In my day job I spend quite a bit of my time with a very large Polish plumber. He’s my ‘go to’ bloke for most things, if he can’t help me he knows someone who can. Before you ask, they too tend to be Polish, over the years I’ve endured not only Polish food but also Polish radio and stories of Polish sporting stars. Yes indeed they do have Polish sports stars. I’m not sure if there are many out side of Poland, but I listen and nod.
We’ve been a team for over twelve years now, in all that time he still can’t get my name right, he insists on calling me Dennis. He’s well aware I’m not at my best early in the morning and arranges on site meetings at 7.30am knowing I’ll not have had a litre of coffee by then.
Over the years, we’ve had some adventures together, we were almost arrested, ’tis a fact, a neighbour of a client decided to call the Garda because we didn’t look familiar, why would we, we were questioned for several minutes in a front garden and asked to produce identification, I was amused. Polish plumber not so much. We’ve been locked in a bathroom together while a couple had a massive row and we were both too scared to leave.
We even walked in on a couple in a very, and I mean very compromising position, doggy I think it’s called. our shock descended into laughter and we vowed never to speak of it again. But sometimes we giggle about it.
He’s picked me up when I’ve fallen over on site and delivered me back to my husband broken and bruised.
He has tried and failed for years to get me to visit Poland, insisting it’s a beautiful country with a rich history, which I don’t doubt and I will eventually make it Krakow.
He has cleaned my cupboards of custard creams and figrolls and together we’ve tried ever brand of coffee both good and bad.
But this mornings episode was a first for us. He failed me, not only did he fail me he laughed about it too. Picture the scene a spring morning in Dublin, on site we’re sitting drinking coffee in the spring sunshine, discussing our work load, well me informing me of the work he’ll be doing over the next few months. Then from an open bathroom window the dulcet tones of a Polish carpenter ‘Dennis.. Dennis.. DENNIS I needs paper’
Yes the Polish carpenter was calling me, Interior designer to the well-heeled, to bring him paper, toilet paper.
I looked puzzled at Polish Plumber who never met my gaze and said ‘Remi he needs yous’
‘He needs me.. Me ?’
‘Yes needs yous’
In an instant the biggest Polish bloke in the world had disappeared and I was left to get toilet paper for an ever larger Polish bloke in a toilet.
This wasn’t in the job description at all, no sir, not at all.
But I persevered, I could do this, I was a woman in a mans world and I would show them, this didn’t upset or bother me.
Large velvet toilet roll was acquired and now my dilemma kicked in. How in the name of God was I going to get this into the toilet for the polish carpenter, what if he opened the door, oh no that’s a sight I didn’t want to see.
I stood as far back from the toilet door as I could, and threw the toilet roll at the door. It bounced back like a ball and I caught it. Even the toilet roll had reservations about going beyond the door.
I couldn’t get any closer, I was meeting a friend and I simply couldn’t arrive smelling of Eau de Polish crap. But he continued calling my name..
There was only one solution, I had sons and I’d played football, all be it poorly for decades now. I dropped it and kicked it to the door, like a pro.
‘Delivery Remi’ I shouted as I darted out-of-the-way of the door I wanted to see nor hear anything. But I expect there was a sigh of relief from behind the toilet door.
The Joy of a Polish Plumber called Artur