Posted by: irishdad | December 3, 2009

The trouble with bathrooms

We were quite impressed with the people putting in our bathroom, until they had a fight outside the house with one threatening to kill the other.

Hosting a fight in your garden, where you think the Bathroom Guy is being shanked by the Tiler Guy while pregnant mother and child cower inside the house does not figure high on the things we need in our life right now.

Here’s what went down in da hood.

Everything was finished bar hanging a mirror and putting down the saddle under the door. This latter job should have been done by the tiler during the week but for some reason wasn’t. So, when Bathroom Guy came this evening to hang the mirror and get paid he made a phone call to voice his disappointment to the tiler, who in return went seven shades of bananas. Bathroom guy hung up. Tiler guy kept phoning and shouting down the line.

I arrived home into the midst of this, but didn’t realise there was that much going on between the guys. So I sat in the living room with Irishmam and Littleboy waiting for Bathroom guy to finish up so we could give the wee lad his bath and pack him off to bed.

Well, next thing, Tiler guy turns up at the front door and invites Mr Bathroom outside for a chat. As soon as the door closed all hell broke loose, with a lot of noisy shouting and scuffling. There was the sound of clanging metal as well which made me think that Bathroom guy might now be wearing the door saddle.

I told wife and child (one scared, one oblivious) to go upstairs and close the bedroom door behind them while I wondered should I go outside or just lock the door and leave Bathroom Guy to his fate. (Through all this we could only hear but not see what was going on.)

After a minute or so the guys moved off about 50 feet where Tiler Guy continued telling Bathroom guy he was going to kill him. I followed them out and, keeping my distance, told them they had about five seconds before I called the police…and that I had a scared pregnant wife inside the house. At this Tiler Guy screamed “Sorry, it’s him, he needs to pay me my money” and sped off.

Bathroom guy was unharmed but shaking with adrenalin, as was I. He told me they’d been working together for years and he’d never seen the likes of it, but that Tiler Guy’s child was sick in hospital and he was under a lot of pressure.

He apologised profusely and said he couldn’t believe what had happened…and then started talking about coming back inside to finish off the work. Yeah, right. I told him that my wife was terrified and we had our own things to deal with over the weekend and he’d have to come back on Monday.

All I can conclude is that this is what people under stress look like. Times are tough in this country right now and the mood is increasingly sour for a number of reasons.  I suspect bathroom guy has cashflow problems and is late paying his team, so the tiler is probably under money pressure and now he has a sick child. Keep this going for a while and somethings going to give eventually.

So, that was Thursday the 3rd of December 2009. A completely abnormal day exactly one year after the last ‘normal’ day of our lives. 365 days ago at this exact time  we were still two regular people, watching telly on the couch expecting our second baby to be born in five days time.  This evening we’re sitting on the same couch talking about our day and the days to come, wondering how we came to have people fighting in our garden!

I hope the guys sort things out, and that the tiler’s child is ok, but really, I don’t need this shit.

In fairness though, the bathroom is lovely.



  1. Irishdad

    If it wasn’t tragic it would be funny – but it is so it isn’t.

    More importantly, my thoughts and prayers are with you all as a family this weekend. I hope you have a gentle weekend are able to hold each other close and see the odd ray of sunshine in the storm.

    If it helps (and it may not) I think it gets easier from here if our experience is anything to go by.

    Take care for the weekend

  2. I agree with you that everyone’s patience is maxed out. Times are tough and people are turning on one another. It is ugly out there. I have seen a couple of road rage incidents this week. Eek.

    As you edge on Littlegirl’s day, wishing you some calm, and no shankings in the garden. (That sounded a bit dirty. Not my intention.)

  3. Oh dear. Stress does awful things to people and makes them behave in ways that they would never usually consider. At least the bathroom turned out well.

    Thinking of you and Irishmam over the coming days.

  4. Just wanted to drop you a note and tell you I was thinking about you, Irishmam, Irishboy and Littlegirl…take care and know that I will be holding you all in my heart….


  5. Just to say I am thinking of you today and hope you have a peaceful day and that things get easier from here on in.

    Re your bathroom guys – so much for the recession making poeple more aware of behaving well in front of their clients!! Guess you won’t be recommending them for customer service 🙂

    Take care x

  6. Hi, Just to say thinkng about you and yours today. I hope today is not too hard on you and that you can hold each other close, remember LittleGirl and see a brighter tomorrow

    Peace to you all

  7. What an awful situation to find yourselves in. I know people are under pressure and stressed but I can’t quite believe how Tiler Guy acted. I’m impressed at how you handled it.

    On a different note, as others have said here, you and your family are in my thoughts too, this weekend.

    Take care

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