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Open letter to the plumber who promised he’d be there between 8 and 10

standard November 16, 2007 9 responses

Dear Mr. Plumber Man,

When you called to ask if you could come between 8 and 1o instead of 9 and 11, I said of course! I thought for sure that meant that I’d be first on your list for the day.

When you told me that I was responsible for calling the City so they could shut of the water, I said no problem! They came right on time at 8 a.m. and shut the water off. I didn’t shower. I was first on the list, I was sure I’d be able to shower before having to take my baby to her second daycare trial day.

When you still hadn’t arrived at 9:30 I didn’t freak out. It was still early, you weren’t late yet.

When you still hadn’t arrived at 10, I tried to call, but the answering machine picked up. Ditto at 10:30 and then at 11.

When I called at 11:15 and got a busy signal, I actually felt hope. At 11:30 the busy signal was getting old.

When your assistant finally answered I admit I may have been a little pissy. I’m sorry.

When I overheard her say “Oh. Well what should I tell her?” to you on the other phone, I admit I saw red. I may have sworn a little under my breath.

When she told me that you didn’t know when you’d be out to my house and she was surprised you hadn’t called me steam started to come out of my ears. Or that might have been fumes from my un-showered body. I’m not sure.

When she asked me to call you on your cell so we could figure out if I really needed to be home, I had to take several deep breaths before dialing. Even so, I was probably bitchier than I needed to be. I’m sorry. It’s been a long week.

When you clearly had no idea what you were coming to my house to fix, I got decidedly bitchier. I’m not so sorry. I had to remind you of the discussion we had three weeks ago about my leaking external shut off valve. I’m not sure it rang any bells.

When I had a little tantrum about the fact that I had no water (thanks to the very reliable city employee) you had the gall to get annoyed at me. I don’t think it was irrational of me to want to make sure you could come out in time for the City to come back and turn the water on.

When you showed up 45 minutes later, only a little over two hours late, unless you start counting at 8, in which case you were, in fact, four hours late, and you took ONE LOOK at my leaking valve and said “Oh. I can’t fix that. It’s not the valve that’s broken, it’s the PIPE.” I may have completely lost my cool. No. I’m not sorry.

When I reminded you that we had discussed this possibility three weeks ago, back when you told me you didn’t need to come and give me an estimate in person, and you told me that it wouldn’t be a problem to fix. You laughed. Yes. Yes, you laughed. Then you told me you couldn’t fix it until I got a permit. From the City. A permit I could have gotten during those three weeks, if you’d told me I NEEDED ONE.

When I told you that we don’t really want to dig up the front yard to fix the leak we just really, really want to repair the dripping shower and the very, very low flow kitchen faucet, you told me that it was easy, he could turn off the water instead of the City. Well, that’s when my head exploded, because I had the same conversation with you three weeks ago (yes, back when you told me you could give me an estimate over the phone) and you told me the complete opposite.

When you left after having fixed absolutely nothing and after I wasted an entire morning, plus a nice City employee’s time, I was besides myself.

So I’m sure you’ll understand when I never call you again and when I ask our insurance company to never, ever send you, or your coworkers, back to our home. I can’t say that you inspired any confidence. In fact I think that I had more faith in the last plumber we had, even though he didn’t speak any English and we kept needing to call his assistant so she could translate and tell him what tools to use.

The, still as yet un-showered, owner of the home with the drippy shower and low, low flow kitchen faucet.

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