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Old 10-08-2019, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default I am spent.

I'm really just too mentally drained to bother with posting pictures on this one.

Got 5 calls this morning while I was out working on another job (forgot to forward the phone calls today) from a FRANTIC lady, freaking out that their house is brand new and I just did the plumbing in there, and there's a leak in the powder room coming out from under the wall. She's saying things like "The copper pipe came apart in the wall" and "water gushing everywhere" along with some other comments about how i should have my phone in my pocket at all times.

At this point I was ready to have a heart attack, so I took a couple minutes to compose myself and called back. The water was off, and nobody had opened the wall. At that point I figured out that she was just having a freak out session on my machine.

I got there and told her that solder fittings don't normally just "come apart" in the wall, and it's more likely that someone hit it with a nail while putting on the baseboard.

She was a little snotty and said "Well we've never had that happen, so we will see."

Before I even opened the wall i went on the other side in the hallway and measured the baseboard where i could see the crappy putty job on the nail heads and sure enough, the top nail on their 8" base moulding was dead center on the pipe. Missed the stud by about 2". Tape measure doesn't lie and there was a nail right into the copper.

These are the kinds of things that I could do without.

Then after it was all over it's like we were best friends and she chatted my ear off for an hour.



Thanks for being my place to rant, PlumbingZone.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:13 PM   #2
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With an attitude like that I wouldn't stick around after the job done. Psycho once, psycho twice. I deal with enough wackos I don't need verbal abuse.

Good story.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:33 PM   #3
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I sure hope you give her a bill for the time spend there then.

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Old 10-08-2019, 11:30 PM   #4
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I sure hope you give her a bill for the time spend there then.

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depends on who hired him to do the plumbing..if the contractor that nailed the pipe hired him , he gets the bill, if she ( homeowner) hired contractor she gets a bill...
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:07 AM   #5
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Before I even opened the wall i went on the other side in the hallway and measured the baseboard where i could see the crappy putty job on the nail heads and sure enough, the top nail on their 8" base moulding was dead center on the pipe. Missed the stud by about 2". Tape measure doesn't lie and there was a nail right into the copper.
That's when Mr Friendly leaves and Mr Direct enters. I like to give their exact words right back to them, minus the hysteria; "YOU may have never had this happen before in the few houses you have owned, but in MY experience as a plumber I see it all the time."

I have done it, but I don't ususally give them the chance to get all friendly with me once they have shown themselves once, even after I prove them wrong. From then on it is short, to the point answers and statements. If it's one thing that I hate it is when people make assumptions. If there is something I hate more it is people who make assumptions and then get irrationally emotional and hysterical based on it. The media and the government would have us believe that their ideals about diversity, inclusion and equality are the right way to go, but there was a lot to be said for the natural order of things where the (non-emotional) husband (a man) dealt with those kinds of issues, and the wife (a woman) knew her place and concentrated on those things that she knew about and did well.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:30 AM   #6
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That's when Mr Friendly leaves and Mr Direct enters. I like to give their exact words right back to them, minus the hysteria; "YOU may have never had this happen before in the few houses you have owned, but in MY experience as a plumber I see it all the time."

I have done it, but I don't ususally give them the chance to get all friendly with me once they have shown themselves once, even after I prove them wrong. From then on it is short, to the point answers and statements. If it's one thing that I hate it is when people make assumptions. If there is something I hate more it is people who make assumptions and then get irrationally emotional and hysterical based on it. The media and the government would have us believe that their ideals about diversity, inclusion and equality are the right way to go, but there was a lot to be said for the natural order of things where the (non-emotional) husband (a man) dealt with those kinds of issues, and the wife (a woman) knew her place and concentrated on those things that she knew about and did well.


Yes assumptions, the assume because you fixed something or installed something the whole house is guaranteed. Or you installed a kitchen faucet and they blame you that the drain clogged a few days later(she had poured coffee grinds).

I remember that woman was insulting me all the way. Now I know next time, she wasn't pleasant the first time with price complaints throughout and passive aggressive games. That's why I bring only my workorder and flashlight to gauge their demeanor, I've turned around once on scene. I hate verbal violence even when it's so subtle and don't realize it until they explode at the bill. The next person who starts smack right in the door I'm out.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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That's when Mr Friendly leaves and Mr Direct enters. I like to give their exact words right back to them, minus the hysteria; "YOU may have never had this happen before in the few houses you have owned, but in MY experience as a plumber I see it all the time."

I have done it, but I don't ususally give them the chance to get all friendly with me once they have shown themselves once, even after I prove them wrong. From then on it is short, to the point answers and statements. If it's one thing that I hate it is when people make assumptions. If there is something I hate more it is people who make assumptions and then get irrationally emotional and hysterical based on it. The media and the government would have us believe that their ideals about diversity, inclusion and equality are the right way to go, but there was a lot to be said for the natural order of things where the (non-emotional) husband (a man) dealt with those kinds of issues, and the wife (a woman) knew her place and concentrated on those things that she knew about and did well.



