Five items a female plumber should not wear

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The last two weeks I have had to resort back to wearing my maternity cargo pants for work because I have had the unfortunate experience of ripping the crotch of my work pants not once, not twice but three times from squatting down turning off water meters or working under sinks.

The great discovery with my maternity pants, despite the fact that they are very roomy, is that there is no chance for butt crack cleavage because of the high waist band.

It got me thinking about things a female plumber or tradie shouldn’t wear while she is working onsite because I have seen and experienced some shockers and thought I’d share them with you here for a bit of a laugh and an eyebrow raise.

Five items a female plumber should not wear

1.  A pom-pom G-string. Yep you read it right. When I was a third year apprentice working on a tenancy fit out job, only the painters, the electricians and plumbers were onsite. There was a female electrician working onsite and while she was bending down under the kitchen cupboard installing a power point for the dishwasher, her red pom-pom G-string popped out the top of her blue cotton drill shorts. I was too embarrassed to say anything. And the plumber I worked with laughed and shook his head while the painters… they are a crafty lot… made sure they were refilling their trays so they could walk past the kitchen for a second glance. The female electrician was oblivious to the attention, or was she? I mean who really wears a pom-pom G-string to a worksite??

2. High heels. I’m the culprit of this one! In my pre-apprenticeship days when dad was showing me all about our plumbing business, I would wear business wear and one meeting required dad and I to quote flashings for a roof in the city. The building was only four storeys high and thankfully the roof was flat but I stupidly attempted to walk on it with heels. I couldn’t do it so had to wait in the stair well for dad to come back.

3. Overalls. They are just so nineties and a pain in the butt to undo when going to the toilet. I’ve been told they are coming back into fashion though.

4. Short shorts. This one is for safety. I always wear long pants and always have done when working on construction sites because of the piles of steel studs or air conditioning ducts that are piled shin high. My work pants protect my legs from unnecessarily scars and scratches so I can keep my pins looking nice when I wear dresses on the weekend.

5. Flammable shirts.  I had to organise getting new shirts for our plumbers and I ordered new breathable cotton drill shirts from a reputable trade brand. One apprentice advised that the new shirts were flammable because while he was oxy-welding, a bit of hot solder spat onto his shirt and it caught on fire and he had to take it off. We ended up working out that the shirt must have had priming fluid splashed on it to cause it to become alight. After this incident I vowed to always wear a singlet under my shirt in case a similar incident happened to me and to be careful not to splash priming fluid on my pants. There was no way I was going to give the workmen onsite a show to remember!