ZhEK sucks

No blogging for the past two days...because I didn't have power the past two days. Wednesday night the power went out in the building. Happens enough that, while annoying, it really isn't a big deal. Someone came out to get things back on line about after about an hour of darkness and we got light back...for about 10 seconds.

It seems that whatever was done to the building was a bit too much for the large, old fuse for apartment in the junction box in our podyezd to take. Rather than just flipping off, the thing blew up, causing the sight above.

The real fun began when we called ZhEK (communal services) the next morning to get them to send someone out to fix the whole thing. ZhEK's initial position was "We already sent someone else out to fix this last night, they said it was fixed and your neighbors haven't been complaining. Therefore, you don't have a problem." I guess they get lots of calls from people lying about their utilities not working. Maybe it's a communal services version of hypochondria.

After some arguing we finally got them to create a work order. This ended up being all for naught, as the technician they assigned the work order to, Oleg, never bothered to show up. Get on the phone with ZhEK again. This time they give us Oleg's cell number and tell us to just call him directly. We call Oleg. Oleg says that he's sick...and will be for the next 2-3 weeks. Good to know that ZhEK electricans are also doctors.

So we call ZhEK back again. They say that they can't send anyone else out because they already created a work order for us...that HAS to be fulfilled by sickly Oleg. However, since this means that we'll be powerless for the next 2-3 weeks, they tell us what we can do is call back in the evening report it as new to the night cres and they can send out the "emergency service" who will then fix it. Oh, and we can't tell emergency services that we already called this in.

Taking ZhEK's advice we call them back and file a new complaint. Emergency Service shows up around 10:00. Their first question: "why didn't you call this in earlier?" Then they get to work.

What did their repair consist of? Rather than replacing the fusebox for our apartment...they just tied in our apartment's line with one of the neighbor's ancient fuses...meaning that this is even more likely to happen the next time the power in our building goes out and gets turned back on. Except this time our neighbors will be just as pissed as we are!

Now we're looking for an independant electrician in Kiev to come out and get this mess sorted out before our building burns down.