Things got worse recently. Occasionally, when the shower is running the ensuite, water will glug-glug-glug from the bathroom toilet. Sometimes when the toilet is flushed, sewage water will come up from the bath. What's happening. I guess that the soil stack that connects both of them is seriously blocked. Even though this is not my problem, I'm not the one who uses these toilets, I phoned Dyno-Rod.

I can always tell Dyno-Rod is near whenever fluorescent orange light suddenly crashes through every window in the neighbourhood. I guided the fella upstairs and gave my throughly rehearsed statement, one that was precise, but not overly technical—I wouldn't want to give the impression that I knew better.

Basically, this toilet, as well the one in the ensuite is blocked. Occasionally, water backs up when the shower is running. I think it's because they are connected, and that there is a block—

The fella immediately lost interest in what I was saying, and went to flush the toilet. He then began to rant about how weak the flushing action was. I said yeah ik, but that's not the really what the problem is. It's blocked. He ignored me again and began to arrogantly lecture me about how this is a plumbing issue and not a drainage issue, that it's not flushing properly. I as like no, no, no. It's blocked. He went into the ensuite and made the same comments, looking at me with disgust. Here's where I figured I would surrender his attention, I said againt assertively that sewage was backing up from the other toilet. He looked at me for a moment and said, that's not possible.

What. Do you think I'm lying to you? I was so taken aback by this point that I realised it was pointless to reason with this man anymore. I decided that I would reply okay to everything and let him walk all over me and accept a bollocking like a bashful schoolboy. He left without doing anything else, just that miserable talk shop. He told me to get a plumber instead to replace the cisterns and inspect the durgo valve. The point he was making was that weak flushing toilets meant uncleared and obstructed pipes, and therefore sustained blockages. But I was still baffled, because whether or not I needed to replace the cisterns, the toilets are still blocked.

I then realised what had truly happened.

I was a victim of the british work ethic.

You see, in this country, everyone operates with a can't do attitude. This is not my observation, nor a recent one. James Dyson, the person who invented Dyson vacuum cleaners, wrote in his book Against The Odds:

But there is, unfortunately, a Can't Do mentality in Britain that afflicts every sphere of life. I soon realised that attempts to license [a patent for a vacuum cleaner to manufacturers] in Britain were a waste of time and money, because a combination of apathy and chronic defensiveness about their own products, and poxy little market share, had killed any interest there might have been in developing anything new. All I was doing—and it is inevitable if you are trying to sell a license for something—was offering everyone advanced warning of a potential competitor.
You can see this Can't Do mentality in Britain wherever you cast your eyes. Think of the average British builder. The minute you ask him to do something, anything at all, his first reaction is to say, No. If you ask him to move a pile of bricks from one place to another, he will roll his eyes, take a deep breath, point out all the difficulties, and say, It could take a very long time, or, It'll cost you, mate, usually both.
James Dyson used to be a much admired industrialist, a british success story. But he's recently been more When I was a child, I had a crippling fear of blocked drains and toilet. I therefore grew up viewing plumbers as superheroes. I am not joking. One human interest news story cemented my hero worship of plumbers and drainage people, when in 2009 Dyno-Rod rescued a puppy that was flushed down a toilet.