There is a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when your partner starts getting calls from neighbors you only know by condo number. “Mr. Fregado, there seems to be a problem in your unit.” Fire? Burglary? Explosion? Raid? Publishers Clearing House? Nope, none of the above.
The problem does not seem traceable. All we know is that it started on the third floor and apparently must have been seeping through all the units below and to the sides. The next door neighbor thought it was her washing machine leaking and called a plumber. The plumber said, this is much worse than just your condo – it is coming from the one above and the one next to you. All he could do was turn off the water but the damage had already been growing since earlier today. With our crazy schedules, we didn’t know a thing until we started getting the calls.
It looks like the interior of the condo is a total loss. Water has been seeping in through the ceiling and the walls so that it is totally soaked – mold is going to be an issue. We called our friendly insurance guy, Juancarlo. He said to find a hotel to stay and to start filing the claim via telephone. I really am glad that he can stay calm no matter what we have thrown at him – and we know he really cares.
We also encountered another truly nice person in the quest to patch up our evening. Mr. Fregado and I set out to rent a room for the night. It was already midnight and it seemed that every hotel we went to was booked. Booked? In Laredo? Yes, dear readers, last night was a busy night in Laredo. From the Embassy Suites, to the Fairfield, to the Red Roof. When I finally stopped at La Quinta on the Loop, Steven was the night guy and he was very accommodating. Of course, La Quinta was also booked but he took the time to smile and told me he would be glad to make the calls to other hotels to find a room. He called this one and that one and it seemed like nothing would be available. He was finally able to make an arrangement for the Courtyard and had the courtesy to say that if we needed anything else, he would be of service. Wow, how is that for late night customer service? I wish we could clone Steven’s attitude and helpful nature. Laredo would definitely be a better place.
All in all, the material things lost are not important. Being reminded that neighbors do care, insurance guys do respond no matter the time and hotel front desk people want to help – despite my runny nose and bronchitis crackly lungs – made me smile in Laredo.