Monday, November 26, 2007

Diggers, Plumbers and Electricians, Oh My!

Those of you who know me, know that I work in IT. Change in IT is almost always bad. It leads to downtime, unexpected outcomes and can have ripple effects that have the potential to cost lots of money.

I recognized that change is required to make improvements. I recognize that change is required to stay competitive and I recognize that change is required to meet the challenges of uncontrollable external events. But in my job, I don't like it.

Sometimes this philosophy spills over into my personal life. Like when there is a several ton digging machine trying to dig a six foot deep trench against my foundation. Or when there is a concrete saw cutting out large chunks of my basement floor. Or when an electrician takes a jack hammer to my walls.

Tuesday, the subcontracted excavating firm came out and dug a trench for the new electrical line. The existing electrical feeding the house is 100 amp overhead service. We knew we wanted to upgrade to 200 amp and decided to bury the line as well. Burying the line and upgrading turned out to be very cheap. The electric company wanted to get rid of the liability of another power pole. It also gives us more yard space and is much safer when it comes time to clean out the gutters - no need to watch out where I put that metal ladder.

Digging an electrical trench definitely qualifies as change. And of course unintended consequences occurred. The excavators dug up our phone line, at almost exactly the same time the the phone company switched service over from our old house to our new one. The excavators were "kind" enough to lay new wire in the trench to replace what they had severed. Unfortunately, where the electric enters the house is not where the original phone entered the house.

A call to the phone company had them out the same day (unbelievably good service I must say), where they informed me that since the entry point of the phone wire had changed, they couldn't restore full service. Internal wiring was not their problem, unless extra dollars were paid. I can't fault them. It makes sense, but it does mean that now I need to rewire the phone from the external network interface to the internal phone jack. And soon. No phone means no Internet, and no Internet is likely to make my poor wife go a bit off her rocker, especially with it being NaBoPoMo.

Today is the day that the sewer guys are coming to put in all new sewer under the house and then out the back yard to the main sewer line. The amount of change involved in this is huge (from my perspective) and it makes me nervous. I watched the digger in the backyard for about five minutes before I couldn't take it anymore. Everybody showed up on time and seems very professional, but it still makes me nervous.


nonick said...

Did you have someone out to mark lines before they started digging? When I worked for the forestry company, and we did trenching work, we couldn't do any digging until the yard was marked up. Not that accidents didn't still occur...

Mr. Kluges said...

Yup - all marked. And no severing as of yet.