well, I have had this scenario dozens of times from both male and female customers..and to a point I can see where the frustration comes from....
you buy or have build a new house or extension, spend a BIG buck on it and now you have to cut open new walls to fix new stuff somebody damaged....emotionally its a giant hit to whats suppose to be a happy moment you looked forward to for a long time...
all you want to do is vent and get satisfaction...so if its water you automatically blame the plumber, if a cracked sheet rock you blame the sheet rocker( even though its the carpenters fault for the framing, and it goes on down the line...
and most of the times its some one that put a nail in a pipe or some one cut a pipe when putting in a vent or something else through a wall..
I tell people when I get there and they start the barrage of comments of look what you did to my home..that I dont have ex ray vision and till I open the wall we wont know what happen or why and if you continue your ranting or yelling , you will be doing it yourself when I leave in ten seconds..then they usually quiet down..
then when open and I show a nail or some other damage done to the plumbing causing the leak, they become very apologetic and friendly..
but that is human nature..and many times they become a good customer...
now if they continue to rant and rave at me after I show them the cause and it wasnt my doing, I fix it fast and get out and then bill the appropriate party and dont have anymore contact with that home owner...
heres an example we all can relate to..
you buy a brand new truck from the dealer and 3 weeks later the motor takes a dump...whose fault??? not the sales man at the dealer, not the mechanic or any other employee at the dealer, they didnt build it, they just fix it..but you want to yell at anyone that will listen..why..because your pissed as hell and want to vent..but these are the people that are going to fix your truck and get it going again( hopefully) ..so its mostly psychological and emotional that you yell at the dealer even though no one there had anything todo with causing the engine to take a dump in your truck...
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:43 AM   #8
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well, I have had this scenario dozens of times from both male and female customers..and to a point I can see where the frustration comes from....
you buy or have build a new house or extension, spend a BIG buck on it and now you have to cut open new walls to fix new stuff somebody damaged....emotionally its a giant hit to whats suppose to be a happy moment you looked forward to for a long time...
all you want to do is vent and get satisfaction...so if its water you automatically blame the plumber, if a cracked sheet rock you blame the sheet rocker( even though its the carpenters fault for the framing, and it goes on down the line...
and most of the times its some one that put a nail in a pipe or some one cut a pipe when putting in a vent or something else through a wall..
I tell people when I get there and they start the barrage of comments of look what you did to my home..that I dont have ex ray vision and till I open the wall we wont know what happen or why and if you continue your ranting or yelling , you will be doing it yourself when I leave in ten seconds..then they usually quiet down..
then when open and I show a nail or some other damage done to the plumbing causing the leak, they become very apologetic and friendly..
but that is human nature..and many times they become a good customer...
now if they continue to rant and rave at me after I show them the cause and it wasnt my doing, I fix it fast and get out and then bill the appropriate party and dont have anymore contact with that home owner...
heres an example we all can relate to..
you buy a brand new truck from the dealer and 3 weeks later the motor takes a dump...whose fault??? not the sales man at the dealer, not the mechanic or any other employee at the dealer, they didnt build it, they just fix it..but you want to yell at anyone that will listen..why..because your pissed as hell and want to vent..but these are the people that are going to fix your truck and get it going again( hopefully) ..so its mostly psychological and emotional that you yell at the dealer even though no one there had anything todo with causing the engine to take a dump in your truck...
Totally 100% this. I am pretty empathetic, so I get where she was coming from. On the other hand, and apology after the fact would have been nice.

She went on to tell me about dozens of mistakes other people made on the project and how she won't recommend them to any of the people buying the lots on the hill.

She asked her husband who they were getting to repair the sheetrock and when he named the guy who installed the baseboard, she just about lost her ****. I could tell he was annoyed and I explained to her, that if you had told him there was a pipe in that stud bay and gave him 16 nails, he couldn't have hit it if he tried. Basically he won the lottery. She seemed to relax a bit after that although she was still frustrated.

I also took the opportunity to shine a big spotlight on this example of why you should shut off your water if you're out of town.

**** happens. Do you think you can build a house of that magnitude without each person making at least one mistake? Especially when you are generalling your own home? Gimme a break.

She even made mistakes on a couple of my billings and they turned in one draw early without telling me they were doing so. I had to wait 60 days for an invoice on that draw. That hurts a little bit when your business is small and new.

**** happens.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:07 PM   #9
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so how much damage was done by this nail???
And who got to pay for all the damage if their was a substantial amount????


I suppose you told her that your horse was not in this race???

I know you both became best buddies and had your freinds hats on but what or whom got charged for this emergency plumbing call that you did today???

Surely you did not do this call for free??

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


I had some thing similar happen to me probably 20 years ago with a new home we just did.... The lady came home and found the place flooded from one of the home to the other on the first floor.....

The builder turned off the water at the meter and called us asap... I call the lady and she curses at me on the phone... I get to the home and she has a grand piano in the living room sitting on a carpet totally saturated with water.. I step in the door on the carpet and it sends a wave like a tsunami across the room and shakes her curio cabinets on the other side of the living room...

The lady was so mad she could not look at me, and she told me that the flood was behind her washing machine........ I knew exactly what happenned and shut off the stops at the box and went outside and turned on the water......... no leaks.....

I did a really bad thing that day,

I showed her that her old hose and blown apart going to the washing machine and told her that if her husband would not have been such a tight wad and bought some new braided hoses for 20 bucks all this trouble could have been avoided.....

I threw the husband under the bus.....


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Old 10-09-2019, 05:01 PM   #10
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so how much damage was done by this nail???
And who got to pay for all the damage if their was a substantial amount????
To my relief, she was making a much bigger deal of it than it had to be. When I was finished, she told me she had to use 8 bath towels to soak up the water. Really not much damage at all. About a 12" diameter wet spot around the pipe penetration of the subfloor. The mess probably would have been contained to the bathroom if they had bothered to caulk the baseboards to the floor. There's about a 1/4" gap underneath them all so the water just flies right through it and under the wall into the hallway.

She was just so beside herself that they worked so hard to get this building dried in before the rain and now it's ruined.

No, I don't work for free, she'll be receiving a bill today, and then they are gonna pay me to come back and reinstall the sink after the drywall is fixed.
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