Friday, September 01, 2006

Fixing the Trailer II.

Last week I returned home to find a "Monthly PM Checklist" stuck in my door. Thats the first one of these I've seen. I guess they finally found me. As usual there was no information on the checklist to identify the company that made the inspection nor any emergency contact number.

My new problem is the roof leaks. Every time we have a hard rain we had a few drops of water coming out of a light fixture. Nothing dramatic, just a few drops, but I was concerned that the light might short out or the leak might get worse.

I decided to call maintenance. I had gotten the number before but lost the note.

I looked on the FEMA website to see if there was a directory for such things. No such luck. I called the FEMA toll free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to ask for the trailer service number for New Orleans. That lead to a 20 minute phone question and answer session primarily designed to fill out a form on the screen so that my call could be tracked in their system. Why do they need all of that information to answer provide a single phone number which should be public anyway?

Even though I prefaced my with a statement that I was living in a FEMA trailer and needed service. The operator did not immediately offer to give me the FEMA trailer hot line 1-888-294-2822 or ask my zip code which would have identified the correct maintenance contractor as Smith Research Corporation.

Interestingly the Smith Research Corporation website does not have any phone numbers on it. nor can I find any web resource which would allow me or anyone else in Louisiana or New Orleans to figure out the correct number. I did find such a site for Mississippi. You'd think someone would have thought to communicate these things in a way that is easy to find.

Fortunately I had stored it in our office electronic address book. Once I thought to check there I was able to find it and call them at 1-866-476-7329. The sent someone out that afternoon.

The two guys were appropriately concerned and took out the light fixture. They said it was to get a new part, and to show the supervisor the problem. I was told they would call back Monday or Tuesday. No call back.

It rained again a few days later. This time there was a lot more water and it came in through the TV antenna. The TV antenna is a complicated rig. It is on a mast which is raised an lowered by a hand crank and aimed by a locking rotating ring arrangement. It works pretty well, I used it for a while before I got cable TV. It leaked so much the floor was wet and it filled a pair of her shoes, that were unfortunately left right under the crank. I called again. Again they sent two people the same night, arriving at 1:20 AM. Of course they couldn't do anything in the dark. The guys promised to come back at 3:00 PM the next day.

The next day I took off early work so I could be there. They told me some one must be there for them to work on the trailer. I think it's so you can sign the work order for them to get paid. Unfortunately they never came back. The next morning I called again. This time they called back. I was told they would send someone out after five. I left work early to meet them. One guy came out, looked at the situation and caulked some stuff. It seems to work so far.

I'm still waiting for them to replace the light fixture. I made one appointment and they didn't show up. I guess I'll call about that next week. I'm sure it will be the third installment in this saga.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey at least you don't have a vanity mirror that they (FEMA) took and told you if would be a few weeks for the part to come in and that was 4 months a go or better yet the air is broken but the part would be in a few weeks that was a month ago...GO FIGURE...Sorry just wanted to vent