Thursday, March 18, 2010

‘The grass is always greener

over the septic tank'…I think that's the title of a book and a play by Erma Bombeck. Being country folks, we have had a few septic tank tales to tell over the years and now we have another. We had our septic tank pumped yesterday and it was a memorable experience. We called a local outfit and were given a price, $450, and that was that. Not a 'thank you for calling' nor any kind of follow up questions, such as asking about the size of the tank or even our address. Just a brusque $450! So I turned the page in the Yellow Pages and called someone in Chico. Oddly enough, they had an ad in our book despite being in a different county altogether. The person who answered this time seemed interested and asked all of the right questions and then told me that I could probably have it done cheaper by someone local as his price was going to be $350. I told him he had the job and we made an appointment for the next day. Five minutes later he was on the phone again and asking if he could come right now? Sure! Fifteen minutes later and he was backing down our driveway. Thirty minutes later and he was all through and writing out a receipt. That's when he asked me why had I called him instead of a local? I told him that it has become my experience that since we live in a smaller and less populated county, the local businesses seem to think that they have a lock on our business. And then he told me that he was really surprised that their prices were higher than his as he has to pay $200 to empty his tank at the sewage treatment plant in Chico, while in our county, the trucks are sent to a large field out in the country where the driver opens the valve and empties the tank as he drives around the field. Yikes! That is so gross! Is that even legal? He assured me that it was the normal method here and besides that, it was free.

You city folks have no idea….

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