December 22nd, 2008


Plumber suck

Mostly x-posted from my blog.

So I’ve had a plumber scheduled for about a month.  They show up today, the date in question (after getting lost and driving up and down “my” street, calling me four times asking where my house was.  Then they realized they’re a block over.  Quell suprise! Honestly, that should have put me off right then.) and after they make snarky remarks about my choice of sink hardware, tell me the job will be $1200.

Now, I know the basics of plumbing, although I explained I didn't know a lot so they wouldn't get overly technical when they outlined the job for me before starting work (which they didn't end up doing, except to say they wouldn't warranty my faucet because they felt it was substandard.  Fine, whatever, that's their call with outside parts.)  I can fix a garbage disposal and a drippy faucet.  I know what average hourly rates for plumbers are after several remodels in several homes.  I know how much new sink lines and PVC pipe and what have you costs. I know even with an exorbitant base fee, there is no way that my brand new appliances and my brand new kitchen are causing $1200 worth of problems for this stoned-looking plumber kid, who really did look like a poster child for Reefer Madness.

I know, in short, that I am being ripped off.

I told them politely that when the job was quoted, it was $800 less than what he was telling me, and while I understood there are variations that occur when the plumber actually claps eyes on the project, this was not okay and not remotely what I had budgeted for (I did allow an extra $150 for increases when the plumber arrived at the site, thinking foolishly I was planning! ahead!)  I said $1200 was more than I had on hand and asked them, without any swearing (yay self control!)  to please leave.

He offered to “help me out” for $400 cash under the table.

I told them thanks but no thanks.

TL;DR: Plumber quotes me $800 over original price for simple job that averages $400-500.  Then offers to take cash under the table when I call him on it.  I kick him and his assistant out.

This was John's Plumbing and Pumps in Olympia, WA.



bar + children = wtf?

It has been snowing quite a bit here in Oregon and I have missed quite a bit of work being snowed in at my house. There is a bar and grill place very close to my house that I walked to so I could enjoy a Bailey's and Coffee.
The place has a restaurant side and a bar side. So I sit there, enjoying my drink and conversation with other patrons, watching the Blazer game, when this couple comes in with their 6 or 7, maybe 8 year old child. They sit in the bar area! Not only do I think many people, including myself, sit in the bar to get away from children, but this is illegal!
No one said or did anything! The staff let the family sit in the bar area. Up until then, I was very satisfied with the service. The bartenders were friendly and polite, but the fact that they didn't even ask the family to sit in the restaurant where the child is legally allowed and where the adults can still order alcohol, just made me a little perturbed.
I suppose this is mostly a wtf service, but I think it was kind of bad that the bartenders allowed that. If an Oregon Liquor Control Commission inspector had been there, they would have gotten a hefty fine. I left sooner than I wanted to because the kid could not sit still.

ETA: In Oregon, minors are not allowed in bar areas. Not at the bar, not at tables. There are signs that say as much.

ETA again: From the OLCC Laws and Regulations book:
(b) "No Minors Permitted in This
Portion of The Premises or at This Bar",
(Number II Minor Posting). The
Commission assigns this posting to
rooms or areas of a premises where
there is a drinking environment or
drinking alcohol does or is likely to
predominate most of the time. Some
examples are lounges, gambling rooms,
the bar and other rooms or areas where
drinking alcohol is the predominant

That is the sign posted for the bar area.