Saturday, 18 September 2010

Getting the Job Done

After many weeks of delays due to the weather, the pipe leading from my kitchen sink was finally fixed today.

The arrangements were confirmed the night before and at around 10:15am two guys arrived, one older, one younger complete with bamboo poles and an electric drill as well as metal triangular frames.

The older guy, the boss, was quite the character, constantly swearing at his underling for forgetting to bring certain tools and had to go back down twice to retrieve them. But after he put on his harness, climbed out of my window on the 21st floor and started drilling to screw the metal frames in, the boss was in his element. He told me he'd been doing this for 30 years, dressed in a green T-shirt, shorts and white cotton running shoes and wearing gloves.

His poor underling had to endure being castigated in front of me, but quietly handed the bamboo poles and frames when required. It's quite amazing these people who erect bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong. They don't even do this in China.

The fixed pipe (the bottom part)
These poles are not only environmentally friendly, but they are very strong and used to build skyscrapers. They are tied together with a black nylon ribbon that is wound around the two poles tightly a few times, then the two ends of the nylon twisted together many times then looped around and that's it.

In less than an hour and a half, their job was done, leaving behind the bamboo scaffolding and a plastic sheet there for the next worker to have a good and safe workspace. The underling even swept the floor of my apartment as the bamboo poles had quite a bit of dirt on them.

Then at 2pm at the appointed time, the man of the hour arrived. Also in his 50s, this man had no problem climbing out the window and into this kind of nesting area. He inspected the pipe and saw there were a few areas where it had holes in it. He took some pictures on his phone and sent them to my landlord's contractor and went back downstairs to buy more pipe pieces.

He came back, sawed off the broken pieces and handed them to me, then replaced them with plastic ones, sanding and sawing, and probably soldering, as I saw he had a soldering gun with him. Also in about an hour and a half the job was all done.

I asked him to help me fix the door handle of my apartment too, as it had recently gotten loose and fell apart in my hands. I temporarily fixed it, but it was still loose. He did this without a fuss and within five minutes it was all done, screwed in tight.

So now the scaffolding is still there and will probably stay there until next weekend (weather permitting) when the duo will return to take the bamboo poles down.

These are the things I like about Hong Kong -- how people get things done quickly and efficiently and everyone cooperates because of time and money.

Now if only the weather had the same kind of thinking...

1 comment:

  1. bamboo scaffolding has been in use for hundreds of years. it is cheap and has the kind of flexibility which is lacking in the steel pipe kind. but for really high buildings it lacks the strength to hold up vertically and accurately.