We had another London staff meeting on Friday morning, and another animated discussion about the intricacies of silicone sealant. What an exciting bunch we are! Don quizzed Stan (silicone meister) about exactly how his seal-then-spray-then-wipe technique coped with a very large and/or uneven gap. You probably don't need this much detail, and I'm not sure I can remember Stan's answer. But poor Eric (new guy) helpfully chipped in that using masking tape also worked well. Masking tape! So last month. Eric of course didn't have the benefit of seeing Stan's technique in person, so wasn't to know that masking tape is now decidely passe (not sure how to do an e-acute accent in blogger) in the world of silicone sealant.
Plus, more fun and games later in the day when Paul called in a mild panic to report that he had managed to put a screw through a central heating pipe. No huge dramas, we despatched another nearby handyman (Peter) to help out while Paul kept his finger over the hole. Paul couldn't even get to the door to let Peter in (customer had gone to work), but fortunately a set of keys were kept at a nearby estate agent's, so Peter let himself in with those and between them the fixed the problem.
Paul did report later how, while he sat waiting for the 0800handyman support machine to roll into action, he pondered what on earth he would do if he was a self-employed handyman? Obviously, short answer is not to put a screw through a pipe in the first place. But that kind of minor mishap is going to happen sooner or later (we prefer not to rely on pipe / cable detectors: they give too many false positives, and even sometimes false negatives). I think we've probably had two or three accidental pipe breaches out of 50,000+ jobs since we started in 2001. If you were on your own, I suppose you'd tend to be a little more careful (=slower) knowing that you had no-one to call if anything went wrong. And if it did, you'd just have to bite the bullet and let the pipe leak until you could isolate it. God forbid you put a hole in the rising main with no local stop-cock and a long hunt for the stopcock in the street.