Plumbers in general are more reliable than electricians, I mean I dread the day I have an emergency and I need an electrician (I know that there are some though who get the job done). It always seems like good plumbers are hard to find, although that might true for electricians too. I found that out just the other month when I hired an “experienced” electrician to fix the timer on what my husband and I refer to as our bug lights and. These are yellow-bulb fixtures on doors that open onto our backyard. I like to keep them on all night so that if one of the dogs needs a bathroom break around 3 a.m., I can exit through a back door without fear of tripping on the garden hose my husband likes to position on the patio for maximum accidental injury potential.
But a few weeks ago I noticed the lights not going on when they were set to. So I immediately set about correcting the problem. “What do you think we should do?” I asked over my husband’s breakfast repast of leftover baked trout.
“Call a handyman, I guess.”
“Not on your life. Last time I did that he took all day shopping at Home Depot and still came back with the wrong part! This time I want someone who’s an expert, someone who really knows what he’s doing. Someone who will charge $100 just for walking in the door.”
“I think I know just the person. He’s called a electrician.”
A few days later a middle-aged guy with a tool chest and charge tester hovered around the light timer. His diagnosis? Either the timer was broken or my wires were messed up. Either way the final determination could be revealed by reprogramming the timer.
“Sounds good,” I said, praying for a sick timer mechanism.
Next day the results were in. The lights still weren’t coming on, but the timer was running as dependably as Big Ben. “Must be a defect in the timer,” the electrician concluded.
“How do you figure that?” I challenged.
“They’re not making appliances like they used to.”
Back he returned, this time with a new still-in-the-packaging timer. It might have been from Home Depot, but by this point I was too disgusted to ask.
When I called two days later to tell him the lights still weren’t coming on,he announced that he would get back to me when some new part he called a relay conductor came in.
He still has not called, my bug lights are as good as dead, and if anything else should malfunction, I hope it has water running through it. Some of my best friends are plumbers.