A blog by Jorge Garcia.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Living Without in Hawaii

Living in Hawaii you kinda have to accept that certain goods and services will be harder to get. Some you either are in a constant search for or you're resigned to do without.

For example. Decent dry cleaning. I found dry cleaning here to not only be very expensive but also incompetent when it comes to getting stains out. I'll admit it, I'm a stainer. So I'm forced to save up all of my dry cleaning for hotels when I fly somewhere for the show. 

But I'm not ranting about dry cleaning today. Today it's plumbers.

Okay when I had toilet trouble, it was hard to get someone to call me back. 

We caught a guy in his truck on the way home one day and we got him to clear our slow toilet. 

Little did we know, that was all he would be good for. 

We called him a couple weeks later for a leaking toilet and leaking shower.

Long story short we ended up with a broken toilet, he leaned it against the wall and it slid down. He replaced it, but the new one's way smaller. And he couldn't fix the leaking shower, he had to order a part.

He then called us to get the brand name on the shower again. 

He then came back yet again to get the number off the part he needed for the shower to finally place the order. (Now by this time there has been a steady stream of water coming from my shower for days.)

We also informed him that while he was away our water pressure dropped drastically. He made the pressure worse. His response was "Do you guys have bad luck in this house?" 

No sir. Just bad plumbers.

We have now called a familiar plumbing chain. The first guy came out and couldn't do anything. I'm learning to live without a plumber that get something done in one trip.

Today they're back and it looks like things are moving ahead. 

We haven't heard from the other plumber but we're kinda racing them right now. Whoever gets the job done first, wins. 

I just want to shower again. 

P.S. The old plumber just called to say he could be here in 3 to 4 hours. We fired him. 


Bethany James Leigh Shady said...

thanks for doing the dirty work

OurWanderingAdventures said...

oh geez! I have an overpriced dry cleaner right here that I keep begging to take my money! haha! You think I would stop being lazy and just drive to find a new place, but no, I must like being taken to the 'cleaners'

that stinks about your shower though! I hope it gets better, is it possible to get worse??

Bostan said...

We had a plummer guy who had a comany called "We'll take your crap" in hawaii. I think we just hierd him because we liked the name.

Wiccababe said...

so I need to retrain as a plumber and move to hawaii then? :)

Magic & Goofy said...

lol. yeah, there are tradeoffs to living in the islands for sure. woulda been easier (and maybe cheaper) to hire someone from the mainland and fly them over to do the job... ;) good luck with getting things fixed!

Adam said...

The numbers are bad man!

4 8 15 16 23 42


Tasha Who? said...

I've only known of two reliable plumbers anywhere. They go by the names of Mario and Luigi.

myanrellick said...

OY. That sucks. Like the cable guy. "I'll be there between 8AM and 4PM"

Mrs. Z said...

I'm adding your plumbing to my prayer list.

Eric said...

Plumber FAIL!

Tynett said...

I understand completely, my dad was in the army and we lived in Belgium for over 20 years. We always missed things from home so I completely get where you are coming from.

dcantrell said...

I completely agree with the quality of plumbers in Hawaii. We had a backed up drain that caused both bathroom sinks and a shower to stop draining. It took several calls to actually get someone to come out. He finally showed up after 8pm (mind you, I called early in the morning).

Regarding dry cleaning, I've only used the Al Phillips in the McCully Shopping Center (McCully St. and Kapiolani Ave). They did a nice job, but were a bit pricey. Turn around time was fast too.


New Yorker wannabes said...

Not only in Hawaii Jorge. Happens in Greece too!


Tammy said...

Im sorry you have issues, there is nothing worse than water issues-especially the shower and toilet.
At least you work on a show that you dont have to look too clean for :) (Sorry Beth)

Phrank said...

We've got the same problems in Jersey. I had a slow shower drain and called one of the "chain plumbers" knowing it would cost a little more but they would get the job done correctly. Well wouldn't you know a week later it started backing up again and when I called them back to correct it they charged me full price again!

Moochiecat said...

One word for you about stains:
Tide pen!
Awesome...it's like magic.

Or the Shout solid stick. Schmear that on stains, let it sit for a while and the stains come out in the wash.

Dreamybee said...

On the plus side, there are plenty of showers available at the beach parks!

Michael said...

