Friday, November 23, 2007

The Septical Inquirer

[written just previous to closing]
The Septic Tank; the topic of many a rural essay and the morbid fascination of many rural homeowners. Mine is starting out as a hassle; like a colicky baby, I hope it settles down and becomes a darling member of the new household. It is leaking, very much like a baby diaper, but I’m lucky that it’s happening before I buy the place. I’ve been watching from the sidelines as the seller works to get a new tank in. I’m getting an intense education in the county building code and permitting system as well. But mostly I’m getting a very frustrating game of “Telephone”: I ask my realtor for news and within the day she emails or calls the seller’s realtor, who, within a day or two, calls the contractor, who - within a day, etc. - calls the seller’s realtor… eventually, in a week, I get some variation on my question answered, which of course brings up another question and the next week is spent answering that.

Today something just snapped and I demanded the phone number of the contractor, and spoke directly to him (or his assistant, hopefully the next best thing.) He informed that the permit finally arrived in the mail Saturday (do people still do things by mail?? Apparently so…) and he immediately put in an order for the tank. Since I’d heard two weeks ago that the permit had been gotten and the work was to be done last week, I was -- to be honest -- disappointed, but managed to be polite, appreciative and asked 5 more questions that would have taken a month to have answered the old way. Turns out the tank should be delivered by Friday latest (don’t they always say that, so when it’s late, you can’t call and complain?), and would be put in “immediately“. His logistics sounded somewhat 6-dimensional, but he promises all the tank work would be done by Friday afternoon, ready to inspect -- which legally must be done in 5 business days. That sets us out to exactly the closing date, and the title company won’t give me the amount of money I need to wire over -- and if I don’t do it by Friday, I start to run out of time to move from my apartment on time! So naturally, I feel like Luke Skywalker when the garbage compactor started to move inexorably inward. “Just keep moving upward” doesn’t begin to cover it…

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