Letting off steam when heating packs in!

Drew McAdam pic, Gazette columnist
Drew McAdam pic, Gazette columnist

THE following story is true; I promise you. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

A West Lothian gentleman – let’s call him Mr Frustrated – discovered that the radiator in the sitting room wasn’t heating up. So he called the specialists … and that’s when it all started.

Friday: Mr Frustrated took the day off work. Plumber number one turned up and checks the radiator with an impressive piece of techno-wizardry that involved pointing it at the offending radiator and declaring: “It’s not heating up”. His diagnosis was that the radiator was filled with sludge.

The solution was a full flush; a job that would take at least half a day.

Monday: Mr Frustrated takes another day off work. Plumber number two turns up. He, too, declares “It’s not heating up”. However, his diagnosis is that it would be simpler to replace the offending radiator.

Tuesday: Mr Frustrated takes another day off work. Plumber number two phones to say that, despite their best planning, the replacement radiator has not arrived.

Wednesday: Mr Frustrated takes another day off work. Plumber number three turns up. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the radiator with him. It’s still at the depot. Later that day there is a phone call; actually, the radiator still hasn’t arrived. However, it will definitely have arrived in the next couple of days.

Saturday: Plumber number four turns up without the radiator. It seems it is damaged. No worries though; they’ll get another one and somebody will phone next week to arrange a day and time to fit it…

So, there you go. Almost two weeks from the initial appointment being set up, four plumbers, and four days – count them, four days - lost work for Mr Frustrated. Yet despite all this activity the old, non-functional radiator is still there. And still cold.

How can such an inept firm remain in business? With that level of incompetence and inefficiency you would think they would be defunct and their army of plumbers on the dole.

But no. And do you know why? Because the local specialist is none other than West Lothian Council. The reason they aren’t out of business is because people like you and me are paying to keep them in business.

No wonder West Lothian Council is in trouble. All this activity, lost time from work, expense – just to replace one radiator. Or NOT replace it, as it happens.

According to their own repairs information leaflet, Mr Frustration’s situation is treated as a “priority repair”. Makes you wonder what they would do it if wasn’t a priority.

That said, WLC eventually apologised, and said it shouldn’t have happened. Once they got their act together, everything was sorted. Eventually.

That said, over a fortnight to change a radiator? They should hang their heads in shame.

Drew McAdam