I realise that no trady wants to go out on a rainy Saturday morning to do a job. But council of tradies are contracted to do after-hours work at any of the buildings so like me, it’s their job.
One Saturday the rain had poured down in torrents since sunrise. I was working with another staff member and we set up the library ready for a very quiet day. When I went to turn on the lights my hand paused over the switches. Water was running down the wall soaking switches, leads and surge protectors. There was no way I was putting my hand in what could possibly an electrical death trap.
We rang the after-hour number and got a call centre than took all the details efficiently. They said they would ring a carpenter, which made us wonder, who would get in touch with us. Sure enough 10 minutes later a carpenter did ring, but not to say he would do anything about the leak.
“Not my job until the rain stops.” He said which was fair enough, but still he had a library open without lights and an electrical cupboard ready to short. Something needed doing and doing quick. He said he’d ring an electrician.
We felt we were on the right track here, until some minutes later the electrician rings. “Not my job if water is leaking.” I wondered if he really understood the issue but he made it clear that he felt a plumber was required, not an electrician. Of course you know what the plumber said.
“What? Not my job, try an electrician.” By this time the water was only dripping through the break in the roof and I felt that if I mopped up the water and wrapped the boards in plastic bags we’d at least protect the switches from more exposure. No, not allowed, leave it to a professional, I was told. So I stayed told and the water continued to drip.
Finally the electrician arrived fussing and complaining. Having determined that it was all safe, he moved what he could from direct line of the now infrequent drip, mopped up the area and wrapped them in black plastic bags.
Gee, I’m glad it wasn’t an emergency fellas.