap and starts feeding the drain snake down the trap. Never mind that I have the drill down pat by now, we are both heavily invested in accomplishing the task at hand as quickly and efficiently as possible, because he’s out snaking a drain in subzero weather and has to kneel in the snow to do it, and I can’t completely shut the front door as there is an electrical cord in the way, and guess which way the wind is blowing! Did I mention that this scenario has happened so often lately that the maintenance guys took the top off the drain trap and put it in their maintenance room and don’t even bother putting it back on any more because, guess why? The people upstairs, the ones with the kids that are into indoor Parkour, cannot seem to be dissuaded from flushing baby wipes down the toilet and clogging up the durn sewer line. But then, why should they stop? It’s not their toilet running over, after all. And since nobody can prove it’s them doing it . . . . (I have since learned that the two older children are her sister’s, and that they have two toddlers, and it’s the younger one, a little girl, oddly enough, that makes all the noise) . . . my only hope is that they’ll get Running Girl potty trained soon . . .
Speaking of toilets, the container of cat litter I already had in the house was less full than I thought it was and I’d used the last of it yesterday, and since I’m already cold, I put on my hoodie and mush out to the parking lot to get a full container out of the trunk/boot of the car. I know. I should have made a second trip and brought in the the two containers I bought Wednesday night because I knew the weather was going to turn ugly, but I was led astray by a Sonic chili cheese coney dog with onions. . .
So now, I’m an hour late for work, cleaning the bathroom floor with Clorox cleaner with bleach, and I hear a BLOOP! BLOOP! that tells me progress has been made. The maintenance guy rewinds the drain snake, I hand him the extension cord plug, and we are good to go. I load up the washing machine with wet towels and all the mats from that bathroom, set the controls for “heavy duty” and “hot” and then settle in at the computer and get to work. When the washing machine finished washing, I took the opportunity to break for some lunch (ravioli!). Since I don’t put my nonskid bath mats in the dryer because it eventually ruins the rubber backing and since I don’t have a clothes line any more (and it would be too durn cold to go out and stand in the snow to use it anyway), I have this nifty folding clothes rack. They work just fine, and as much as the heater has been on this evening, we can use the extra humidity.
Our predicted low tonight was revised to 14F/-10C. When I looked at my weather widget a while ago, the temperature was 13F/-10.5C. Supposed to have a high of 39F/3.8C tomorrow, but it’s supposed to get up to 60F/15.5C Sunday.