Every cornershop relies on a network of corner-shaped professionals. In this thrilling new mini-series we meet some of the behind-the-scenes men and women that keep the indie retail world going.
First up is FRIDGE MAN. Now of course not every corner shop has a fridge man: bookshops and barbers and betting shops can function without chilled facilities. But for every caff, butcher, greengrocer, general grocer, chippie, restaurant and fishmonger in the land, the fridge repair man is one of the most hallowed of visitors, bringing relief after hours of tech-fail related stress. A fridge that is running a temperature is very bad news: everything has to be emptied out, the chilled goods need to be housed elsewhere (assuming the problem has been detected in time and the contents are not already ‘off’). And then you sit and pray that the thing just needs a little gas rather than a new compressor.
Trouble is, there are a lot of not-very-good fridge men out there, and so when you find one that does the job at the right price, you hang on to him. He is always busy, so your heart soars when you get through and he says he’s on the way. You make him tea. You fight off the urge to hug him when he tells you your fridge will live to chill another day. And you bite your tongue when he tells you how much it will cost.
Our fridge man is called Hammid, and he works for London Refrigeration. He’s been fixing fridges and accepting cups of tea for around twelve years now. He seems happy in his job. And he says he never turns his phone off or turns jobs away. If you do decide to get in touch with him, tell him we sent you…