Alfons the plumber

Meet the team: Spotlight on Alfons

about Alfons

He would never eat a crocodile, and he could greet you in as many languages as you could shake a stick at. Meet Al from Al (that’s Alfons from Albania).

Hi Alfons, lovely to meet you.
Very nice to meet you, too.

What keeps you busy at the Italian Plumber?
I work as a plumber, but mainly deal with things like leak investigations and blocked drains.
At the moment, I’m not doing boiler servicing; that’s something I need to get an additional qualification for.

There are other countries where I am fully qualified to carry out that kind of work though.

Where are you from?
From a very beautiful city called Shkoder, in northern Albania.
It has stunning mountains, rivers and a lake. It’s a very beautiful place – I would encourage everyone reading this to go and visit.

I’m already sold. I’m going.
That’s great! You will be made to feel very welcome.

If you weren’t a plumber, what would you be doing?
Well, I grew up being surrounded by tradesmen. My grandfather was one of the first professional electricians in Albania, there are also lots of electricians in the family. So, I suppose I would have become an electrician.

Was plumbing your first career choice?
It kind of was. But that’s only because my father told me it was a very good job, the money was good, and I would get to meet lots of people.

I gave it a go, but I didn’t really enjoy it at first. It was just too dirty, and not really for me.
I actually wanted to become a chef, so I gave that a go. Thing was, it is an incredibly stressful job.
You have to be very fast, and very calm. I’m generally quite chilled out, but that kind of pace was too much for me.

After that, I gave my career options a lot of thought and decided to give plumbing another go… and here I am all these years later.

Other than being a great plumber, what’s your special talent?
I’m a bit of a linguist and have the ability to learn languages very quickly.
Other than speaking English and Albanian, I can also speak Croatian, Italian, and German.
I also pick up languages very quickly when I travel abroad.

Do you live in London?
Yes. Before moving here, I lived in Croatia for three years.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had to attend?
Just the usual.
Some pipe unblocking jobs can be particularly nasty. I’ll spare you the details.

Outside of work, what is your passion?
Just the simple things. Spending time with my wife and family. I do sports – I enjoy boxing, and table tennis.

Who is your favourite actor?
I have a few: Will Smith… Morgan Freeman… Tom Hanks.

What is your favourite film? Don’t say The Shawshank Redemption.
Lol. I really like the series Breaking Bad.
A great Tom Hanks’ film is Captain Phillips. I can highly recommend it. It’s based on a true story.

What is your favourite food?

Mediterranean – something very simple… fish, grilled vegetables… that kind of thing.
I also like spicy foods, especially Japanese curries.

Which food could you not eat, even if you were starving?
I actually tend to like everything, but I could never imagine myself eating crocodile. I know people do eat it; I just couldn’t go there.

Alfons, I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you today.
Me too. I’ve enjoyed taking part. Thank you.

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