Disaster in the Breakroom

You have heard of the Chinese water torture no doubt. No, it is not water boarding! It is synonymous with crazy making because of the subtle, but infinitely repetitive sound it makes. Drip, drip, drip. The water in this deadly tactic is eternally present attacking the brain with its endless rhythm. Water is normally a wonderful respite from the tortures of urban sounds. But not always.

Let me give you an example. In our breakroom at the library, we have a full kitchenette so anyone can prepare lunch or have a snack when they take ten or fifteen minutes off from the daily grind. It is pretty nice overall with furnishings and fixtures only a few years old. It is the place to sip a cup of coffee or tea and the location of many private conversations. Imagine all this interrupted by a leaky faucet that creates havoc in its own tiny, annoying way. There is the water waste, of course, and no one wants that; but there is also the noise (and I rightfully call it as such) of the dripping. I can’t tell you how it drives me crazy during coffee break.

Infernal dripping is what I find the worst experience in an ordinary world. Dripping that could drive a man to drink and a woman to her own kind of insanity. Now remember. The library is an institution and getting a plumber out is a major ordeal. You have to have board or committee meetings to warrant the “expense.” Never mind that the employees are riddled with madness. Never mind that coffee break is ruined to the max.

Not to leave important matters unattended, I went home and retrieved my trusty tool box from the basement. Surely there was a wrench or two inside. I got back in a flash and set it down on the lunch table. No one was around, so it was perfect timing. I thought about my strategy for a moment and decided there was only one recourse – to swap out the faulty faucet with a newer, high quality kitchen faucet.

I was pretty proud of my decision to go it solo at first and not get the library staff up in a lather about repairs. I pulled out the wrench I thought would fit the best and gave it a once over. It was clean – no rust – and ready to roll. I mounted the gadget and twisted the handles. It moved easily at my touch. This is when the crisis happened. Sure, it moved easily to open the floodwaters of Hell. I had forgotten to turn off the water under the sink and one wrong move created a torrent. Yikes! I remedied the problem fast, but the damage was done. Water was everywhere on the sink and floor. First a mop up job would be required before pushing on.

Well, I finally executed the right manoeuvre and the faucet was replaced. There was no longer the frustrating, never ending series of drips and the kitchen area was back to a peaceful space to enjoy lunch and relax from the stress of the environment. No one was the wiser. Only I knew the trials and tribulations of this event.