I feel dejected. If I've made mistakes in my actions, please be gentle with criticisms. I'm alone in this and doing my best for my mom. No one is as hard on me as I am. Here is what happened.
My car was being serviced yesterday because the brakes were bad. From there, I went directly to Albertson's to pick up some groceries for mom. I got to her house at about 3:30 or 4:00 pm. She met me at the door in a heightened state of anxiety: crying with no tears, speaking in a shrill, rushed way, making no sense. All I could get out of her was: "There's been trouble here in the house." "There were people in the house"
As I put her groceries away for her and prepared her medications, I tried to calm her down enough to tell me (as best she could) what had happened. I went back to her bedroom to put her meds in her adjoining bathroom and saw a pink slip of paper sticking out of the circuit breaker box. The paper was from an electrical company, and said something about a permit at our address. I called every number on that paper, but got no one on the line. Ultimately, I went next door to talk to the neighbor. When my mom heard me say that I was going to do this, she confessed that she had gone over there earlier. (She hadn't wanted to tell me this. Then told me when she realized I was going to find out anyway.)
I went next door, was warmly invited in, and told that Mom told them she had no heat or power, They sent their teenage son over to check it out. He couldn't figure out what to do, so they called his father who's in his mid-60's and not living there anymore. He couldn't figure out what to do either, so HE called an electrician. As I'm listening to this, I still have no idea, really, what they've done, I only know money has been involved. I ask to see the bill. I was thinking I would be handed a bill for about $200, tops, (and that being an over-inflated amount). I was wrong. The bill was for replacement of a Siemen's 200 amp main breaker, a permit, a trip fee of $160, and 3 hours labor. All totaled, the amount came to almost $800. The neighbor paid it by check. I took the receipt, and to say I was stunned would have to be the understatement of the century. I told the neighbor I couldn't pay him right away. Had to at least call the bank and juggle funds or something. Honestly, I was in shock. I got to the computer repair shop that my husband and I own by 5:00 pm and told him everything I've just told you. Showed him the bill. He went through the roof. My husband was a roofer/construction worker for over 20 years and has experience in all facets of home repair. He holds degrees in related areas, (don't ask me which, I can't think right now.) He said that it was outrageous, that the work performed did not need to be done in the first place and the prices charged were exorbitant He said I was not to pay a penny of it.
We contacted the electrician on the emergency number and left a message. He phoned back about an hour later, and got extremely offended and fought with my husband. My husband also phoned the neighbor to request that they stop payment on that check because we dispute the entire thing. They in turn yelled at both my husband and then me. I was told that I am abusive to my elderly mother. Upon hearing this, my temper flared. They do not talk to my mom (until that day) or me. To call me "abusive" is the ultimate insult and hurt me enormously. I have my mom on my mind 24/7 and for 20 years now I have done everything I possibly can to help her. The neighbor and electrician had no right to enter that house much less make any kind of decisions about what was to be done in there. I have Durable Power of Attorney for my mom for the past twenty years because she is incapable of making most decisions on matters like this. The neighbor knew she was "not all there" (his words to me yesterday.)
I must have missed them by no more than an hour. I appreciate that they tried to help, and I am sorry that they could not reach me on my phone (reception goes in and out). But had they waited for me, I would have handled this, and would not have laid out that much money. My husband would have done the repairs, or one of our associates (a certified electrician).
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