No Electricity

I woke up this morning with a plan - get up relatively early, do some laundry while I'm sipping on my coffee and checking out my news stuff, then go to work after I've gotten a couple loads done and maybe cleaned up the house a bit since Ana's coming back soon. That would not actually happen as I woke up without electricity. No computer, no coffee, no vacuum, no dishwasher, no laundry.

Of course.

I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and it's *freezing* because I have electric heat which has been off for god knows how long. *Fuck*. I look out in the apartment hall and there's no light and I don't see any lights from my neighbors, so I assume first its some sort of blackout. A half hour later I've determined, that no it's not the street or the building, but indeed just my apartment that has no electricity. I go through the bills folder, and crap, I'm a couple weeks past due on the electric bill (DEMO, etc. threw off my normal routine). Two weeks late and they cut me off!?!?! Those bastards!

Okay, so I call Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). You can't talk to a person. So first I try the bill pay menu route, no go, the phone's bill pay system doesn't accept Bank Of America cards. (Are you kidding me?!?!?! For those of you outside the US, BofA is the largest bank in the country, and especially popular in California and San Francisco where its headquarters was located for many years). Okay, back to voice-menu hell. They'll call me back. Are you kidding me? Wonderful. This may seem like a convenience instead of having to be on hold the whole time, but once you hang up after entering your number you have no idea whether they really are going to call you or not.

Okay, so my bad, I jumped in the shower (central hot water). I come out in less than 5 minutes and sure enough, they've called back. AAAARGH!. Okay, voice menu hell again and now they don't call back for over an hour. I putter around the house for a bit, but now it's too late to put laundry in, and besides, I'm thinking I'm going to have to take off to some payment center (which I've called and found out where it is through an excrutiatingly long voice menu).

Finally PG&E Calls back and I ask WTF happened with my electricity and they say "we haven't sent anyone out to turn off your electricity, do your neighbors have electricity?" Yes. "Have you tried the circuit breaker?" Yes. "Even the one down by the meter?" Huh?

So I go downstairs into the garage area and sure enough, there's a bank of meters and under each meter is the master circuit switch. Mine is, of course, off. Why? How? I have no idea. I flip the switch and poof, my juice is back. I was thinking about just goign through and turning off a couple of neighbor's switches, just to share my morning, but I decided against it.

11:30 a.m. Wonderful. Time to go to work in dirty clothes and sneakers and hope no one notices...


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