About a month ago, I walked into a meeting with our contractor, and the plumber walked in. I don’t know if he’s the owner of the company or the guy sells the Extended Warranty or the Undercoating Plus and the Silver Protection Plan, but I do know this: I bought five hand sinks from Economy restaurant supply for a hundred bucks a pop, and this guy offered me two choices: the $890 model or the $920 one, which electronically senses your hands and turns on an off like you’re at the airport. After that, and an experience with gas line hoses for the equipment on the line where said plumber offered to sell me the stuff I bought for $900 at Standard restaurant equipment for $1800, I began to question their pricing schema. That $8000 grease trap from early on? We now get to investigate whether I could have gotten it at a yard sale for $200 with a little haggling.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the sinks he wanted to sell me had better parts on them, but I’m dubious at to whether those parts were 8.9 times better. And I know the hoses were the exact same ones- there was some negotiating between salesmen as to whether they were to be released to me or Name Redacted Plumbing Company. So when we moved the sink over yesterday and I opted for a new faucet, I bought the fancy, well-built kind, but I bought myself, from my favorite weird plumbing supply company, Bonnets and Stems, where there used to be a remarkable woman who would chide me about my equipment selections and plumbing skills, simultaneously aloof and impatient, and who somehow used a bluetooth as a hearing aid. Also, she used to give me pickle juice to loosen parts that were stuck together by scale and corrosion. She passed away in April and was one of my favorite people to receive an upbraiding from. And I know it was $286, but I have a feeling I could have gotten in from Name Redacted for at least $700, and that’s with no upbraiding or pickle juice.