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Down in the Dumps, Bad Case of Grumps
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Our main drain from the house to the city sewer line backed up into the bathtub. The plumbers found that the old tile pipe was cracked and full of tree roots.

He quoted $4200, which is a reasonable price, to augur out the pipe and insert a plastic liner "guaranteed for 40 years" he said.

I left it up to my husband to sort out the details while I went off to work. The cost got an additional $2900 tacked onto it after the lawn was dug up and a five-foot-deep hole excavated. The extra money was to go from the sidewalk out to the city line which goes down the middle of the street.

You know the plumber had to know there was under-the-street work to be done; I think his quote was low just to get us in the middle of the work. What were we going to do? Tell him to stop and pay him $4200 for a big hole?

Of course we had to pay the extra. My husband just kept saying on the phone to me, "I told him to go ahead." (We got a $300 'discount'.) My goodness, for that price, it had better be lined in gold, not plastic. The "40 year" guarantee is nowhere in writing, so good luck with that.

Then when they "filled in" the hole, there was a lot of dirt left over, which they spread around the base of the olive tree.

The minute I came home, I said that there was going to be a sink hole, with sod having been re-laid over loose crumbly fill, and sure enough this morning it had already sunk six inches.

So I'm out there with a shovel, filling a shopping bag with dirt from under the olive tree, trudging over to the hole (I had to pull up the heavy sod, which was the hardest part) and dumping my load, going back for another.

Didn't anybody else in this whole mess ever have to re-fill a hole? Am I the only one with enough imagination to figure out what's going to happen? Of course the plumber wanted his men to do as little as possible; and my husband just wanted to get back to his bed and his TV watching.

I feel overwhelmed, discouraged and depressed. No matter how hard I try, I keep getting further and further behind, more dirt and more disorganization, every time I turn around. Sometimes I just want to quit.

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