My house was lucky enough to escape relatively unscathed in the Christchurch earthquakes. A few superficial cracks, some sunken tiles in the courtyard, a water tank that needed securing and some wobbly bricks. All in all, I have been incredibly lucky.
However there have been a couple of plumbing bills to EQC and they managed to get round to do their first inspection in October. In June, they'd told me to get the minor stuff fixed and then flick them an invoice -which I did - however since I hadn't been reimbursed, yesterday I rang to see how I was progressing through the system.
Me:'Hi just wondering how close you were to paying that invoice I sent you for those minor plumbing jobs?'
EQC:'Yes, I can see them, they're waiting to be paid. They're on a priority list.'
Me: 'But that's what you said when I called you in October.'
EQC: 'Well, they're still on a priority list.'
Me:'Can you give me any idea when I might be paid?'
EQC:'No, we can't.'
Me:'But it's only $200, it seems ridiculous that you can't just pay it. All my friends seem to be getting reimbursed. Is there a problem with the invoice?'
EQC:'No, there doesn't seem to be a problem.'
Me:'Just you can't tell me when you're going to pay me...'
About now I'm starting to get frustrated, but I'm thinking to myself, 'In the scheme of things you're so so lucky, so just just the front door and suck it up'.
Me: 'Now about my house, has there been any movement on that ? It was assessed in October and I got a letter telling me I would be informed officially in five weeks about the assessment and...it's now February'.
EQC:'Sorry, all I can tell you is that it's been assessed and it's being processed...'
Me: '...and you can't tell me when I will officially hear?'
Me: 'Except I know that it's been assessed to have $5000 worth of damage'.
EQC:'How do you know that ?'
Me:'Because one of you guys told me when I rang at the end of October to ask about the unpaid invoices.'
EQC:'I'm sorry but all I can tell you is that it's still being processed and you will hear in due course'.
Me:'And I'm picking you can't tell me when that will be....?'
Me:'Isn't there anybody who could give me a clearer idea?'
I have to say I had to quell the urge to get a bit grumpy and stampy about the fact that I seem to be trapped in EQC never-never land, however I calmly thanked the nice lady and hung up.
It's at times like this I believe you've to live by the 'Look-at-what-you-have-got' mantra. As opposed to living by the Look-at-what-you-don't-have manta.
Cause if I lived by the dont-have mantra I'd be really pissed off I didn't have wings (and that $200 EQC owes me).