We thought we had a fan…

It was a rainy Monday morning. Our schedule for the days ahead could have been busier, and one of our vans was off the road and in for repair. It certainly wasn’t the best start to the week. Quite gloomy, in fact.

Then the phone rang. It was Albert. A truly lovely gentleman: charming, humble, always dapperly dressed, and neverendingly cheerful. He sometimes has trouble hearing, so often wears a hearing aid. Albert is a truly fantastic customer and love working for him.

Already, we had a smile on our faces. He said, ‘Samuele, I’ve got a quick and simple job for you’. Go on, I said. He continued, ‘I’ve got this bathroom extractor fan that hasn’t worked since the day I moved into the house. I want to get it sorted, it’s a standard size. When you get a moment, please come over and replace it with a new one’.

Albert proceeded to give me the dimensions. All was sweet. I told him I’d pick one up from our supplier and install it later that afternoon. He was happy with that. Then myself and the team set off, each to our respective jobs.

My first job was for Mrs Hathawaite. She has a huge old cat. It has one eye and is called Ferrero Rocher. Her boiler pressure was low, so I just needed to check it out. It was an easy one to fix and took less time than I’d planned for.

After cleaning up, I patted Ferrero Rocher on the head, thanked Mrs Hathawaite, then hit the road and headed to our supplier. I was ahead of schedule.

I arrived at our supplier to find it wasn’t too busy. On display was a nice choice of fans, and there was a rather tasteful one staring at me. It was definitely right for Albert’s bathroom. I bought it, and thought I might as well install it right now. I had the time and it’s nice to over deliver wherever possible.

I called Albert and said I was on my way. He was chuffed, and told me he’d have a fresh pot of Darjeeling at the ready. What a sweet gesture, I thought.

I arrived and Albert cheerfully greeted me. I was keen to take a look at the job, so we headed straight to the bathroom. ‘Up there, above the window frame’, he said. ‘That’s where the fan is.’

Something didn’t ring true when I first saw it. I’d brought a small ladder with me, so I opened it up and stepped up to the fan to take a closer look. And there in front of me was an old Radio Shack dark beige speaker – no fan. To be fair, it did look like one. It was an easy mistake to make.

This was certainly one to tell the rest of the team and brighten their day. Albert was in fits of laughter when I told him, which made me crack up, too. He was happy for me to share the story, and we were still laughing as I was fitting the fan in the second bathroom. We decided that that one could do with replacing anyway, so it wasn’t a wasted journey.

After I finished, he said how happy he was, and how it was just the right style.

He did say one other thing, though; that he now realises where all that very quiet, annoying music was coming from. He thought he was just his dodgy hearing aid playing up!

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