To feel peeved about this request

(16 Posts)
smokeybandit Mon 09-May-16 21:56:12

We're currently without a repair contractor (not main service provided) and had someone report a blocked and leaking sink. I call boss to see what can be sorted out and it goes like this:
Me "We've got a blocked and leaking sink, is there someone we can send?"
Boss: "has anyone been to check if the blocked sink is plunger-able?"
Me: "er, might be a silly question but how are we to know if it's plunger-able by looking at it"
Boss "by using a plunger".
I did think it was a bit of a joke at first as using a plunger (which we don't actually have) on someone's sink is not and never has been my job. Not even close. It was asked because the people going to the repair will cost a lot of money but they would need to attend for the leak anyway. Am I unfair to be quite miffed at the implication we should have even THOUGHT about going to do this. I know we're in a tough spot without stable contractors but I don't think it's fair for that to be put on us, and kind of feel like I wouldn't be "going above and beyond" or "helping a bit extra when needed" and will sound like an arse for even mentioning I was unhappy with it. It wasn't even like it was a request or suggestion, more like an enquiry as to whether or not we've gone and done anything about it before reporting it, which under normal circumstances would never happen. I'm not a plumber or handyman (handywoman/handy person?). Visually checking a repair to give a contractor the correct info is one thing but actually trying to fix the problem is completely different. I wasn't asked to go in the end and it will be sorted but I don't know whether I should say something or just let it go.

I do like my boss and we get on well, I don't want to make it awkward but I feel like a bit of a yes person sometimes and wonder if this is a time I should say "actually, I don't think that was ok".

VimFuego101 Mon 09-May-16 22:04:15

What is your actual job title?

smokeybandit Mon 09-May-16 22:08:47

VimFuego101, I'm a housing officer. Definitely not a repair person.

Fairenuff Mon 09-May-16 22:09:17

You don't think it was ok that he asked 'has anyone been to check if the blocked sink is plunger-able?'

Seems a reasonable enough question to me and the simple answer would be 'No'.

gingergenie Mon 09-May-16 22:12:13

Yes, a plunger is a good idea. If you are not expected to carry one in your day to day work, and you are not generally expected to understand the nature of plumbing distasters, then no, YANBU. HTH X

Cheby Mon 09-May-16 22:12:14

Seems reasonable to me. I'm an accountant but if we had an issue with a sink in the kitchen at work I'd be ok to try a plunger before we called out a plumber to look at it. Why spend all that money if you don't have to?

smokeybandit Mon 09-May-16 22:12:48

It's not so much the question, I asked the lady reporting it the same thing-because it's her sink so she should have done that. It's the implication that I should have gone and done it before reporting it when it's so completely not my job that it didn't and wouldn't even occur to me. Offer someone a plunger if we had one, sure. But not take it upon myself to go and do it.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 09-May-16 22:17:32

Did he imply you should have done it?

I read your conversation as it being a normal question - do you know if anyone has tried using a plunger. He didn't seem to be implying you yourself should have checked. I might be missing his tone though!

Fairenuff Mon 09-May-16 22:18:43

I'm not getting the sense of implication here thought OP. Surely he was just asking the question. You admit you asked your client the same question, yet you object to someone asking it of you? confused

smokeybandit Mon 09-May-16 22:21:58

Cheby, a work sink sure, would definitely have a go. But I report repairs and arrange for specialists to do them as these are resident properties not work premises, I don't carry out repairs so I didn't think it was fair to imply I should've gone and tried fixing it before asking if a qualified person was available to do it, in order to save money on a job that needed attendance anyway. I'm probably being silly about it or not explaining it properly then, overthinking. Thank you lot for trying smile

Cheby Mon 09-May-16 22:24:51

Ah ok, I hadn't understood your post properly. I guess there might be insurance issues as well.

But still, not unreasonable to ask the question. Just that the answer would be no. smile

Cel982 Mon 09-May-16 22:40:06

Unless he said more that you're not telling us, then YABU, I think. I don't get any sense that he was suggesting you should have done it yourself.

Paddletonio Mon 09-May-16 22:45:42

I don't think he was suggesting you should have done it

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 09-May-16 22:48:36

Hmm. I work for a housing association, even more removed from maintenance than you (Corporate Services) and if there was absolutely nobody to perform a repair like unblocking a sink, our Ops Director would probably ask me if I could give it a go. Our Housing Officers and Housing Managers would definitely roll their sleeves up and grab a plunger if circumstances necessitated it! However, we're a small, community-based HA with a large proportion of vulnerable tenants and know all of our tenants by name, so our attitude may be connected to that kind of familiarity.

It doesn't actually sound like you were personally being asked to unblock the sink. But, I think it would be fine for you to mention it in your next one to one, in a sort of "I was surprised that you seemed to be implying I should have gone to unblock that sink myself, it isn't normal protocol and I felt a bit awkward sort of way". If only just to establish that you'll go "above and beyond" but within reason and not where you'd feel incompetent or out of your depth.

Dothedance Mon 09-May-16 22:50:43

I do the same job as you! If I get a repair reported to me and pass it on the the maintenance / repair team to sort out I sometimes get similar responses as you've had. I just ignore it and let them get on with it. No skin off my nose if it's expensive to send a plumber, all part and parcel of the business. Now if the maintenance officer wanted to go out and plunge the sink then good on them, but as a HO I'm not going to, I've got enough to do.

Don't pay it anymore heed. It's easy to get embroiled in everything when you work in housing and the more you take on the more people expect. I have learned the hard way and now have selective hearing and refuse to get involved in stuff which isn't anything to do with me.

smokeybandit Tue 10-May-16 01:06:56

Cel982 actually reading it again I've realised the bit I've missed is me saying we don't have a plunger and being told we could buy one in the local hardware shop. There are only two people in the office, the resident in question unfortunately is known to do as little as possible and wouldn't have (indeed didn't) try to plunge, probably doesn't even own a plunger, and in fact only told us because it's now ruining her flooring-has apparently been going on for a week. With "has anyone been to check" the only people who could have possible gone to do it in this case would be myself and colleague.

ComtesseDeSpair, we are very small (hence 2 people) and as you do, know all residents by name. I've changed and old lady's battery for the electric starter in her cooker because it was too low down, helped a vulnerable resident restart their boiler as it had never run out of credit before and they thought it was broken, and personally gone and checked sockets for someone who thought all their kitchen sockets were broken when it was in fact their kettle (and they were desperate for tea!), all unasked by management and as im sure you know, taking me away from possibly more pressing things, to save vulnerable residents unnecessary waiting times. I really love helping them, but this person is not vulnerable and is very capable of trying to unblock their own sink, just not willing.

And there is a contractor who can do it, will just cost more. I feel like a bit of a knob for not wanting to do it and being annoyed about it but Dothedance you are correct, the more you do the more you are asked or expected to do and I don't want to be everybody's yes person.

ContesseDeSpair I like the way you phrased that idea of mentioning it, thank you.

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