26 September 2006

safer, but more annoyed

This week, management has been installing a new fire alarm system in our building. I appreciate that now I am less likely to die in a fire in my home, or from carbon monoxide poisoning, but let me tell you how much fun the installation process has been!

We got a note last week that the installation would begin on Tuesday, and that we had to clean out the hall closets both upstairs and downstairs, as well as clear the areas around the main floor and basement stairways. Okay, so on Sunday, we got the upstairs hall closet cleaned out (the contents are currently residing in our bedroom) and some of the basement cleared. Figured we'd do the rest on Monday.

Monday morning, 8:30am: knock on the door. The work crew is here, a day early, and I'm answering the door in my pajamas with practically nothing ready for them. I need to take James to school by 9am, so I scurry to get dressed and clean out the downstairs hall closet (by throwing everything into the living room) as fast as I can so they can begin. The head of the work crew is very nice, polite, considerate, and assures me that they can make do with the messy main floor stairs, and that they'll move anything that needs moving in the basement. He also tells me that the first four hours of the day will involve lots of drilling and noisy stuff, so I decide not to be home for that.

So Evan and I drop James off at school and head to Starbucks to bide our time until the children's museum opens. We spend a mostly happy morning running around the museum, then pick James up and head home for lunch and a nap. Luckily, the weather is nice enough to eat lunch outdoors, because our dining room table and chairs have been haphazardly shoved out of the dining room and there is some light plaster dust on the table. Okay, we'll have lunch outside with the bees. We spend much of the rest of the day outdoors because there are lots of workers coming in and out of the house all day long. They leave around 4:30pm, and we are able to move things back into the downstairs closet.

This morning, they knock on the door at 8:20am and again catch me in my pajamas. Today, there is a lot of banging coming from both the basement and the attic. Again, we head out to the children's museum. Three and a half hours later we return for naptime to find that they are (finally!) almost done working in our place. I think they're finally done by now, which would be wonderful if one of the workers hadn't entered my apartment a little while ago with another notice -- this one saying that they will be testing the new fire system for the next two days. So just when I thought it was over, I learn that for two more days there will be "VERY loud" and frequent tests of the alarm system -- the notice warns that children should be kept "at a distance if possible." Great. I don't think I can take another day at the children's museum.

I have no complaints about the workers -- they've all been very nice, and I can tell from the way they interact with my kids that several of them are the fathers of small children themselves. And sure, I'm glad we have a brand-spankin'-new alarm system. But, being the homebody & hermit that I am, I'm not psyched about four consecutive days of being in my own home as little as possible.

1 comment:

Samay said...

Take the kids to the MAG - everyone likes pretty pictures!