After all, if I'd invested in a new boiler when my old one became so noisy that it was almost drowning out the television, I wouldn't have spent 12 days without heating or hot water - in February. Although I hate the disorder that results from having workmen in my home, putting off their visits is really only putting off the inevitable.
|Image courtesy of Mister GC/
In spite of my prompt action, I hoped the plumber would be slow to respond - I could feel good about trying to confront my fears, but not actually have to do so...at least, not straightaway. Unfortunately, he replied within minutes, asking me to send him photos of the taps. I can't take pictures with my phone and, as it happened, my compact camera was at work, where I subsequently kept 'accidentally' leaving it.
Several days of stalling later, I sent him the photos and he offered to come over the following week. Although I would be on leave then, I planned to spend the time editing my novel, so fobbed him off until the week after, to avoid having to break off from my writing. Yes, another delaying tactic, but this time verging on legitimate.
On the day, I cleared my belongings from the areas where he'd be working and emptied the lower shelf of the cupboard under the kitchen sink, so that he could reach the stopcock. Only for him to start shoving things on the upper shelf out of the way, thinking it was higher up. My stomach churned at the sight, and continued churning as he 'helpfully' pushed everything back. Yet more items for me to reposition, once he'd gone.
My anxiety peaked again, when he started banging at one of the bathroom taps that was stuck; it sounded as if he was bringing down the partition wall.
When he'd finished, though, he told me that I'd have had a real problem on my hands, if I'd left things much longer. I spent the rest of the evening on a high, proud of myself for facing the challenge, avoiding a crisis and only taking half an hour to put things 'right' afterwards.
I did feel a bit silly asking him how tightly I should turn off the new taps, but it was hard to know what was normal, after decades of overdoing it: 'Until you feel the pinch' was the answer. If I stick to that approach, the new sets should last a lot longer than the old ones - and reduce the number of visits I need from him in future!