Generally speaking, when I’m done taking a poop, and I flush the toilet and hear that reassuring “glunk” sound of the bowl emptying, signaling that I didn’t once again overstuff the bowl with Quilted Northern, I consider that the end of the transaction. Not today. Today my girlfriend Beth woke me up for work, told me that she had cleaned the cat box, taken out the trash, and that the basement drain had overflowed again. Now, in my house, with it’s forty year-old plumbing and equally old oak trees in the yard, this is not an entirely uncommon occurrence. I went downstairs to find an even smaller problem than I expected: a small, shallow pile of sediment (that’s an industry term for “dirt and poop”) around the drain. Since it was clearly not stopped up, I took a shower and went to work, and called Roto-Rooter.
Let me stop this story right here and say that Roto-Rooter did their jobs well and promptly. As soon as I told the dispatcher my name, she had my address and last date of service. And I didn’t call the local ‘Rooter office, I called 1-800-GET-FUCKING-ROOTER. And less than thirty minutes later, a dude was at my house. Now, this part of the story is all secondhand, since I wasn’t there. But according to Beth, the guy with the drain snake broke the T-joint of the stack trying to get it open, and he called a plumber to come out and fix it. This being St. Louis County, he also arranged for a permit to replace the stack and an inspection. Again to Roto-Rooter’s credit, they paid for all of it. I only ended up paying the original call-out fee. So apparently he left, and a little while later the plumber showed up and replaced the T-joint and half of the stack. He then left with the promise of bringing back the permit and scheduling the inspection.
Now we’re back to me. I got home from work, and after hearing the entire saga from Beth, went downstairs to assess the damage. What I saw was an even larger pile of sediment, and, poop. Not partially decomposed poop mixed with dirt, but poop. My poop. The poop I had pooped earlier this morning. Pretty much everywhere. I don’t know if the guy had to empty the stack out on the floor to replace it or what, but there it was: sizeable piles of my poop and toilet paper all over my basement floor. I guess I just wasn’t expecting to see it again. Like I said, once I’m out of the bathroom, I consider that business finished.
I suppose I can’t really be upset, since poop cleanup was nowhere on the bill of services provided. But still, as far as Roto-Rooter is concerned, prompt service and making right their mistakes: A+, cleaning poop out of my basement: F-. At least I have a mop.