The Sue Atkins Wednesday Parenting Story – Knowing Where to Tap

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Here’s my Wednesday story  from my never-ending  notebook and my everlasting coloured pencil.

Knowing Where to Tap

At the end of the 19th century a wealthy mill owner was sick with worry as his steam boiler lay broken and his workers were standing idle.

Time was money and as the hours and days passed he could see his profits slipping away. He had tried all the major firms in the area and they had been unable to cure the problem and he was now about to meet a new chap who had been recommended to him.

A small man dressed in overalls, carrying a small tool bag mad from rough brown hessian was shown in and introduced to the owner. The man looked over his small glasses and asked the owner him to explain the nature of the problem in simple terms. With this the owner immediately had no faith, the boiler system was a hugely complicated affair, but after a while, the man was eventually shown to the boiler room.

Tapping gently, the man travelled up and down the pipe work until he finally settled on one particular elbow. He put his small hammer back in the toolbag and exchanged it for a large one, which he used to give one clean firm thump to the elbow. Immediately the owner could hear sound of the boiler system working again and showered thanks on the man and told him to double his bill. “No that’s not neccessary” replied the man.

Within a few days the man’s bill arrived and it was far more than the wealthy mill owner expected.

£100 was a huge sum for the time put in and it was very much more than any of the other workmen, some of which were there for days not just 10 minutes.

The mill owner demanded a breakdown of the bill.

A reply came by return :

Good Evening – the breakdown is as follows

  • for 10 minutes of tapping £1
  • for knowing where to tap £99

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