We have a truly delightful customer who's been using our service for well over ten years. And, in that time, we've built a considerable amount of trust between us. So much so, that when we attend a booking, he's happy for us to just let ourselves in and get on with the job in hand… no face-to-face interaction required.
This particular customer is Mr Braithwaite, a retired physicist. He is a gentle, modest man who has an eclectic range of whacky and wonderful interests. He lives alone in a large house, and at the top of the stairs has a study that he spends most of his time in.
We received a call from him to tell us about a blocked sink. It didn't sound like the most taxing of jobs, so I told him that Luigi would be straight round and will do the job without unnecessary interruption.
“I'll leave the door open; Luigi can just let himself in. I'm working on a new formula, so best not disturb me. Tell him to shout up the stairs when he arrives”, Mr Braithwaite politely informed. We said our goodbyes, then ended the call.
Luigi downed his espresso, grabbed his tool bag, and headed off with a spring in his step. Must have been the espresso… he likes them strong.
Luigi arrived at Mr Braithwaite's house and walked through the open gate and into his beautiful front garden. He noticed that, amongst the immaculately-kept roses and hyacinths, a sweet little dog was sniffing around and wagging its tail excitedly.
The dog saw Luigi and skipped over to him.
Now, Luigi adores animals – especially dogs – so he started to make a fuss of the sweet little thing. The name on its collar was Sniff. Quite an apt name, Luigi thought.
“Come on then, Sniff. Let's get this sink unblocked”, Luigi said whilst rubbing Sniff's belly.
They walked into the house and, as Mr Braithwaite had instructed, Luigi shouted up the stairs to announce his arrival.
The pair then proceeded to the kitchen.
As Luigi reached into his tool bag to grab his plunger, the dog decided that this was the perfect opportunity to cause some mischief.
Sniff bit down hard on to the rubber end of the plunger, and a tug o' war ensued.
“No, Sniff, no”, Luigi laughingly shouted. It was a little bit of fun. This did nothing to calm the situation, and Sniff became even more excited, deciding to relieve himself up against Luigi's leg. This was no longer funny.
“Right, Sniff. You just sit there and be a good boy”, Luigi firmly exclaimed, whilst handing him a biscuit to keep him quiet.
That seemed to do the trick, so Luigi changed his work trousers – he always keeps a spare pair with him – and got on with inspecting the sink. It appeared that using the plunger would be the best course of action to begin with.
By this time, Sniff had finished his treat and moved on to chewing on the bottom of Luigi's trousers.
Luigi was starting to lose his patience so decided to escort Sniff into the living room next door. There was a big old chair, so he placed Sniff down on it, rubbed his belly again, and shut the door. He didn't want to disturb our learned customer, so he hoped that Sniff would just calm down whilst he got on with unblocking the sink.
What was Sniff's next move going to be? And what was the secret that neither Luigi or Mr Braithwaite were aware of? Find out in next month's It shouldn't happen to a plumber.
Samuele The Italian Plumber
Other blog posts by Samuele can be read at theitalianplumber.co.uk/blog.
Until next time, if you have any plumbing or heating issues around the home, give us a call on 020 8945 7457.
September 23, 2021