Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pumping out the tank

I've had this idea in my mind for some time. I haven't shared it yet because of the delicate nature of the subject matter. I wanted to be sure and share it in as non-offensive a way as possible. I'm still not certain I've figured out how to do that, but here goes:

Two months ago we had the septic tank at our house pumped. The guys came out and did a great job, and it didn't cost as much as I had feared. Here's the interesting part: We weren't having any problems when we decided to have the tank pumped. I didn't know that it was strange to have someone pump out your septic tank before things go wrong until I called to make the appointment. When I called the conversation went something like this:

Me: I'd like to make an appointment for y'all to come out and pump my septic tank.

Septic dude: How long have you been having problems with it?

Me: I'm not having any problems with it.

Septic dude: Oh. That's different.

Me: What's different?

Septic dude: Well everyone else who calls here is already having serious problems, like sewage backing up in their shower or bubbling up in the yard.

Me: That's what I was wanting to avoid.

My strategy was based on the fact that our house is ten years old, and the tank had never been pumped. Now I don't know anything about septic tanks, but I figured anything that had been getting filled up with, will call it stuff, for ten years could probably use a good cleaning out. The last thing I wanted was a situation like the guy told me about over the phone, so I decided to fix the problem before it happened. I guess you might call it preventive maintenance.

Is there any, once again we'll call it stuff, that you are filling your life with that you can see a future problem from? Right now things are fine but you know that if you continue with this certain habit or relationship or schedule, one day you'll wake up with stuff bubbling up or backing up in your life. Don't wait until the mess comes to pump out the tank. Go to counseling before you get separated from your spouse, start exercising before you have a heart attack, spend time with your teenager before he fails the ninth grade. What areas of your life could use a little preventive maintenance?


swamp said...


You have a great way of tackling problems in just a few words. We all have "stuff" and when in backs up on you it can ruin your day, week, month and life.


DMaC said...

Upon reading the title I thought it might be a euphamism for something else. Stuff in the earlier stages. But I'm all for preventive maintanance, in every form.

Chanda Canup said...

I really loved this -- very insightful!
Oh, and that sceptic tank problem -- yeah. I know all about that one!

Lisa Wilson said...


That's why I love to listen to your words of wisdom. You take something profound that everyone needs to hear, and then you put it in words that are easy to understand by just about anybody.

The Brighter Side of Things said...

That is the best post yet!!! You taught a great lesson and the post was full of "stuff" and everyone loved it. Only you can pull that off. It really was a great lesson. Never loose your creativity.

Anonymous said...

Septic Theology...what a breathe of fresh (uh, whoops) "aromatically pleasing" air! =)