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April 08, 2008


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Hmmm, that's very odd. The only thing I can think of is that the leak made something in the shower area loose or smaller and when it had a chance to dry off, it became tight or bigger again. The roof leak might actually have started it being loose or smaller, if the roof leak leaked onto it.

That's my best theory too, but really have no idea what to think. The leak hasn't returned. I'm going to go ahead with the roof work in the next week or two, since that needs doing regardless, but I don't dare repair the ceiling until I am sure there's no interior leak. It's going to rain all weekend, so maybe it will reappear then. If so, I hope it's early on, since I have to be on the road this weekend and I am terrified of coming home to another flood.

That reminds me of the leak I found in mid-January. Mine was outside. There was a big puddle all over the backyard's lawn, the source of which I traced uphill. After some fun digging straight down, I found that the leak had simply followed the path of least resistance thru the soil. The actual break in the pipe was a bit downward. Right under a very tall and very prickly cactus. Ah, the pleasure of wading in cold mud in January...

Woo! The leak is back! Plumber is on the way! I am not turning the water off: I want the guy to see this in its, err, live and leaky state so he knows I'm not crazy or plagued by ghosts.

(Oh, and my kitchen is semi-flooded again. The mop-and-bucket routine will be worth it if we can find out what the problem is this time.)

How do you manage to make plumbing problems sound like fun? I must study your writing technique more closely. That being said, I do hope that the Mopping Show soon comes to a truly happy resolution before the house faces further dissolution.

My casual guess is that the leak depends on a minimum pressure at the point of damage. That would explain why it stopped immediately when you cut off the water, but took a while to return when you turned the mains back on.

Or... waitasec, your mains were in the basement, and the leak was near the roof? No effing wonder the leak didn't spring back to life when you turned the water back on -- your pipes had drained, and it takes time for the water to refill all that plumbing!

If I've made this sound like fun, my writing is even more dreadful than I'd thought. Trust me, this is not fun. It is non-fun. It is the diametric opposite of anything that could even conceive of being fun. There is no fun involved for anyone here. I now fully understand how the drip-drip thing can constitute a form of torture; I feel like I have been aurally tortured for the last week.

I have no writing technique. I just do it. I'm a dance historian, not a writer. Or a plumber.

Oh, I know that the situation was no fun at all, Susan. It's just that the way you told the tale reminded me of how I've felt at times with my work as a programmer, and things kept going wrong on some Projects (aka Projects from Hell) and I'd find myself resorting to sort-of gallows humor to cope with the neverending disaster.

As for your being a dance historian, not a writer... I wish I were as good a not-writer as you are.

That being said, I do hope that your plumbing problems are soon a thing of the past.

Plumbing problems appear to be solved, though I suppose I should wait a few days before it's a certain thing. I am debating whether this warrants an entirely new post or whether I should just explain it all in the comments here.

So, what was the cause of the problem? As for the leak's temporary disappearance, I wonder if David Harmon was right.

some sort of plumbing-centered version of Munchausen's Syndrome

Fantastic turn of phrase.

Do you think he would have treated you better had you been male? He reminds me of the guys I used to have to deal with when I worked on cars. Call up VW authorized parts dealers and ask for a distributor clamp that'll fit a '66 microbus, and they ask if it's for a Volkswagen.

I hope it's done with now, and that you come home to a bone-dry kitchen after the weekend.

Hard to say if it was sexism or just expertise-macho. But we are not impressed with Victor and his ghosts. Victor was replaced last night by the even more macho Lee, who really is a story unto himself, and Victor is not getting paid for failing to find my leak the first time around.

This weekend we are supposed to have five days of rain, so I suppose now I get to go back to dealing with the original roof leak. Given the relative amounts of water involved, that's much easier to cope with, and it's not like there's any more damage possible to the ceiling.

I had a lot of sexist experiences when I was doing engine work on my old cars, but those mostly turned out funny, since once you get some auto parts or machine shop guys on your side, they'll personally take down anyone else who gets snippy. It wasn't so much chivalry as a fascinating exercise in machismo-once-removed: no one got to insult ME because implying that I was too girly to know what I was doing was an indirect insult to them for helping me do it. So I must have been competent, and they would defend me against any other customer who expressed any doubts. They actually somewhat overestimated my competence - I was the junior mechanic on the engine stuff most of the time.

Hmmm. Your auto repair experiences sound a lot like my high school weight room experiences. (I did shot put and discus, so I had to do weights.) Going into the weight room without my (male) throw team was a waste of time, because nobody would "happen" to be available to spot me. But when we went in as a team, even when one of them wasn't available to spot, those very same guys would offer.

