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Typical Day

Mr. LongCrack is a self-employed plumber. He has to seek out his own work and sometimes has to perform jobs at odd hours, but he makes more dough because of it. On this particular day, he gets a call at 5:30am—one of his client's pipes has burst and their kitchen is flooding. Pipes freeze in the winter, contract, and…bad things happen.

Believe it or not, an even worse disaster area than your bedroom.

He had not planned on getting up for another hour or two, but he has to be on call like this or he won't be able to pay the mortgage on his second home. (Just like a doctor, only instead of draining blood, he's draining fecal matter.) He hops into his car at 5:45 after a super-quick shower and is on his way. It takes him about an hour to fix the problem—the old pipe was rusty and needed to be replaced. He has a vast miscellany of pipes in the back of his truck—this is a pretty standard one, so it doesn't take him long to locate the desired piece.

After he's performed the old switcheroo on his client's pipes, he heads back home to get some breakfast. (Don't worry—he washes his hands first.) He spends a little time working on his personal website that he uses to market his services through everything from Yelp to the local newspaper, which old people still read. He is adding a new "Service and Repairs Request" widget that clients will be able to click on, and he will be instantly alerted that he is being summoned. This will allow everyone involved to avoid that awkward "talking on the phone" nonsense.

LongCrack then heads over to the Millers' place, where he’s installing a dishwasher for them. Everything goes smoothly there (hopefully they won't notice that mark on the wall) and next it's over to the Duncans' apartment, where he fixes a clog in their bathtub. Mrs. Duncan is apparently losing her hair at a frighteningly rapid rate and most of it is winding up at the bottom of the drain; LongCrack cleans it out, then suggests that she wipe up her hair after each bath to keep the incident from repeating. Mrs. Duncan is embarrassed, but thanks him for the advice. (She will cry herself to sleep later tonight, but at least her plumbing won't suffer.)

A quick OSH run to pick up a few materials he will need for a job tomorrow, and back home at 4pm for a late lunch/early dinner. If he gets any emergency calls later in the evening, he may be able to make a few more bucks (emergency calls take his normal hourly rate of $65 to $130), but chances are good that he's done for the evening. As he didn't have to stick his head inside a toilet, he considers this day a success on the whole. Or in the hole.

Hanging with his good friend John.