We should be thankful to builders of high-rise buildings and large residential societies. Thanks to their careful selection of building equipment, electrical fittings, wiring, piping, plumbing, sanitary ware, and ingenious planning all flat residents have become employment creators.
One day the building plumber visited us. There was a problem, he said. A problem that originated in our flat and caused discomfort in the flat immediately below ours. It was a seepage issue.
(We live on the ninth floor and people on the eighth floor were facing a ceiling flaking problem.)
What could be the cause of the problem?
It was in the wooden frame of the bathroom door. Sadly, the wooden frame had to bear the company of one of its worst enemies, water. The lower portion of wood had begun to rot and cause a cavity under the flooring tiles. Water had seeped into the cavity and eventually all across the eighth floor ceiling.
Mr Plumber had been of help to me when he had fixed a leaking pipe; a pipe that was leaking due to poor drainage on the tenth floor. Eeks!
Here too he had a job to do. Technically it was not his job but he is a multitalented person. He came back in a couple of hours with all the required material and within half an hour’s time the job was done. Peace and harmony restored between occupants of both floors. Who likes a problem causing neighbour?
“Hello, can you send an electrician, please?” Two switches in my bedroom were giving off sparks and the only person who could fix this was an electrician.
Within an hour the electrician was at my door. Since he was already there it was a good idea to check the switches of the other rooms too. It so turned out that four more switches were approaching their deathbed. Why wait till the end day?
“Please change them too.”
Another job done! For now. Experience has taught me that he would be back. Very soon.
I did not have to wait long.
“What has happened to the geyser?” Husband came out of the washroom with a puzzled look. “I had to take a cold shower even though the geyser switch was on.”
Another job for Mr Electrician. We hoped and prayed that nothing was wrong with the geyser because fixing it was going to be a hell of a job. You should see the position of the appliance. Behind a window panel, in a duct kind of place where only the most skilled acrobat can reach. How did they place it there? Thankfully, it was just a switch problem. Phew! What a relief!
Knock-knock! Bang-bang! Knock-knock! Bang-bang!
I rushed to the bathroom to see what had happened. My husband’s aunts had come visiting and one of them was not able to come out of the bathroom. This was a terrible situation. Poor old lady stuck, of all the places, in a bathroom. Using the key to the door lock we rescued her.
What I had on hand was another employment opportunity. A job for a carpenter. The door knob had given away.
Next day the Mr Carpenter came visiting with his tools and experienced looks. “This is broken from inside. We need to replace it. Not possible to repair it.” There you go. But this was not the first door facing the tough tools of the carpenter. Two other doors had faced the same fate. We could understand.
There was some sawing, some drilling, some cutting and lots of banging. Finally the door was gifted a new lock and knob.
Painter and Plasterer
My family soon discovered that problems can come showering down too, even if we stay inside a ‘well-built’ high-rise building. The ceiling of the sitting room had moisture trapped inside which caused it to flake, peel and eventually shower. There was white dust all over. Now I needed a plasterer and a painter. This was going to be huge task. It took two full days to get the job completed. The original plaster was scraped off, a new one applied, left to dry, a fresh coat of paint applied and a second coat repeated.
I was gifted a brand new ceiling which was smiling down on me.
Before I could smile back I heard sharp knocks on the front door. I rushed to see what the problem was. My husband . . . no he was not the problem. The problem was that he had been at the door since the past five minutes waiting for someone to open it. When no one came he started knocking.
“But why not use the door bell?” I was puzzled.
“I did,” he snapped back.
“But none of us heard the bell.”
. . .
“Hello, can you send the electrician, please?”