"W" is for "Waiting"
Specifically, waiting for the plumber.
Ever see the play titled “Waiting for Godot”?
The characters in that production sit around and wait. There’s not much action; they just wait.
I was reminded of this classic of the modern theatre when I phoned recently for someone to come to the aid of my unfortunate kitchen sink. Though usually of a reasonably sunny disposition, it had suddenly acquired a malady of some sort that caused it to gasp, groan and hiccup in a highly disturbing manner.
Over the years I have learned the hard way that whatever gifts I may possess, and there sure aren’t many, plumbing – dealing with pipes, fixtures, drainage, hydraulics, etc. – isn’t one of ‘em. So I phoned a pro to do the job.
After a while the plumber calls back and tells me he’ll be at my place the next morning some time between 9 am and 12 noon.
I work out a rapprochement, one might even call it an entente cordiale, with my sink, which agrees not to erupt and overflow for the next 24 hours, as long as I promise to get a plumber to ease its gastric distress.
The next morning I sit home for hours waiting like a person condemned to house arrest. I don’t have that little ankle bracelet, but outside of that the situation is very similar. I wait.
The time slowly advances from 9 am to 12 noon. Pas de plombier – no plumber.
The guy calls around 12:30 to apologize, seems he’s running a bit late, but he’ll make it by 2. As good as his word, he shows up around 2 o’clock. Evidently he had been too busy all morning to call. So I had lost an entire morning waiting, during which I could have done something I’ve been intending to do for years: reading “Moby Dick.”
It’s remarkable. I got to thinking of the business I ran for a number of years. If I ever called a client and said I’d come to his office for a meeting, say, next Tuesday and that I’d be there some time between 9 am and 12, just for starters I would probably never get to see that client again – not even from a distance.
If on top of that, I show up there Tuesday afternoon at 2, bright-tailed and bushy-eyed, security would have been called to escort me out of the place before I really got in.
So come on, plumbers, painters, carpet cleaners, refrigerator repairmen, give us a break. Mention a time when you plan to show up and then make an effort to arrive at least within an hour of that time. If you see you’re not going to be able to make it, remember that great invention of Alexander Graham Bell (you know, the chap who invented the Graham Cracker) and give us a call.
I don’t want to have to read “Moby Dick” while waiting for you because I know how it turns out – the butler did it.
Ever have a waiting-for-the-plumber experience?
1 year ago