We have had the contents of our septic tank sucked out 4 times since we moved here in 1981. Without fail, the men who show up with their tank trunk to cart off the contents have been very pleasant and cheerful. Perhaps part of it has to do with the amount they charge for this service, but even so, they seem genuinely to enjoy their job – or at least not to mind it.
It invariably seems that the tank needs to be pumped out in the winter, and poor Richard has usually spent several hours in the freezing cold trying to figure out if the reason the toilet is not flushing correctly is that the tank full or if it because the line leading out of the tank is frozen. He has some handy dandy gadgets to achieve this, including a snake thingy that attaches to his drill and a device that fits on the hose to shoot water at high-pressure down the pipe, but today, he couldn’t get it flowing again.
As I got in my car at 8 am to drive to town, he said, “I’ve used up all my tricks. This is beyond me,” and by the time I returned home 1 hour later, the poopologist with the truck and a tank on the back had arrived and was backing up the driveway.
He was a delightful man. He gave us a very humorous lecture – Poop 101 he called it – on how the process works and how to keep the bacteria happy that are vital to the tank functioning properly. I listened for a bit with a grin on my face and then went inside to commence work. I have a feeling he kept up a steady stream of humorous conversation the entire time he was here. Richard came in with a smile on his face just having paid him almost $200.