Thursday, April 6, 2006

WHY?

For some reason I thought I had another year or so before it hit. I thought for sure I had at least 6-9 months to get my bearings and learn every possible response. I thought I could cling to the tiny threads of sanity remaining for just a season longer. I was wrong. The WHY train has hit.

Why did Callou's tar bweak?
Well, something in the engine broke and they had to get it fixed.
Why?
So that they could drive their car again and because that's what people do when their cars break down.
Why?
Well, cars get old and sometimes need repairs so they have mechanics to do that.
Why?
You know how daddy goes on airplanes and works at an office; other daddies are mechanics and work on cars. (I'm not so PC that I even felt remotely guilty about saying daddies do it and not mommies)
Why?
Because cars break down sometimes.
Why?
Didn't we already have this conversation? Bo, tell me what you really want to talk about because I don't want to do this why thing anymore.
Why?
Because I'm so tired of it.
Ohhhhhhh. (sympathetic pause) Are you sick mama?

That is a miniscule, eency, weency glimpse into the scintillating conversation that makes up my day. I read about 6 months ago that children ask why because they don't know proper conversation skills but they do want to converse. I seriously thought this insight would help me when my kids hit the WHY stage. But the second the front engine of the WHY train hits, I start racking my brain for the real thing he wants to talk about, or a real conversation we could have but, I always come up empty. Personally, I think he just does it to have the upper hand, rob me of even the slightest delusion of sanity.

Well, I need to vent, I have a WHY of my own. I got our first electric bill two months ago at the beginning of February. It was for nearly $200. While I was surprised at how high it was, I had nothing to compare it to and didn't really take the time to study it as a smart consumer would. I made mention of it to Jay and suggested we be a little more conservative with our energy usage. I would cease doing laundry, he could in turn take only luke-warm or cold showers. A little sacrificing for both of us.

Well, bill #2 came and it was almost $30 higher. First of all, we never turned the heat on once---I wanted to see if it would make a difference. We were also ALL out of town for an entire week out of February. I was having breakfast with Oprah. Okay, so I had breakfast NEAR Oprah, but whatever. That left about 24 days of electric usage. So, I get concerned and ask to see my friend's bill who has two children and the exact same apartment as us. Her bill was about $96 less than mine. I see red. Then I see that she has the same Kwh usage as me, actually, a bit less. Still perplexing. It says we both used over 1600 Kwh. Then I see that she is paying nearly 5 CENTS LESS THAN ME. I'm paying about 13.5. So I call to see what the problem is. I get told there's nothing they can do about, I called the wrong number to sign up and my neighbors are under a deal that the energy company has with our complex. Tough luck, I called the wrong number, they won't switch it over and won't fix my past bills. I ask for a manager. I explain I have the number my complex gave me to call, it is the right number, I got transferred, and screwed. In that order. So then she says she'll "review the tapes" of my conversations and do some research and get back to me in about 48 hours. ONE WEEK later she calls and tells me this. And I'm not making it up. 'Your apartment management has an agreement with Direct Energy and the residents get a lower rate than the residential rate. However, your management did not renew the agreement with us until January 17th and because you signed up before that, you didn't get the reduced rate.' Are you KIDDING ME? I signed up on January 9th. So because of 8 days, it's not their problem, and nothing can be done about it. She even tells me, "I can't do anything about this, I know you are frustrated, you need to talk to your management office and see why they didn't sign an agreement earlier". And that would accomplish what sympathically futile Direct Energy employee? I asked her what she thought that would accomplish besides waste more of my time. She says, "I can't really tell you anymore than this, and we can't talk to your management office about it either." So, here's a summary of her weeks worth of "research". Even though we know you fall under our apartment agreement and see your address when you sign up, it's not our fault because you called the wrong number and decided to get heat and light for your family at just a bad time, I can't tell you anymore than that and this won't be discussed at all with your management, but if you want to be dumb and believe what's coming out of my mouth (but didn't originate there) then go ahead, and I'm so sorry, I can understand your frustration of having to deal with incompetent people who are sucking the very life out of your body with the energy bill." Or something thereabouts.

I off-handedly mention it to my office management about a week later, as in, "Can you believe they actually tried to pass that junk off on me?" And the management lady took up my cause and called her connection with Direct Energy who told her the agreement was signed January 4th. Well that just ticked me off. Don't know why, it's not like I thought Miss Maribel was telling the truth in the first place.

So I call again and ask to speak with someone over Maribel. I get a nice lady who puts me on hold after I explain all the junk Maribel made up in an effort to continue robbing us...She comes back with this. Rates are just higher in December and January when you signed up, you get the rate that is offered at the time you sign up. Nevermind that your neighbors could be paying half that---you get what you get, and we decide what that is. So sorry lady, you should have moved here 5 months earlier like your friends. I stopped our account with them. They should be selling poop instead of energy, they are much better at that.

I thought it was done.
We got a bill yesterday. HALF, I repeat HALF the amount of last month's bill, less than HALF the usage, and 1 cent per kwh HIGHER than the last month. Not only do I get a higher rate than my neighbors, who's bill never changes, mine can change to go higher. What in the heck happened? For all you people out there that are math challenged like me, there's a golden opportunity of employment waiting for you at Direct Energy. Probably even management. You need to be able to make up outrageous explanations for why you can't do math though, so maybe just bad math won't cut it.

Probably the most frustrating thing about all of this is when I ask WHY---not one single person will respond with even the slightest effort of an accurate answer.But I got a lot of "sympathy." I might try that method sometime. Sucker punch someone in the face and then stand around telling them how sorry I am for their pain and blood loss.

I gotta go rescue Avee from her self-made booby trap between the couch and side table.

2 comments:

Heather from One Woman's World said...

You realy ought to kill someone at that energy place. Holy freaking COW! I'd cancel it, go without power for a couple of days, and sign back up with the lower rate. Those hosers!

Also, I've heard that if you counter a "Why?" with "Why do you think?" that it stops them cold. I don't know if it really works, because Bean isn't there yet, but if it does, let me know!

Anonymous said...

G'Day Ang...Remember me!!! Hannike aka Sis Sorensen (Number 2)...Analiese told me about your site and it is nice to see that you are still hilarious....I can relate to the WHY!!???!?!?!?!? conversations...I have a 3 year old with the same issues....drives me crazy!! Anyway...send me an email if you have some time...shglen@aapt.net.au

Hannike