Plumber Loco

I said something was plumb loco the other day, and no one knew what it meant. Not even Faith, who’s read more books than half the human population. Shocked, I was.

To elaborate, if something is plumb loco, that means it’s crazy. Now you get my title pun.

Anyhoo, my shower drain clogged. Some time ago, my hair catcher disappeared and I neglected to buy a new one for ages. As more and more people used the shower, something was doomed to happen.

I’ve never had a Tinder account, but I imagine it’s similar to messaging multiple businesses on Yelp, trying to figure out which service had the lowest estimate. After swiping right on ten different plumbers, I found one that would clear my drain for fifty-nine dollars. Cool. Within a few hours, the plumber lumbered into my house. I showed him the rising water in my shower. He noticed a guitar in the house.

PLUMBER
You play?

ME
Yeah, I used to lead worship for my church back in Jersey.

PLUMBER
Oh wow, I’m actually part of this outreach progra …

The fifty-year-old Mexican dude began to share his entire testimony with me, how he used to be a meth addict, lost his wife and kids, then eventually found Christ. It was pretty dope. Felt nice to talk to a fellow believer while getting my shower cleaned.

Bad news. The plumbing situation was worse than I thought. It would be a hundred and eighty dollars instead. Eek.

The plumber got to work. To clear the drain, he used something that looked like a jackhammer with a long snake at its end. I could hear him grunting and sweating from my room, adjacent to the bathroom. I guess I’m really getting my hundred and eighty bucks worth, I thought to myself.

Hours passed. I walked over to check on him.

ME
How’s it going?

The plumber stood in a filthy mess of dirt splattered all over the shower.

PLUMBER
Let’s test this baby out.

We ran the water. It rose. Even quicker than before.

PLUMBER
Well, it’s almost six. I gotta get going, but I can come back tomorrow and finish the job.
(beat)
Really sorry about this.

ME
Uh yeah, sure. Whom do I make the check out to?

PLUMBER
Oh, don’t worry about it, just pay me tomorrow. Is eight in the morning good with you?

ME
Sure.

Not paying him in advance turned out to save my butt.

I talked to my roommates. They were perturbed that this guy spent hours in the shower and couldn’t fix the drain. Apparently he was going to bring his boss tomorrow, who had more expertise, and they would fix the problem for sure. But alas, my faith in this company was shattered.

We decided to call my landlord’s plumber instead. Probably should’ve done that to begin with. My roommates called to cancel the original appointment while I watched Avengers with Faith.

I didn’t sleep at all that night. Not because I was thinking about the plumber, but because I had a video to edit for Jubilee. Sorry, misleading. I worked until five in the morning, then immediately left for another freelance gig. Welcome to the exciting, sleepless life of Josh Jackson.

My phone rang while I was at the office. It was the Plumber.

PLUMBER
Hey dude, I need your credit card info.

Bad start to the conversation.

ME
For what?

PLUMBER
For the service we provided.

ME
Well, is it possible to get a discount on the service? Since, you know…you didn’t actually clear my drain.

PLUMBER
Ah, let me get back to you on that.

He hung up. I had no intention on paying him anything.

A couple minutes later, my phone rang again. It was a manager from the plumbing company. I had talked to her yesterday when first booking the appointment.

MANAGER
Hi, is this Josh?

ME
This is me.

MANAGER
Could you explain what happened yesterday? I’m getting multiple stories and want to hear it from you.

I explained what happened. Not very complicated.

MANAGER
Ah, I see. I’m very sorry you had this experience. We understand if you decide to go with another plumber. I know you talked to (the Plumber) and he said he’d offer you a ten percent discount?

I didn’t remember saying anything about ten percent.

MANAGER
The best we can do is lower the price to fifty-nine dollars, which we originally agreed upon.

ME
I can’t really agree with that.

MANAGER
Well, we did send a guy out and provided a service for you.

ME
Okay, say you ordered a pizza from me. Say I spend the time and resources baking the pizza, putting on the pepperoni, etc. Then I drop the pizza on the floor. Would it be fair for me to charge you for that pizza?

The manager’s tone became more frenetic.

MANAGER
Sir, sir, we’re going to send another person, and we guarantee he’ll fix your pipes for fifty-nine dollars.

ME
Well, how does that make me feel as a customer, knowing you sent someone incompetent at his job before sending out your actual plumber?

MANAGER
Sir, we feel like we have a responsibility to finish the job. We can do it for only fifty-nine dollars instead of a hundred and eighty.

She switched it up on me. First, it was going to be fifty-nine bucks just for their plumber to do some cardio in my shower. Now it’s fifty-nine bucks to have the second plumber come and fix it. Slick.

We argued for a few more minutes before I told her that my landlord had final say on which plumber came to the house. Click.

My landlord’s plumber came later that day. He fixed the drain in fifteen minutes flat, then left.

I spent the rest of the night cleaning the mess the original plumber made. Ultimately, I’m grateful for my roommates who prevented me from hiring a fraudulent plumber. They really did me a solid. Don’t really know how to end this blog, so uh, the end.

Josh out.