It's pretty hard to get tradesmen to do small jobs no matter where you live. A lot of times you're better off getting a handyman, jack of all trades kind of person who make a living on smaller jobs.

Sassy Blondie said...

Stained and no way to clean up properly. Paradise? Maybe not..! ;)

Irrevelynt said...

Yeah, plumbers are going to be a problem if you're in the country side of the island. And that goes for dry cleaners too. Best bet would probably be further into the city (like Honolulu and Waikiki). Far to go for dry cleaning but everything's far when you live on that side.

redelf said...

That's not just Hawaii that has bad plumber...its Illinois too. I wont even go into it but its VERY bad here. But our dry cleaning is cheap!

Unknown said...

We had black toxic mold in our hilo apartment bathroom once and they told us to to just close the door and not go in there, they will be back in a couple of weeks to clear it out. Thanks guys. lol hawaii is on island time

*~Dani~* said...

We were having the same problem in our house with a plumber. You would think they would be grateful for the work. Nope, guess not. We were interfering with their time asking for help. UGH

Lara said...

So what you're saying is that if I want to move to Hawaii and make a killing at the same time, I just have to become a decent plumber. Awesome. That's my new backup plan.

Please Type Legibly said...

Some clothes that recommend dry cleaning can actually be hand washed or done in the gentle cycle and line dried. I do it with some of mine with good results. But if it says dry clean only, then it's hotel-worthy.

Give those plumbers some hell. And tell them welcome to your world. LOL

_ said...

Dude....the sign of a good plumber? Two words.

Butt. Crack.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I don't think it's a Hawaii thing...definitely happens to us in Virginia too. ;)Hope you get to take a shower soon!

Unknown said...

hello..!!! i'm Brazilian, my name is Josué and living in Santa Catarina, i'm staing adcide in LOST and want be your friend in orkut... please add :http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Home.asp


lostinphilly said...

I agree with "TashaWho", Mario and Luigi!! I hope you have better luck with plumbers in the future. Until then, just hang in there!

Petra said...

Maybe Bad Robot should hire a handyperson to work off set for all the cast and crew who are living temporarily in Hawaii. With the economy the way it is, I bet there would be a line of willing people who would work for room and board and a few hours off to go to the beach every day!

: ) P

Malea said...

So welcome to my world, 'cept the plumber is my husband, and he's not actually a plumber, or carpenter, mechanic, or electrician. I've tried to fire him many a time and hire skilled labor. Apparantly husbands have a labor union.

Christina Bauer said...

You need Mike Delfino from Desperate Housewives! He can fix anything!

Shadow Thompson said...

George, George, George, Don't you know yet that women make great plumbers. Women have been taking care of men's piping for years. Maybe you should get yourself a woman to do the job. However you may want to mention to her you're dripping.......... OMG DID I JUST TYPE THAT!!!!!????????

christa said...

always thought you were more of a ddk than an evie.

this post is making me wonder.

Julie Angarone said...

First- Shocker that you are a stainer!!! :)
Second - leaky toilets are really easy to fix - I fixed one the day i went into labor - it just takes a trip to Home Depot - tell the guys there what's wrong, they'll steer you to the $20 part you need.

Sucks that you can't shower- I love LOST, but always hated it when everyone was grubby! i love this season with everyone CLEAN!!

Jules said...

Wow. I thought living in Hawaii was like living in paradise. My husband thankfully does all this sort of work for us. I take care of medical emergencies and he does all the computer and plumbing repairs. SCORE!

Wish you the best of luck with showering.

Mommycosm said...

Must be an island thing. We have the same issues with plumbers (and electricians) at our house in Aruba. We joke that things only get done in "Aruba time" down there...which is about 3x longer than normal.
Good luck :)

Barry Traylor said...

Sorry that I can't give you the name of my plumber but since I live in Pennsylvania he might have to charge you a lot for a house call.
I have been using the same plumber for over 30 years. Started with the father and now his son has taken over company since his dad retired. The son is as good as the the father was and I would not dream of trying anyone else. Last winter I had some frozen pipes and he told me what to do over the phone. How neat is that as it was a weekend and he would have had to charge extra. This guy is as much a friend as a plumber that I trust. Whenever you find anyone that does good work hang on to them for dear life.------Barry

Updates about Hanna said...

Things aren't much better in Maryland. I think the plumbers union has requires plumbers to take an oath to cause frustration.

