Friday, February 1, 2013

Since When Don't Plumbers Do Maid Service?

I had to have a plumber over. He was actually here twice. The first time he did some preliminary work, then discovered he didn't have the parts I needed, meaning he needed to return.

The problem's been going on for a while. The toilet's been very loose, almost like a dance partner. I finally decided it needed professional help, otherwise who knows what would become of it. Were it to lose its moorings completely, I'd be the one to suffer.

The house didn't always have a toilet. We used to have an outhouse, which Grandpa would periodically relocate on the property. Speaking of dance partners, the outhouse was all over the half acre, of course as close to the house as possible without being a nuisance. Then in the '60s, he put in the toilet, which, since there wasn't anyplace better to put it, ended up freestanding in his and Grandma's bedroom. Even after all these years, one detail complicated matters: The cellar doesn't extend under their old bedroom, so whoever worked on it had very little room to work. My current plumber bemoaned this, too.

Anyway, after two days he got the right part -- some kind of flange -- and after a while managed to get the thing secured to the floor, draining right, etc. Oh, here's something: He told me I had sewer gas building up below the house. Meaning, good thing I don't smoke. One match in the toilet would've blown the place up!

Was I happy with the plumbing job? Yes and no. See, I was gone while he was working. I had errands to run, and I was figuring that once he got done with the toilet he would just continue on and clean up the rest of the house. Where'd I get that idea? I'm just a natural optimist; that's the only explanation I can give; in fact, I thought it was part of the service; at least that was my belief. Maybe if I'd been there he would've felt more compelled. I'll never know till next time.

At the very least -- this is my opinion -- he could've cleaned up the floor around the toilet. There was dirt, etc., not from the job, but just the normal buildup of dirt that gets under toilets over time. Dust and so forth, it's awful. I hate cleaning under the toilet. Then, I had taken the towels off the back of the toilet. He could've put them back. And speaking of towels, shouldn't it be part of the service to change the towels on my rack? And my sink needs a good cleaning. And the mirror's always got spots on it. That seems like good work for a plumber.

From there -- and mostly I'm just saying it would've been nice -- the soap scum in my shower is annoying. You get a little bit of soap scum, then it attracts dust from the air and becomes a total mess. It would've been nice for him to get in there and scrub that off. There must have been something in his bag -- a tool, a chemical -- that would've made it very easy to accomplish. But no...

I'm not sure what a plumber does when he's done with the toilet job. Maybe he just sits and watches TV. I checked the hassock and didn't see any fresh footprints. And no extra dirt on the chair. Obviously it hadn't been touched. I looked in the cupboard and fridge to see if he'd eaten anything, but apparently not. Everything looked untouched, except for my own touch marks.

I'm thinking he simply did nothing. Basically fixed the toilet and that was it. I told him I needed to go out for errands, so he must have taken that as license just to get the job done and leave. To which, what can I say? Don't charge me as much? Say you're sorry and all is forgiven? Getting a little service around here, is that too much to ask? Didn't he learn service in apprentice school?

I'll have to forgive him, I guess. Still, it really galls me. Just a look around and he'd have to see, the carpet needs vacuuming. And there's dishes in the sink that aren't going to wash themselves. And if he can't be bothered to do all that, at the very least, how about making my bed? Pull the covers up, it takes 20 seconds tops. 30 seconds to get them straight.

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