My friend informed me by e-mail today:
‘I still await the plumber -- guy didn't even respond to my phone call, after promising to be here today. I dunno. Some people, you can't give money to.’
In the Leprechaun movies we have humans tangling with a nearly indestructible entity bent on retrieving his stolen gold. The great Warwick Davis, who starred in ‘Willow’ plays the Leprechaun. Less supernatural entities also bent on getting as much gold (cash) out of you as possible are: dentists, doctors, lawyers and plumbers. Have I left anyone out? Politicians, maybe but they’re more subtle.
Recently I obtained a few pages of photocopied materials à propos this discussion. It purports to be some hastily photocopied pages from a secret manual known only to those who have graduated Plumbing School. It reveals the standard operating procedures and practices of the plumbing profession. The individual, a friend of yesteryear, who leaked the documents was studying to be a plumber but dropped out apparently due to a crisis of conscience.
Plumbers' Manual, Section C: Appointments, paragraph 1:
Never go to client on day agreed, delay as long as possible. Make client sweat.
The objective is to annoy the client and make them as desperate as possible to facilitate the willing extraction of large sums of money. The client will do this in part to be rid of you. Do not take it personally, be professional and courteous at all times. Remember the client is always wrong but must never be told that he is wrong.
Plumbers' Manual, Section A: Charging, paragraph 1:
Always overcharge. As a plumber your first rule is to plumb the depths of your client's financial resources. While ruining your client financially is highly desirable, most plumbers will stop short in order to allow the client to amass more funds for the next plumbing job, in which, of course, it is recommended that you charge more than the first time you were called out.