I'm posting this out of pure frustration.
I am an active licensed master plumber. I no longer work in the field and
have moved on to middle management in a mechanical contractor's corporation.
When I did work in the field, not too long ago, people always bitched about
how much a plumber charges, blah, blah, blah....you all have heard it
When I worked for others, their rates didn't seem outrageous. In fact, most
of them seemed to short changed their own businesses by not charging enough.
This was the case when I went into business for my self, I never charged
enough. I had a former employer and longtime friend tell me once "never
short change yourself or you'll wind up working for nothing" How true.
Anyhow, what I'm observing is this. Recently, my eldest son broke his arm
while skating, we took him to the hospital and they admitted him, x-rays,
cast...the whole drill.... He was scheduled for a follow up visit at the
Ortho's office 3 days later. This is where it gets interesting. We took him
in 10 minutes before his scheduled appointment at 2PM, 20 minutes later he
was seated in an exam room......for the next 1-1/2 hours without even being
We're not talking about a major metro area doctor office, I live in the
The observation I'm making is how rude and unprofessional would it be if I
did that to someone that had an appointment with me. Doctors make good
money, have unreal insurance bills and very real risks in their trade.....so
do plumbers. But damn, to make someone wait like that, offer no apology and
not even consider taking something off the bill for insulting us like that!
C'mon, if I was late or cancelled they'd charge me for the timeslot. I
suppose my time isn't as valuable as theirs..........get real, if I was to
pull that on my customers, I wouldn't have customers. But for some reason,
some professions think they're better than others
My point is these same doctors are most likely the same people that
continually bitch about how expansive plumbers are, the ones that demand us
to come out to their home on Christmas day to unclog their toilet or
disposal, yet complain the most when we charge them a reasonable fee for
this service. Some even go so far as to not pay the bill and get away with
it. Try doing that the next time you're in for a set of stitches or the flu!
To top it off, we take our son in for another follow up appointment, pay
another $20 co-pay only to have nothing done, no services rendered at all.
How would your customer base like it if you scheduled an appointment with
them, took time out of their day, only to do absolutely nothing at all and
bill them for a couple of hours..........You think you have them as
customers for long?
Trouble is that doctors, lawyers and other professions seem to think that
plumbing isn't a profession, but rather an on demand peasant service at
their beck and call, how dare we ask a fee for this!
I'm all for competitive pricing, bidding and services
rendered.............the American way............but dammit all, when was
the last time you could go out for bid for braces on your kids teeth or have
at least 3 low responsible bids from 3 competing pathologists to review your
How things got so twisted? Why is it that it's okay to bad mouth plumbers
and accuse them of price gouging, yet some other professions get away with
it.................well, you can figure it out.........
Go into your local supermarket or grocery store, pick up a loaf of bread, go
to the check out line and ask the cashier to discount it because the market
across town is selling the exact same loaf for .10 less!
It's high time plumbers and others in trade professions started taking a
stand together! Quit low balling bids, undercutting each other with low flat
rates or T&M rates $10 an hour less than brand X across town.
Enough is enough........if doctors have a set fee for something they do, we
plumbers do too.............don't ask for a discount unless you're willing
to extend the same discount to me when at your office. When was the last
time you had the lawyer or doctor actually performing the work or service
anyway? Usually they send it the paralegal or nurse practitioner (otherwise
known as an apprentice or journey person) and charge you the full rate as if
they did the procedure or wrote the document!
For what its worth, the next time a doctor calls you to their home on a
holiday to unclog a drain when its 5 below zero outside and the wind is
howling, snow ass deep and the roads haven't been plowed because the town
won't get around to it until after the storm, tell them to put on the
coveralls, pull out the drop light and take their sewer machine out of the
shed and get busy.........I bet that sight would make for a good post card
seeing someone of that "prestige" crawling under their house thru raw sewage
trying to get to that cleanout for a rodding session..........tell them
you'll be there sometime between the hours of 10AM and 6PM tomorrow, please
be sure to have someone at home to sign for the bill!
I hope our society comes around,stops the bitching about how much the
plumber charged, quit with the not so funny commercials and radio spots that
make fun of plumbers crack and how much us slobs charged them and start
looking seriously at the health care, pharmaceuticals, legal and insurance
industries and professions who are calling all the shots and making life
miserable for all of us!..........and congress who needs a serious enema!