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September 22, 2013

When stupid people attack - a case study

OK, Ace posted a largely academic piece on stupid people with math'n shit, or at least a math symbol 's'. Theory is nice and all, but most people relate to practical real life examples better.

Today I dealt with a very real world stupid person attack that cost me about $230 out of pocket and several hours of nasty labor to get things put back to normal.

The first clue I was "under attack" - a $200+ water bill, when the bill is normally ~$30. I check everything inside the house - no leaks, same with the outside hoses. All tight as a drum.

Now working back towards the water meter...AHHH, soft wet earth, water bubbling up out of the meter's protective enclosure...

...It seems my known stupid person neighbor has been driving over the protective enclosure pushing it further and further into the ground until it put so much pressure on the PVC fitting coming out of the meter it cracked. Worn down grass and tire tracks on the sidewalk make for pretty conclusive evidence of his "slow motion" stupid attack.

See, this area isn't even his actual driveway, that's on the other side of his lot. He just plunked a few pavers down to park on without any consideration of the municipal infrastructure that may lay below unseen. Miss the pavers by a few inches pulling in drunk and you've driven over the meter enclosure. The good news -- its a dual meter enclosure that has his meter in it too...and HIS water pipe goes right under where he's been parking, so he'll wind up with a similar failure eventually too...which he's too stupid to be able to repair himself. A plumber would be wanting at least $500 for this kinda nasty job.

Two trips to Home Depot, the first for a curb key to turn the municipal source off. The second for parts hours later after digging up a huge sodden root choked mess to expose the busted fitting and enough pipe so a repair could be executed.

All in all, it was a lousy freaking Sunday. This filthy nasty, digging and root chopping repair was NOT what I had planned AT ALL...but when I opened up that water bill last night, the attack of a stupid person had decided how my Sunday would be spent.

The pipe repair itself was trivial, 10 minutes tops start to finish. Stupid person neighbor came out as I was finishing up to see what was going on. I explained the failure mechanism to him, got a shrug, and he walked away. No offer to cover some of my huge water bill, no "gee I'm sorry I didn't know I should not drive over easily broken shallowly buried infrastructure".

This same stupid person has managed to cut my phone line twice while digging in his yard...even though the phone company will come out and flag cable locations for free. Its axiomatic - stupid people NEVER avail themselves of free stupidity mitigating services. Ever.

I smartened up with that 2nd phone line cut and decided to "stupid proof" for the future. The AT&T repair tech agreed it might be prudent to sleeve the bulk of the cable above ground in PVC conduit strapped to my house where digging by stupid people wouldn't cut it again. Just to be sure, I used heavy Schedule 80 conduit which is pretty damn tough stuff. Even stupid people are gonna have to work hard to bust through Schedule 80 conduit.

I think AT&T sent the stupid person a bill for $300 for the repairs, since the last cut was flagrant, and the stupid person even tried to hide it by burying concrete blocks on top of the cut. I helped the AT&T tech dig that up and he was kinda pissed someone would try to hide the damage they caused like that...and it was the 2nd time. If the stupid person hadn't tried to hide it with the buried blocks, the AT&T guy would have let it slide.

Its not paranoia when they
really are out to get you

digg this
posted by Purp at 07:42 PM

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