This is not my water bill, even though it looks like my water bill -or- it’s taken me three weeks to write this entry.

Thursday, I discovered that, for the past almost SIX YEARS, I’ve been paying someone else’s water/sewer/refuse bill.

Yes, I know.

Lemme tell you the story:

I left work early Thursday to go to the eye doctor. (Here’s a fun fact: I can’t see. Worth shit. In fact, I’m legally blind without vision correction.)

I decided to swing by my apartment to change clothes and sit for a few minutes before subjecting myself to “better? worse?”, “better, worse, or no real change?”, weird eye scans, and (somehow, this is a new one for me) a huge puff of air on each eye that makes me jump.

I walked in the door and kicked off my shoes, heading for my bedroom.

“Hm,” I thought, it would feel reeeeeally good to wash my feet and put on different shoes right now.

So I headed to my bathroom and turned on the faucet. I got a small spurt of water, then nothing. I pulled the faucet knob up more, since normally it gives the water spray of death if you pull it up all the way, so I just assumed I’d underestimated the death force that day.

I wish.

I pulled the handle up all the way. I got nothin’.

I went to my bathtub, same problem.

I called the city, talked to an idiot. “You pressed the wrong number, ma’am.” Considering I’d pressed the number for water-related emergencies, I called bullshit on that.

Idiot City Lady seemed to be under the impression that I had not paid my water bill.

Sorry, chump. I paid it on March 30 and it wasn’t due until April 5th.

ICL kept trying to argue back and forth with me, then ended up telling me I needed to be at home if someone was going to come turn my water on.

After I contacted billing and the lightbulb came on that my account was NOT past due, they sent out an idiot boy to turn my water back on [I was lucky enough to see him driving down my road and race back home after leaving for my appointment].

MY WATER WAS NOT BACK ON. even though our exchange went like this:

Me: “Are you here about the water in 101?”
IB: “Yes”
Me: “Ok, do you need to come in or anything?”
IB: “No. The water is off, right?”
Me: “Uh. Yes.”
IB: “…..”
Me: “So do you need me for anything else, or is it okay if I go?”
IB: “Yeah I’m gonna turn it on right now.”

THAT LAST SENTENCE WAS A LIE

I called the city AGAIN and reached the after hours recording telling me to press 1 for emergencies.

You bet your ass I pressed 1.

I got an answering service chick who took my name, number and address.

Less than 10 minutes later, I got a call back from one of the nicest dudes ever. A “good ol’ boy”, if you will.

Our exchange:

Nice Water Guy: “They didn’t get your water straightened out before?”
Me: “No siiiir.”
NWG: Well, honey, I don’t know what kinda rocket scientist they sent over there before, but I’m gonna head out your way and get that water back on for you, okay?”
Me: “Okay. Thank you!”

NWG was at my house in less than fifteen minutes.

He knocked on my door and said, “Good gah. There’s one thing out here that’s off. How hard was it for that guy to know that you point the arrow toward the building to turn the water on? Pssht. Go on in there and flip on your spigot and tell me when the water comes on.”

I really, really liked this guy. Straight to the point.

Lo, and behold, water came out as soon as he used the “turn the water back on” thingy.

I told him I could only think of one cirumstance that caused this: my upstairs foreign neighbor with the black cat [who often had worms] and a white Cadillac that he parked on my side of the building just moved out. Except I didn’t mention the neighbor’s foreignness, the cat [or its worms] or the car.

NWG said he’d look into it. I thanked him profusely and he left.

Then I called my friend Kent [who looks like he could really be my little brother. Except he’s not. Even though my mom semi-claims him.] to see if he wanted to accompany me to a face-stuffing session at our local burrito barn. He heartily agreed.

Kent and I talk about farts, boogers, doo doo and other non-ladylike things.

In between the time I hung up the phone and the time it took Kent [aka buttface] to get to my house, I got a call back from NWG.

And he dropped the bomb: my meter number has been WRONG for six years. SIX YEARS.

Strangely enough, foreign neighbor with the white cadillace and wormy black cat had moved in right around the same time I did, so our meter numbers were switched.

Or something.

And I have been paying his water bill for six years.

I hope to God he used a lot more water than I do, or I am in for some SERIOUS cash loss when my next bill comes.

p.s. our water/sewer bills here are ridiculous. We’re billed every two months and my last bill was Seventy-some dollars. My parents, located 3.5 hours northwest of here, pay TWELVE.

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2 thoughts on “This is not my water bill, even though it looks like my water bill -or- it’s taken me three weeks to write this entry.

  1. jimsmuse says:

    First of all let me say I think your blog is hilarious, and I’m glad you’re back. Second of all, let me say that professionally, I am one of those “answering service chicks”, and we do answer for the local water company out here in Northwest New Jersey.

    I get a call like yours at least once a week — the service guys are all nice as hell, but notorious for turning off the water at the wrong address after someone has skipped a bill. I guess it is a widespread phenomenon, and honestly it sounds like you handled it a lot better than some of the folks I’ve spoken to!

    Unless you used the “F” word fifty or sixty times in the process of leaving your name, address and phone number…then you’d be about average. 🙂

  2. Candace says:

    Oh goodness! My city bill for a place that contains 2 residents, mind you, is about $20 – $30 maximum for the semi-monthly billing. I say (and of course it will take legwork) you push the issue to get all of your overpaid money back. That will probably be a nice chunk of change.

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