Wednesday, 29 June 2011

One step forward....five steps backwards.

So last week, the big guys 'zoned' the entire city:

We fell in the white zone. We thought it was no big deal, and had no real consequence to our repairs. We had our scaffolding up, and our builder was talking to the EQC about starting work. Then in today's paper they came out and said that they have put a hold on all repairs in the white zone...indefinitely.

Our scaffolding is going to be taken down. We have no timeline. We have gone from optimistically hoping work would begin in the next few weeks, to the very real possibility it may be over 12 months before anything happens.

What the heck am I going to blog about if that happens?

Another phone call...

Hello this is the Earthquake Commission, how can I help?

Me: Hi, about ten days ago someone called me and said they were assessing our land, and would get back to me within a day or so and I hadn't heard anything so was just calling to see how it was going?

I see, can I have your claim number? And full name? And address?

Me: [gives details]..

Right, um, okay, let's see......[pause]...okay.....[pause] looks like we have assessed your land.


Me: Okay, so what was the assessment?

It looks like we have sent you a letter, um, this morning.

Me: Okay, great, what was in the letter?

You will receive the letter in 5-7 working days.

Me: Can't you just tell me what it says now? Seeing as I'm on the phone?

I'm afraid I can't see that. But I can see that you are being sent a letter which talks about what is majorly happening to your land.

[this is actually what he said "majorly happening to your land" - wtf?].

Me: Majorly happening to our land?

Yes that's right Ma'am.

[he actually called me that too - "ma'am"].

Me: Is there anyone I can talk to who can tell me what is in the letter?

No, but I will make a note that you would like to know what is in the letter...[taps on keyboard] there anything else I can help you with?

Me: Ah no, you have been majorly helpful....loser.

[I didn't actually say this, but it's what I thought. I am not mean to people who work in call centres as I was one once. It's not their fault there was a majorly massive earthquake and the EQC was majorly unprepared and they were at the front of the dole queue and so had to take the stupid call centre job talking to all the Christchurch losers who are all grumpy because they desperately want to know what is majorly happening to their land].

No doubt I will have a major update in 5-7 working days.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Un-prompted contact!

After all my whinging and moaning, I received a phone call this morning from an actually quite intelligent sounding woman who was simply calling to let me know that a team of peeps from the EQC were going up to the house today to have a look at our cliff. As in progress. I have no idea what this means, but it's got to be a step in the right direction, yes?

I can't believe how this is totally like what I imagine to be going on behind the scenes right now...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Average weekday morning.

Phone Call Number 1.

Me: Good morning builder-who-shall-remain-unnamed. Just wanted to check in and see if we have made any progress towards starting repairs...

I haven't heard anything - maybe you should try calling Fletchers directly and see if you can get them to assign the job to me.

Me: Okay, so I'm asking them to appoint you as supervisor?


Me: Okay. Will do. Speak to you soon.

Phone Call Number 2.

Welcome to Fletchers, this is Sing-Song-Telephone-Operator-Voice

Me: Hi, I wanted to speak to someone about beginning repairs on our house and appointing our own contractor.

Did you want to opt out of the scheme?

Me: No, I wanted - ...

I'm sorry, but repairs will not be beginning for some weeks in your area, someone will get in touch with you directly at a later date, goodbye.

Dial tone.

Phone Call Number 3:

Welcome to Fletchers, this is Abrupt-It's-Only-9am-And-I-Want-To-Go-Home

Me: Hi, I wanted to speak to someone about electing our own EQR approved contractor to project manage our repair work.

You mean you want to opt out?

Me: No, I want to elect our own contractor to manage the repairs.

I'm sorry, you can't do that.

Me: But it says right here I can do that...

I'm sorry, I will have to get someone to call you back [takes contact details].

Phone Call Number 4.

[waits 7 minutes on hold listening to repeated messages of other numbers I can call for help - none of which are applicable to me]

Hello Earthquake Commission, you're speaking with Student-JobSearch-Kid-Who-Has-No-Idea-And-Doesn't-Care, can I have your claim number? [looks me up in the system, asks my address and verifies I am the homeowner]

Me: I was just trying to get an idea of what is happening with the land part of our claim, and when we will be able to move back to our house?

One moment please

[waits 2 minutes on hold - stupid music that sounds like my one-year-old son on a xylophone]
Hello, you're speaking with Very-Busy-Why-Do-Those-Idiots-On-The-Front-Desk-Keep-Transferring-Calls-To-Me.

Me: Oh hi, I was just trying to see where the land part of my claim is at?

Can I have your claim number? [looks me up in the system, asks my address and verifies that I am the homeowner] Okay....[taps at keyboard]....hmmm...the engineer's report is here...[taps at keyboard]...hmm. We seem to have all the documentation...I'm going to have to transfer you to another department.

[on hold - same stupid music]

Hello you're speaking with Someone-Obviously-In-Brisbane-Australia-But-Let's-Pretend-I-Am-Right-There-In-New-Zealand-And-Have-Some-Understanding-Of-What-You're-Going-Through.

Me: Hi? I just got transferred to you regarding my land claim?

What's your claim number? [looks me up in the system, asks my address and verifies I am the homeowner] Okay. We aren't currently processing land claims - we are concentrating on house claims and repairs and will be looking at land claims at a later date.

Me: Right.

Anything else I can help you with?

[dial tone]

Thursday, 2 June 2011

One step forward...

Well, as far as landscaping the garden this year goes, I think that will have to wait. I'm starting to grow attached to the pile of rubble out the front though - some sort of installation piece perhaps?

Anyway, something happened. Like, something has been fixed, which has to be a step in the right direction.

We got new doors for the dining area:

They haven't been treated yet, but they are exact replicas of the ones that were there, and are fitted with the pre-existing brass fittings. Finally. Something positive.

I've managed to get some half decent photos showing how the floor has slumped in the corners - above and below are the dining room corner.

..And the same has happened in the living area:

It's much more noticeable when you see it in real-life. As I mentioned earlier, the EQC's plan to dig up our entire floor and re-lay it doesn't sit well with us. We have looked into an alternative, and it seems promising.

In the meantime, we are starting to struggle with not living in our house, and so are about to start the big clean, and move back in. Despite the fact that the cliff hasn't been sorted.

Who cares if it's not technically safe? So long as we keep the back doors shut, we should be okay, right?