I'm often asked if I've ever been propositioned by a customer, or had any work-related experiences of a more amorous nature. The truth is ‘no'; it's never happened to me, but I do know plumbers who have found themselves in these kinds of situations.
Many of the stories are reminiscent of a 1970s British softcore sex comedy. If you've not seen one, the scenario goes something like this: a milkman/plumber/electrician turns up on the doorstep of a scantily clad, bored housewife, whose ‘old man' (meaning her husband) is away at work. She's feeling ‘lonely', and can do with some company, albeit only for an hour or two.
It usually ends with the husband coming home from work early, and said tradesman having to make a sharp exit out of a top floor window with his trousers round his ankles. The films are – depending on your sense of humour – quite funny, and are really rather tame… certainly by today's standards anyway. A bit of harmless fun, you could say.
Considering that I'm always asked about these kinds of anecdotes, I felt it only right to include one in this month's It Shouldn't Happen to a Plumber. If you're easily offended, it might be worth clicking away now.
Peter (not his real name) was booked to take a look at some central heating pipes. The customer had complained that each time the heating was turned on, the pipes would start to make so much noise, it caused a disturbance throughout the rest of the building, and was subsequently becoming an annoyance to residents in the flats above and below.
Peter – who's single – turned up on time, looking smart, and ready to get to work.
He's a good-looking chap, who regularly works out. Some would argue that he could make it as a male model. He rang the buzzer.
“Hello, is that the plumber”, the customer purred seductively.
“Yes, that's right. I've come to check your pipes”, he cheekily quipped.
He was instructed to walk up the stairs to the second floor.
He was met by a mature lady, in her 60s, and invited into the kitchen where the boiler was located. “Would you like a cup of tea”, she asked. “You look thirsty”.
Peter declined the offer and proceeded to take a look at the boiler, and it wasn't long before he realised what the cause of the problem was.
“Yeah, it's definitely a problem with your pipes”, he informed her in a professional manner.
“Oh, is that so?”, she responded, in an overly familiar tone.
Peter, being a man of the world, is used to a bit of playful banter. For him, it's part of the job.
He informed the customer that he'd need to come back and refit the pipes and allow for expansion. “Ooh, that's interesting… expanding pipes, you say”. Things were starting to ramp up on the cheeky banter stakes.
Peter began to explain that if the pipes aren't fitted correctly, they can expand, and that's why they make that horrendous noise.
The customer nodded along whilst holding his gaze. “So, you know all about expansion, do you”, she asked. “Oh, yes, I'm an expert at that type of thing… a real professional”, Peter suggested.
“It's nice to have man in the house who knows what he's doing. I wish my husband was like that”.
That's all for now. Will Peter have to make his excuses? Will he indulge in many-a-young-man's fantasy? Or was there something more sinister to come?
Find out next month in Part 2.
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.
July 22, 2021