Fired from the Donut Shop

Alan J. Schwarz
7 min readMay 11, 2021

Teddy Zelnick was feeling like two pounds of manure in a one pound bag. He had worked for Rutherford Plumbing for twenty seven years. He had been their most experienced plumber and handled all kinds of difficult backed up toilets. When Lester Rutherford took over the company he vowed changes and he was making them. Teddy was his first target, Lester didn’t care about loyalty or the number of times Teddy had dealt with almost impossible plumbing issues.

The fact that Lester fired him was no big surprise. Teddy had been Lester’s mentor when he wanted to be a plumber and Teddy knew that the kid didn’t have what it took to solve plumbing issues. He was missing the common sense element. As an example, one morning they received a call to go to the Medwell Estate. There was a faucet leaking and it was bothering Mrs. Medwell. Big Jim, who owned Rutherford's told Teddy to let Lester fix the problem and just observe. It was time his son gained experience and a leaky faucet would be a great way to start. When they got to the bathroom, Lester saw the tap was leaking and instead of examining the situation, he just put on a new washer, he never looked at a possible bigger problem. It was a lazy solution. Teddy kept telling him to check the pipes and the connection to the taps, but Lester or as Teddy called him Lesser refused to listen. When they left the house, Teddy felt uneasy. He would have spent a few extra minutes and done a deep dive into the leak, just to make sure he had resolved the issue properly. Lester was more impetuous which was not a good way for a plumber to act.

The next day Rutherford Plumbing received a hysterical call from Mrs. Medwell. The tap had blown off during the night and the water had built up in intensity and their bathroom was now completely flooded. Big Jim took the details and said he’d send Teddy over to take a look. Mrs. Medwell refused and said she had hired their rival Bilonsky Plumbing and they would deal with the problem. After all the years she was done with Rutherford. She then slammed the phone down. Big Jim called Teddy and Lesser into his office and lambasted Teddy for ten minutes for doing a shitty job. When Teddy tried to defend himself, Big Jim threatened to fire him. He didn’t but it was the first time in all the years that he worked there that Teddy felt job uncertainty.

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.