The Isidore Boullu insurance

One of the best books in the famous Belgian comic strip series "Tintin" is called "The Jewels of Bianca Castafiore". It features Captain Haddock, one of the main characters, trapped in his mansion with a screeching parrot, the obnoxious opera singer Bianca Castafiore (his arch-nemesis) and a broken foot, courtesy of a loose step on his marble staircase.
Throughout the book, he is desperately trying to get one Isidore Boullu, a local handyman, to come and fix the staircase. But Mr Boullu is either too busy, or he has the flu, or there is some other pressing matter such as his newspaper that has priority over his repair work. Haddock's furious frustration in the face of such indifference is, unfortunately, all too familiar to me.
Let me explain how things go where I live. You call a repair man. You arrange for him to drop by somewhere two weeks from now (he can't fit you in sooner). He will set a time slot ranging from 4 to 8 hours, in which he will be dropping by. Your job is to stay home during that time, do nothing and wait patiently for your savior to arrive. If he said he'd come between 8 AM and noon, don't be surprised if he shows at 3 PM. He then charges you an ungodly amount of money for 10 minutes' work. And sometimes, he doesn't show up at all (without informing you, of course).
In short, getting repairs done means having to take off half a day (or an entire day) of work do sit at home and do nothing. What a waste of time and salary. Here's what I'm wondering: could someone invent an insurance for this? You pay an X amount of money per month, and the insurance company pays you back your working hours when the need for a repair man arises. I'd gladly pay a modest amount to be reimbursed for this.

Posted by cronopio at 02:40 PM, December 23, 2005