A parable.

A man lives in an apartment building that pays a super to maintain the plumbing system, and one day he goes into his kitchen and sees water leaking onto the floor. He calls building management, and they say, “Just put a bucket under it and some tape on it, and don’t worry,” and he does. As the days go by, the leak continues, even as he works at emptying the bucket; but eventually, while he’s at work, the bucket overflows. He calls the building, and they say they’ll send someone, but they don’t. And the leak continues, and the floor becomes warped, and mildew grows on it, so he spends hours scrubbing but has to eventually start eating in his bedroom. And the leak continues, raining down into the apartment below, so he makes more and more furious phone calls, and they do nothing. And eventually he says he will withhold his rent, and they do not answer. And then he does withhold rent, and they sue him for back rent, the damaged floor in his apartment, the damaged ceiling below, the costs of the phone calls he made to them, and the salaries of the people who answered the phones, as well as the cost of the invisible plumber.

And, finally, after he makes a counter-suit and several calls to newspapers and the city, they send a plumber, and he appears and says, “What do you want me to do?”
The man replies, “Uh, fix that big leak.”
“Yeah, but how?” asks the plumber. “If you can’t tell me how you want me to fix the leak, what do you expect me to do?”
The man looks at him and says: “I don’t need to know how to fix the leak. All I need to know is that the floor is wet and you are the plumber.”


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