Thursday, February 24, 2005


In the process of working on old houses, I have used my fair share of various types of tradesmen.  Most good, some bad, and some really, really bizarre.  Enough time has now passed where the really bizarre incidents are mildly amusing.  I thought over the next few days I could recap a few of the most odd......

# 1  A new toilet was installed in my bathroom by a PO without regard to depth.  It needed to be corrected.  I have an excellent plumber that I have used for years.  I have no explanation why I do it, but periodically I need to check what else is out there and I hire someone else to do the work. It is always a mistake and I always go crawling back to "my" plumber. 

In this case, I called a new place.  It came well recommended on Angies List.  The guy arrived on time and all seemed well with the world.  I was working from home that day, so I went to my office to work.  All of a sudden from the basement loud 80's music filled the air.  Then the plumber  - now without his shirt on - knocked on my office door to socialize.  I was polite, but indicated that maybe he would want to get to work as I was paying by the hour.  So, he took his tools and spread them all out on my newly finished hallway wood floor and got to work.  He ocassionally got up to strut by my time to the music.....w/o shirt.....w/ dirty shoes to the basement.

I sat in my office and emailed all of my friends - telling them that if I disappeared or if my body was found - they should direct the police to the plumber.

Well, eventually he finished the job and left.  He totally overcharged me for the work, but I was happy to see him go.  Ah, but then I got a call......he accidently left his boombox in my basement.....would it be possible for him to stop by my house that night at say 11pm to pick it up?   I left it outside on my front doorstep for him to collect.

In one of life's little cruel jokes, two days following the work a leak began in my basement in the area that had been "repaired."  I called the company and asked to have someone come out and take a look.  I asked the dispatcher if they could send out another plumber.  The dispatched insisted on knowing why.  I finally told him that the original plumber had made me a little uncomfortable.  I didn't want to get anyone in trouble, but I did not want to see this guy again.

What did the dispatcher do?  He promptly told the shirtless plumber. 

So, for the next few weeks I received stalking phone calls.  He would switch between yelling at me and just sitting silently on the phone.  Fun.   Once again, friends and family were instructed to call police with plumber info. if I met an untimely demise.  The phone company and the police finally put a halt to it all.

It is kind of funny now, I must admit.  He is now commonly referred to as "The Stalking Plumber" in the history of my house restoration. 

I also learned a valuable lesson about remaining loyal to tradesmen that do good work.

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