I had forgotten that series of events. Interesting and instructive.

So what did Lee do to fix it? What was wrong?

Never did it seem like you were having a good time, but you did write extremely well, and humorously, yet! of it.

I await further posts with bated breath.

And it works even weirder when you're the person trying to sell the stuff to a macho customer. I spent several years just out of college selling paint and hardware in an old-line hardware store, and the reactions to me ran the gamut--and then some. But once I got some old rancher--or some dude from Armadillo World HQ--on my side, they'd never buy stuff from anyone else. Because I'd let *them* teach *me*.

"... the Mopping Show ..."

Serge, are you perhaps thinking of The Mop-It Show?

Paul A... It might be.

As for the male chauvinist plumbers who dismiss the opinion of humans whose body plumbing is noticeably different from theirs... That attitude thankfully is not found in my line of work, which is information technology. Or rather, it does not appear to be in my field.

That attitude thankfully is not found in my line of work, which is information technology.

Serge, I really wish that were the case. But my experience is entirely different; I've had a fair number of direct experiences of blatant disrespect on the basis of gender in my decade in IT. Sometimes it's just the pointed jokes (which one cannot object to without being called a humorless bitch). Sometimes it's much more severe. I know women who have quit IT altogether, and others who have changed to lower-paying jobs, to get away from harassment that management simply would not address.

You probably don't see it, because it's not directed at you.

You probably don't see it, because it's not directed at you.

That's why I ended my earlier post the way I did. On the other hand, the large corporation that I work for has equal numbers of women and men in IT, even among managers, and sexist barbs would not be tolerated. That may be because that corporation (which shall remain nameless) is based in San Francisco. Or it may be unique to the corporation, although I doubt it. Or, I may simply be blind to what is really going on.

It's interesting to think that, when I went to college, in the early 1970s, all of the programming dept's teachers were men, but things were obviously changing because half the students were female.

Dear Ghu, Serge, I wish you could slide into my old life and experience it! I was the first female professional in all my jobs. The naked lady posters, the assumption I'd slept my way into a professional position, the insistence that I was having my period when I made them redo bad work -- boy, it was not fun. Usually they would realize I knew what I was doing, but that didn't keep them from sexist jokes and pranks.

I clearly remember back in 1994 being addressed (in company with two female co-workers) as "lezzy bitches" (ha ha! just joking, girls!), to which my chirpy response was "only 1/6 right!" I left that job soon after. So did the boss who'd so addressed us. Involuntarily. The aftermath included suits against the company for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, age discrimination, etc. I wasn't part of the lawsuits - I decided walking away to a better job with a better salary was sufficient.

I decided walking away to a better job with a better salary was sufficient.

Living well is always the best revenge.

my chirpy response was "only 1/6 right!"

Did that moron blow his brains out trying to figure that one out?

Marilee... Serge, I wish you could slide into my old life

Oh goodness. I hope I didn't come off as a jerk. I only said what I said based on my own experience in my own field. True, I have not been the keenest of observers, and I do know I filter things thru the filter of my being a man. On the other hand, some men would say I'm not much of a man, because I don't fit their conception of what a man should be and too bad if I don't. The bottom line is that I have never dismissed a woman's opinion, not on the basis of her plumbing. Still, I am extremely embarassed that I might have given the wrong impression about myself on the subject. Gah.

And it's been so much fun telling stories about what a jerk he was for seventeen years!

I don't think he was a sufficiently deep thinker to file me under anything but "bitch". He hated that I was several inches taller than him, too.

Oh, how hellish it must be for a prick like that to deal with someone who's smarter and taller, especially a woman...

Serge, it's not your attitude, just that you didn't see it. Admittedly, I've been out for almost 22 years (I became disabled instead of walking away to a new job), but I still hear how it is from other women.


Like I said, once upon a time I was never the keenest where it came to social cues, and was blind to lots of things, not just what was happening to women. Yes, I confess, I was a nerd. I still am, but getting better at it. What I can say is that most of our group's users, all but one of whom are women, enjoy working with me and none of them ever had to smoke a cigarette to decrease any anxiety before approaching me.

But it sucks that this crap is still going on elsewhere.

"blocked drains" is obviously spam; the text is stolen from one of abi's posts above.

(Is this the right way to flag this, Susan? Or should I email you or something?)

Mary Aileen,
This is good. Spam will die.

(Wow, I got spammed. I feel like I've arrived or something.)

Susan... I feel like I've arrived

I think.

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