Monday, 11 June 2007

The Septic Tank Wallah

He's the 'dunnyman' in Australia but we don't have any fancy names for the bloke that comes in the big lorry to empty the septic tank.

There was some problem at the Dubai Sewage Treatment Plant today: whatever it was, the distinctive orange tankers were backed up all the way to the main road and up along it as I drove home from the daily toil. That's a lot of big lorries full of noxious sludge: I'd have said there were a hundred and more of them.

It's a job that's worth reflecting on when things are looking down during your working day. Just giving the Septic Tank Wallah's lot a second's thought should brighten up your view of your own place in life's great periodic table. He drives around answering phone calls from desperate people (because we usually don't know the damn thing needs emptied until the downstairs toilet backs up or something equally revolting) and then he spends a good 20 minutes sucking out months-worth of our bathwater and variegated bodily secretions through a fat pipe into his lorry, dragging the pipe out, shaking it off (yes, 'yeww') and hanging it back on the lorry before driving the whole sloshing, odiferous load to the stinking treatment plant (woe betide him if he dumped it in the desert) and emptying it out. And you thought having a stupid boss or the ninth cubicle from the sun was bad? Think again!

I spared a grimace for them all, stuck there and waiting in the humid, heavy and pungent air by the Sewage Plant as I drove by. Most of us bitch about the shitty traffic, but they were stuck in a literally shitty traffic jam.

A last thought and a tip for you, dear friends. Always have the right money ready for the Septic Tank Wallah. You don't want the change he offers you...

1 comment:

Angooz said...

Hmmm, yes life IS shit but then you do live in Sharjah. Co-incidentally, and no word of a lie, my kids still refer to the odour of excremement as "the Sharjah smell".

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