‘What do you mean “about to blow”,’ the man stammered at me as I scribbled something onto my clipboard. I wasn’t actively doing anything, but I’d learned a long time ago that clients tended to listen to me when they thought I was only giving them half my attention.
‘It’s simple physics,’ I said, absentmindedly drawing a bird. ‘There’s too much pressure in those pipes from a blockage further up your property. Unless we can dislodge or otherwise divert the problem, there’s gonna be a lot of noise and a whole lot less house. The thing could go any minute now.’
I finished my bird and hunted for inspiration for what to draw next. The man’s slack-jawed expression gave me an idea and I started sketching out a fish.
‘Can you fix it?’
I nodded without looking up. ‘Oh yeah, shouldn’t be too hard of a plumbing job. Management software keeps us nice and organised, so we get to all our clients as quickly as possible. You shouldn’t have to wait more than a week.’
‘I know, impressive, isn’t it?’
His eyes widened. I started drawing an owl.
‘I really wouldn’t worry sir,’ I sighed. ‘Trust me — it’s the best job management software for tradesmen Melbourne has to offer. You’re in good hands.’
‘But what am I supposed to do?’
I tucked my clipboard under my arm and arched an eyebrow at him. ‘Are you a licensed plumber, sir?’
He shook his head.
‘Then nothing,’ I said sternly. ‘Last thing we need is for this situation to get dangerous. We’ll be in touch.’
I walked away without giving him a chance to reply, hurrying the short distance up the street to get into my van.
‘Did he buy it?’ my partner asked from the driver’s seat, binoculars pressed to his eyes.
‘Oh yeah,’ I chuckled, taking off my hard hat and tossing the clipboard into the back. ‘The house will be empty within the next ten minutes.’