Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My kingdom for a Plumber

The other side of the bathroom cartoon wall (see previous post) was drawn by another New Yorker cartoonist, Charles Saxon.  Time is of the essence.  This point was driven home earlier this summer when looking for a someone to install a dishwasher.  As I may have mentioned (ad nauseam), it is difficult to get a repair person to come to our little  island which is off of a bigger island.  Long line-ups for short ferry rides make our destination unattractive.  I had begun to believe installers were mythical creatures.  We finally snagged one.  I thanked him heartily and gazed adoringly for the 75 minutes he was in our kitchen.   I felt good about humanity that day.  I offered to pay him on the spot.  He demurred.  Weeks later I understood why.  The bill arrived for $485.  (The dishwasher itself only cost $475.)  We were charged $90 an hour, for labor and travel time. He was there one and a quarter hours.  Three hundred plus was for travel time.
Had I known a regular plumber could have done the job, I would have called the man who has worked on the pipes forever. 
He has the good grace to hide travel time within his bill.  Last week he fixed the leaking bathtub behind the cartoon wall.  I don't know if the kitchen ceiling is collapsing.   Best not to ask.

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