Updates about Hanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Engineering Bureau said...

There does not seem to be a lot of areas where service personnel still do a competent job...and cleaners/dry cleaners??? Worse than the items coming back not totally clean is them missing when you go to pick them up...

Sarah said...

Sorry to laugh, but that's kind of funny. I do feel for you though. Bad! Bad plumber, bad!

That reminds me of that silly joke about the refrigerator---only in your case it's "Is your shower running? Well, then you better go catch it!" :) (Bad humor, which by the way, you can always expect from me.)

And about the dry cleaning... I think a good dry cleaner is hard to find in any city. Hotels have contracts with those companies, so they have a knack for finding the best ones.

Have a fantastic day!


Guinevere said...

Honey, you don't have to be in Hawaii for this story to be relevant. You're just used to the plethora of plumbers in LA. Small Town America experiences the same delimnas. ;) Good thing to do about the 'old' plumber. It sounded like it didn't mean that much to him.

Irishcoda said...

Sorry you're having so much trouble with plumbers...that goes on around here too. :P It's hard to find a good contractor of any kind and when we luck on to one we count ourselves blessed. We do have better luck with dry cleaners tho...Hope you get all your plumbing issues resolved!

Sarah - Kala said...

Depressing to learn this. I'm moving there in 2.5 months to stay three years . . .

ValMo said...

Oh man. That really sucks. I'm sorry to hear that.
If it makes you feel any better, I had a ghetto-ass toilet (no pun intended!) in NYC that I actually had to turn the water off when I wasn't using it and turn it back on to flush because the morons in building management couldn't figure it out.

pinstripebindi said...

But on the other hand, there will never be a Spam shortage in the state.

nomad said...

like i said before jorge. before i got cancer i use to be a handy man for my own company. i new how to do alot. get a handy man next time. maybe he will work out for ya. good luck. p.s i guess you don't read these. ;)

VJ said...

When leaving a message with plumbers, don't say the problem is with your toilet! They never return those calls, because even plumbers don't like dealing with toilets. You have to trick them into coming to your house first.

Mrs. Murphy said...

We lived in Kaneohe Bay for 3 years, and living on island had 2 negs for us, centipedes and service! On the Marine base they had started a new enlisted housing neighborhood when we arrived, by the time we left it still wasnt complete. Thats aloha living bra.

AtomBlonde said...

I was at a marina near Kaneohe today, and saw a Rotor Rooter guy, fast asleep in his van. I thought of your predicament... Hope it gets resolved soon!

Laura Caçoeiro said...

There are bad professionals in all professions.

:)Ibti said...

No joke. I had a broken oven door a while back. I mean the door was split open and I couldn't use the oven at all. For weeks. And there was something that looked like insulation batting spurting out from between the two door layers. Freaky? Yes. I tried to fix it myself, but no luck. And after almost 3 weeks of calling and leaving messages to get a local handyman to come by and fix it, I finally had to call a repair service, which charged me nearly 5 times the price. Eep. I can bake now, though....

Connie said...

if in a pinch you have something you want desperately want dry cleaned, this works pretty darn well: http://www.dryel.com/

Unknown said...

There is a great cleaners in Kailua called Abe's.

Ruby Zee said...

Believe it or not, there is a serious shortage of plumbers in the United States. My dad was a contractor and taught all of us the basics. I supported myself as a handyperson for over a year. Most plumbing problems are fairly easy to fix. Drippy faucets usually just need a washer. Toilets that run are a snap. Just change the flapper. Maybe 5 bux max and about 10 minutes labor time. MOST IMPORTANT HINT: when plunging a plugged up toilet, FLUSH first then plunge while it's flushing. Finally, if worse comes to worse, call the first plummer in the yellow pages and offer double in cash if problem is fixed in half a day. Best of luck :)

Ashley Only said...

hmm, i know this is a bit late but i could give you the info of a most excellent plumber (he lives in kaneohe, he's reliable and actually knows what he's doing!), in case you need him later!

Shirley said...

sounds like Altus...where we live...only, the plumber here is wonderful (he's also the furnace and a/c man)...wish we could share him with you!
Here, it's the fridge repair dude. Took him SEVEN freakin' MONTHS to get it right (and then it was only because that last time he was here he phoned the manufacturer of our brand fridge to have them walk him through the steps)

We feel your pain Dude!

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