Anecdote Index




.....Teashop Maintenance.....

(5) by #

I supervised maintenance of teashops at one quarter of London - the south-west quarter, bounded by Hyde Park Corner, Croydon, Guildford, West Ealing - plus a couple of Steak Houses and a Wimpy Bar at Hammersmith Broadway. I had no training for this work, it was assumed that I knew about refrigeration, which was not so. I had three pairs of engineers to cover this area. My day started with a visit to my local Teashop, J8 Acton, and phone in to 'control' and find out what breakdowns had been reported in that morning and where the three pairs of engineers had been sent. I would either proceed to the most serious breakdown, or if it was a bad morning, make my way to a fourth Teashop with a problem like a boiler that had not lit. When all breakdowns had been dealt with there was routine maintenance to get on with. It was a hard winter when I started on this work and there were many burst pipes. Often I'd walk into a Teashop and find water flowing down a wall and I'd have to figure were it was coming from and then how to close it off without shutting the Teashop down. I only carried three tools in my brief case - a screwdriver, an adjustable spanner (wrench) and a pair of Molegrips (a vice grip), this was because it carried requisition and order pads and other paperwork in there too. Often the work went into the evening, and you were never able to get time back as you had t be in on time next morning for another round of work. I was travelling the whole time and only came in to the office one afternoon a week. I was on this work for less than two years but maintenance work is vital to be done at some time for a balanced career.

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