Meet the team: Spotlight on Shane

about Shane

The Italian Plumber has its fair share of budding cooks and adventurous travellers, but our Shane is all about the animals.

Hello Shane, it’s nice to meet you. What is your role at the Italian Plumber?
Hi, it’s nice to meet you, too. I’m a plumbing engineer.

How long have you been working for Samuele?
It will be 4 years in September.

Where are you from?
I’m from a beautiful place called Weymouth in the county of Dorset, but I commute to Chiswick every day for work.

What inspired you to become a plumber?
I had an uncle that was a big influence in my life. He was a plumber and would tell me that the hours were particularly good and that there was often opportunity to leave early and generally enjoy a lot of freedom. It didn’t turn out to be quite the way he had described things.

How come?
The guy I did my apprenticeship under was ex-army. He was incredibly tough and disciplined. There was no chance of me ever being able to skive off or swing the lead. He gave me a very strong work ethic, so I will always be grateful for that.

Have you had any funny or unusual experiences on the job?
Yes. I worked for a plumbing company that had a contract with Microsoft.
One day, one of my colleagues called me in a panic to ask me where the stopcock was.
The building had four floors, and many different stopcocks.

I asked him why he was so flustered… he told me that the entire building had flooded and all of the staff had been evacuated to the car park.

Another time we were doing some work for Wessex Water.
We had agreed that the water supply would be turned off from a certain time in the morning.
We went for breakfast, and assumed that they had turned the mains off, as it was past the agreed time.

Thing is, there’s always a lot of water when the mains are turned off, so we were expecting things to gush a bit. What we didn’t realise was that they hadn’t actually turned anything off. We ended up flooding the car park and half the staff from the surrounding buildings had to move their cars.

If you weren’t a plumber, what other job would you be doing?
I always wanted to be a vet or work with animals. But I can’t handle losing them. The thought of having to put a sick animal down upsets me so much I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Do you have any hobbies?
I love playing cricket, but have had to scale it back for various reasons.
Wendi says that I have a ‘tool fetish’. If there’s a job that requires the purchase of a new tool, I’m at the front of the queue. I love that kind of thing, and I really enjoy DIY.

I also have an aquarium – a tropical tank. I’ve had several over the years, and I find watching the fish very relaxing. I have an upside-down catfish who’s 18-years old. He’s the oldest fish I own.
It will be a sad day when he goes.

Do you have any advice for anyone who might be thinking of becoming a plumber?
Bear in mind that it can be a very difficult job. Be prepared for hard graft and things going wrong.
It’s very much a job for people who have a mindset for solving problems. If you’re a perfectionist, this might not be the job for you. Sometimes you just have to make the best out of a bad situation.

You have to love meeting people, too. Although there is a lot of freedom, and you can spend a lot of time on your own, you’re still going to meet customers, and you have to enjoy that part of the job.

If you won the lottery, what would you do?
I’d probably start an animal sanctuary. I would make it my mission to save every animal I possibly could. I just hate the idea of them dying.

What do you enjoy doing on your days off?
I love camping, so we often go to the New Forest and pitch our tent at a camp site.
I also really enjoy DIY and just pottering around the home and fixing things.

Shane, thank you so much for your time today. It’s been a great interview.
You are very welcome.

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