by Avis Hickman-Gibb
As far as I
can see its black and white. Is the damn
thing working or not? Youd think - a simple
answer to a simple question - its not too
much to ask, is it? Well youd be wrong!
I had to call
out a plumber because the water spillage coming
from the washing machine was threatening to float
everything not screwed down out through
the door. My method of choosing an expert was
well thought out - a pin in the yellow pages
seemed as good as anything. Disappointment was
lurking right there at the start; no appointments
available until next week. This was the same
whichever pin prick I ring.
Then I am told
I will have to wait in for the obligatory 14
hours on the day specified for The Operative to
make an appearance. Sorry no, it cant be
narrowed down to morning or afternoon do I
still want to go ahead? I manage to say yes.
By the time
the appointed day dawns, the dirty avalanche of
clothes is tumbling from all receptacles made for
the job of containing such. Maybe I should
have gone to the Launderette last weekend? So now
I wait as the hours slip by and the sun fades in
the sky, along with my hopes. With what seems
like only minutes to go before I can declare The
Operative delinquent, I greet the chime of the
doorbell with relief. In shuffles salvation.
A short time
later, after being shamed into making mugs of tea,
I am standing there like a divvy, smiling a
forced rhictus and finding myself patronised by
either an uppity, spotty adolescent or a creaking,
wheezing fossil. Take your pick; theyre
like Laurel and Hardy!
head shaking and sucking in of breath who
repaired this last time then? A professional was
it? A sly knowing glance snakes between the two.
More head shaking, and then The Wheezer begins
The Explanation (you understand this must appear
to add value to the whole process, while also
adding extra minutes to the call out time).
I want to
shout: I dont want the problem explained in
nauseating, vivid detail; I simply want the
frigging thing fixed! Just tell me the worst, I
can take it! After all, I could get a replacement
here in less than a week. Just tell me the worst!
I find in
these situations its not the despair that
gets to you its the faint hope of a
resolution drizzled out over too long a time,
which really shrivels your soul.