How Expensive will my Plumber be when my Pipes break at my house on a Friday afternoon?
I wish it had only been a pipe. Instead it was a deep well pump & a pressure pump... and pipes.
At 3pm on a Friday, Rose and I are away from the house to pick up our daughter from school when we get a text message:
It translates to 'Water pipes broken. Pumps broken. No water.'
Rose looks at me and asks, 'What should we do?'
'Since you are the contractor for our house, who do you suggest?'
Minutes later she is calling people. No answer. So she starts texting a distress signal (It's wise to send a text message here, because nobody has voicemail on their phones).
That evening after dinner, we still haven't heard back from anyone so we begin contemplating where we are going to wash our dishes. Option are:
While doing the dishes, we get a call from the best plumber in the populated area. He tells us he can make it on Saturday. Whew, this is good news! (but in my mind, I am wondering how expensive it is going to be because it will be 'Weekend Rates').
Saturday comes and goes. It's not fixed. Ugh!#%@. So we wash our dishes and bathe in the driveway using our neighbor's hose. Sometimes you do what you need to do. Fortunately, I have a great family with a sense of humor, so the bathing goes off well... even with the live in staff present - our nanny and housekeeper.
The plumbers arrive bright and early. Rose and I are still asleep.
'Sir? Ma'm? Breakfast is ready,' and Rose & I get out of bed. 'The plumbers are here.'
Rose & I meet with the mud covered plumbers.
'Ma'm, we need supplies. I am going to send 1 person to get more pipe and supplies. Is this agreeable with you?' (My gosh, our plumber is so polite).
One of the plumbers drives off to get supplies while the other 2 labor away.
Two people come back carrying supplies (20 foot long pipes and additional supplies) on the back of a motorcycle. (By the way... doing this on a motorcycle is normal here). I do admire the work ethic of our plumbers.
'We should be done later today. Then you can bathe in your own home. Is tonight acceptable to you?'
Of course we agree (because we don't want to wash in the driveway again using the cold hose water).
'Since this is agreeable to you, can I ask you a favor? Can you feed us some lunch? we don't have any food with us'.
Immediately we provide lunch, drinks and coffee (it's beginning to rain and they are working outside).
'Ma'm, can I speak to you? We completed the work. You have water again'. And he hands Rose a hand written invoice.
'Are you serious? This is expensive!' Rose complains. 'For 2 days and materials, you are charging me this amount? This is rediculous!'
Rose shows me the invoice.
'Pay the men. They earned it'.
Rose reluctantly pays the men, and stomps her feet as she returns to the house. The plumbers ride away on their motorcycles in the dark. Rose looks at me, 'Hurray, we can take a shower! Do you want to join me?'
I smile as she runs off to the shower with our daughter. 'Yippee!'
So, What is the Cost of a Plumber working on the Weekend in the Philippines? Let me say this was an eye opening experience. The plumbers arrived on a Saturday morning and worked all weekend. Even into the darkness of the night and mosquitos. When I saw the invoice, I was shocked. I was shocked because it was a fair price and very affordable. I didn't have to break the bank, and I will happily recommend these men to others in need of a plumber. Great work, Great service and a Great price.
I am so thankful that I chose to move here 12 years ago. Island Life is Awesome!
And so are the people who live here on this little island in the Philippines.
This article was written by Greg Pasden. International expat, world traveler and International Best Selling Author. All rights reserved.
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