DIY

The Master Shower: Four in a Series. The Plumber Experience, Part II.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Ooooh the plumber.

What a jerk.

Last we left off, he had installed the new copper and base plumbing parts for our master bathroom shower renovation but it sure seemed there was a major problem.  I made him come back.  Lucky me.

shower handle mixer install
This black plastic oval part is over 2" away from the studs.  Too far for cement board and tile.
This time Mike was home so he watched Captain Monster while I watched the other monster.

P-trap the plumber shows up at 7 pm, smelling like booze no less, weirdly too friendly but I can feel the seethe oozing out of him.  Smelling like booze.

He had the audacity to make me wait for his arrival, booze first, and the ludicrous judgment to think drinks beforehand would be a magnificent idea.

Ah.  This will be fun.

We go upstairs, I hand him the manual, "see, this is what it shows, that’s how I want it to be, like the manual, the black part inside the wall, the wall goes around it.  I'm not building out the wall."

shower faucet handle manual detail instruction drawing guide
This is what the manual shows.  The black plastic ring set within the wall, not sticking out two-plus inches.
He stands there flipping through the manual, back and forth, back and forth talking to himself in his native tongue, touching the valve mixer, looking, holds up a scrap piece of cement board, flips the manual, flip flip flip, cement board, mumble, has to go out to the van and get a screwdriver which takes ten minutes.

I text Mike who’s comfortably lounging on the deck calm, relaxed, enjoying his time with Finn, “dude reeks of booze.”  Mike doesn’t care, says it's no big deal.  Oh yeah it is a big deal.

P-trap comes back in, flips through the manual some more, looks, flips, flips, removes two screws out of the black plastic piece, takes it off, holds up that scrap of cement board, says, “see?  Perfect.”

This is his response.  For real.
He’s trying to hide his giggles and smirks.  But not really.  See crazy dumb lady, I am right, you’re wrong, I’m smart, you’re not.  I'm the plumber, you're not.

P-trap's demeanor at this moment.
“See, you take this off after the wall and tile goes on,” he glibly claims.

“You could have said that on the phone.  You could have….. But it shows in the manual that it sits inside the wall.”

“I know it shows that but no, you take it off.”  Again with the smirks and giddy giggles.

P-trap's attitude.
“Ok, fine, you could have just said.”  Fine.

But still.  Regardless.  The manual shows the black part in the wall, not removed; the way he set it, the chrome part that holds the mixer valve sticks way the heck too far out of the wall.  I know this is wrong.

shower faucet installation photo
This is the handle installation according to the image on Home Depot's* website.  The handle is nearly flush to the escutcheon (the big chrome square wall plate); the mixer valve should not be sticking out five miles as P-trap had installed it.  So, I'm still right.  But he's the plumber ya know.
Well after the fact, I realized he was trying to figure out a way to dig himself out of a hole and find a way to excuse his work as correct in order to save his smug a** pride and continue to be a d*ck to me, Big Smart Plumber Man.  Because a woman caught his error.

Back to the moment in time....he was practically laughing, he couldn't stop.  I kid you not.

This is exactly what P-trap was doing the entire time from the moment he walked in to the moment he left.
The last words he utters are "I do good work."  I stink-eye him, he's about to bust his gut laughing.

I gagged out a thank you for coming by, showed him out.

Guys, c’mon here.   If you have a problem with women, if you have a problem working for a woman, if you have a fragile ego problem where you always have to be right even if you're wrong, especially around a woman, don’t.  Just don’t.


Get over yourself, stop treating women as less-than, and leaping at opportunities to put women down especially when it's been pointed out that you're incorrect.  Enough already.

This is why, or one of the major reasons why I DIY, so I don’t have to deal with these crap people.  I will be independent, learn, and rely on myself, thank you.

I know what you’re thinking:  Becky, you had to have done or said something, right?  Why else would he be flying off the handle?  And then trying to get at you like this?

See, that’s the thing.  I didn’t.  I didn't say or do anything amiss.  I was polite.  I paid him.

Still, I kept thinking, what did I do?  And that’s the rub, that’s another part of the problem here, why was I blaming myself?  I merely asked him to fix what did not match the manual.

I’m endlessly frustrated by men not treating women as equals.  And when it comes to tradesfolk, more often than not, it’s worse.  It’s men dropping by to fix the thing and their small-minded antiquated man attitudes are a major problem.


P-trap lost his sh*t, got offensive, disrespectful, and tried to put me in my place even though ultimately he was wrong.  Nuh-uh there big buddy.  No can do and no thank you.  I will be ever more vigilant in the future.


Am I overthinking this?  Am I too caught up in what went down?  Am I making hooey out of nothing?  Did I mistake his stinky attitude?   Maybe.  Likely not.

See, this is what us women do, second guess ourselves even when we know we're right.  It sucks.  It's a two-fold ding:  we get treated like crap then treat ourselves like crap worrying that we were the problem.

I know I’m not stupid for expecting tradespeople to be courteous, respectful, and not manipulative game players.  Right?  I mean, wtf?

I texted Diane the Super Electrician about the booze to forewarn her, since P-trap was her suggestion.  I’d hate for that to reflect poorly on her because she's a rock star.

It’s not hard to do the right thing, do a job the right way or acknowledge a mistake, take responsibility then fix it, be nice to people, treat others with respect.  Truly.  It is not.  Sounds pie-eyed perhaps but the world would be a much better place if we did, mmk?  Let's try it.


“I do good work,” P-trap’s obnoxious boasting rings in my head.

Until.  Until I put the showerhead on and attempted to get the water going....


I will overcome.  I will win this master bathroom shower.

To be continued.

In the meantime, I was shopping glass shower doors and hooolllyyyyyyyy sh*t people, are they freakin' expensive.  "Get clear glass doors, babe," my directive from Mike.  Happily, I said but wow.

Be sure to come check out my blurb on winter 2020 interior trends with New Home Source!  They so kindly invited me to participate again, such nice people, and I sent them a (hopefully) less awful photo.  Ugh, me and cameras, yuck.

Super exciting news department:  I moved my shop off Etsy and onto here!  Woot!  Fun, right?!  Even more fun??  It's got handmade and handpicked items!  It's like having your own personal curatorial shopper!  Way fun!  Be sure to check it out here!

The shop link is also in the right sidebar and in the top menu too.  Be sure to bookmark it, swing back by as new items will replace sold items.  Thank you!

The Week of Becky is upon us and yikes, it's a heavy one so I'm off to endeavor celebrating.  Hope I'm not too creaky now to keep up here!

*The shower parts I purchased at Home Depot link is a Home Depot affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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