Poo Catchers


When I was a soft handed apprentice, I always wondered why our commercial plumbers would occasionally have to start work early in the morning. I’m talking about 4am or 5am starts onsite.

The job of the morning would involve our plumbers cutting into the existing sewer stack of a multi-storey building to run waste pipes for a new fixture.

One reason was to abide by the noise restrictions that the building management would have in place. All noisy work had to be done before normal business hours would start at 8am in the morning.

The other reason (and usually the main reason) was to ensure that no effluent was running through the sewer because we all know that the toilet is the first place one visits when they get out of bed or arrive at work. The last thing a plumber wants is poo and wee flowing down a 100mm (or bigger) pipe while they are cutting into it.

Our plumbers would have a bucket or two on hand because sometimes the buildings we worked in had apartments upstairs and some of the residents were early risers. A well experienced plumber would hear the flush of water run through the pipe and would quickly whisk a bucket under the opening to catch someone’s morning business to prevent it from splashing on the floor. Or their pants. Usually it was the apprentice’s job to catch the poo. They would be the designated poo catchers.

Plumbing can be a dirty job. But someone has to do it.

I will forever have ingrained in my memory the time when dad and I had to cut into an old cast iron sewer stack. I held the pipe while dad used a sabre saw to cut out a section so that we could install a branch for a new sink waste.

The vibration of the sabre saw through the cast iron pipe caused the inner remnants of decade-old semi-congealed urine and poop spill over my hands and wrists creating a cesspool of crap at my feet. I remember thinking this is crap.

And it was.

Changing pooey nappies are nothing in comparison to having someone else’s crap run through your fingers. And splash on your clothes.

Have you handled anything crappy lately?

I’m linking for Laugh Link with Em from Have a laugh on me… although some of you may cringe after reading this post. Sorry. x