I can’t tell you how happy I was to see the Amerigas truck lurching its way slowly down the muddy, rutted dirt road that I joltingly call my driveway, heralded by Luna’s barking. “Hello, this is Luna*, your doorman.”
Normally, I’m not all that excited, especially because propane is one of, if not the only, utility you have to pay for ahead of time. They fill it up, charge you hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and you use it up at your convenience. Yes, they’ll let you pay off the exorbitant fee over a couple of months, but if you need another fill up before you’re done paying it off, you have to sell your soul or your jewelry or both to pay it off before they’ll even consider touching your tank. No matter how nice the landscaping is.
But, considering the fact that I’ve been trying to get Amerigas to get off their Ameriass since December 15, you’ll understand why their arrival about three weeks and a dozen phone calls later was a cause for joy in Hooterville.
The tank was at 40% then, and thinking ahead to the cooking marathons of Christmas, in addition to heating up my hippie hovel against the 32/0 degree cold, making hot water for washing dishes and Self, and the dryer for Jarrett’s five loads of laundry, I thought it would be good to stock up before the holidays.
Amerigas pointed out that I still owed them $165. I paid it on line the same day, and called them the next day to schedule a delivery. “The payment hasn’t posted yet, “ they said. “Well, it’s come out of my bank account,” I said. They suggested I call back that afternoon, which I did. Nope. Nothing posted. This time, the helpful person said that it could take five days on their end. Five business days. Try back next week!
So I did, armed with an email confirmation from Amerigas themselves saying they had received my hard-earned money. They still claimed they hadn’t received it yet, which was annoying, especially since I might have wanted to actually use my soul sometime. You never know.
I kept calling them, and finally we got to the stage in our relationship where they lied to me to keep me happy. “We’ll have someone out there this week.” “In a couple of days.” “Call me if he doesn’t turn up.” “He didn’t turn up?” Let’s put it this way: I no longer had to spell my last name.
While all this was going on, the propane level was, not surprisingly, dropping every day. Keep in mind that if the level falls below 20%, they have to pressure test the tank and yes, you have to pay for that too, even if it’s their fault for not coming the first 50 times you asked them.
Kids: this is what adult life is really like. You have been warned.
So, instead of having to pay for 40% of the tank’s capacity, I’ll have to pay for 60 or 65%, and considering that the last time I paid $425 for 40%, I’m afraid of what I’m going to have to pay this time.
Not the best way to start the new year, is it?
*Mark says I’m the only person Luna never barks at. I think it’s because I always pet her and fuss over her whenever I see her. It’s kind of like tipping her for her doorman services.