Jump to content

the trouble with tradies . . .


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 MintyBiscuit

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

We need to get a plumber out this afternoon to sort a blocked drain (and hopefully not inform us the pipes are full of tree roots  hands.gif ). Anyway, DH has called up and booked it and is heading home a bit early from work so he can be here when the plumber gets here. Why you ask? Because I am a big stupid sooky la la when it comes to tradies.

I honestly don't know what it is, but I struggle like crazy with the idea of a tradie in my house. I'm a confident, outgoing woman, and I like to learn things about my crappy little house for future reference. But I hate hate HATE being here on my own with a tradie. I don't fear them, I just don't seem to know what to do. Do I hang around and ask questions, or will that annoy them? Do I pretend like they're not there? That just seems rude. It drives me absolutely bonkers. It's the same reason I won't have a cleaner, even though DH is all for it - I just wouldn't know what to do.

Surely I'm not alone in my weirdness? Has anyone else had this and managed to get past it, or am I forever cursed to need a tradie chaperone?

#2 elmo_mum

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

i have a rotti dog

and a yapping jack russell


btw - they would like you to death, and the rotti would only hurt you when he sits on you or steps on your toes
they dont know that...

#3 CallMeFeral

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

Actually I'm a bit like this. I kind of ignore them, but I do feel guilty about it. Was worst when we had builders over for several weeks, but at least they were outside.

We have a cleaner, and I feel awkward if I'm not working while she's cleaning. Fortunately my house is a pigsty so I normally tidy as she cleans, which frankly is the only time I can get motivated to do so, so it ends up a good thing unless I'm having a tired day!

#4 Tesseract

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

I have had similar feelings. Nowadays I have a 'script' that I go through with tradies.

First, answer the door! Take them to the problem, discuss the problem. When they get to work leave them to it, just potter about the house. After a while offer them a drink (water usually, a cuppa if I'm feeling generous and they seem nice). At the end of their work ask my questions.

#5 Mamabug

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

If you were at work, would you like your client peering over your shoulder the whole time asking questions???

I understand it is your home, but it is also the tradie's workplace for the duration of the job. Supervise from a distance and ask your questions when they are finished.

If it is a really long job, it is okay to offer a cold drink. Try not to engage them in too much conversation as this is added to the hourly rate!!

#6 Dresden

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

Tradies wife here.

It's annoying if you hover constantly. Popping in every now and then to offer a drink though, is appreciated. Keep a polite distance, but of course, it is your house, and you are entitled to ask questions.

And to those out there getting tiling done, please, please, don't sneak up behind the tiler when he is bent under a bench, or cupboard and startle him so he hits his head hard enough to knock himself out and leave a bloody mess all over your floor, which is what we had to deal with last month :/



#7 SophieBear

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 25/01/2013, 12:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have had similar feelings. Nowadays I have a 'script' that I go through with tradies.

First, answer the door! Take them to the problem, discuss the problem. When they get to work leave them to it, just potter about the house. After a while offer them a drink (water usually, a cuppa if I'm feeling generous and they seem nice). At the end of their work ask my questions.


This. IKWYM about feeling awkward but generally, if DH isn't there, I'll leave them to it. I'll also make sure I explain the situation like I understand because I hate the idea I'll be fleeced!!

#8 sāta kōrsa

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

I really don't get it.  Tradies are people, there to do a job.  I'm not sure why you're treating them like they're from another planet?  Basic courtesy, as you would extend to any other human, will be just fine.  Don't unecessarily bother them while they're trying to get on with the job and don't ignore them like they're dirt beneath your feet.  Is it really that hard?

FWIW, I don't think 'the trouble' is with the poor tradies.

#9 kpingitquiet

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

I generally offer them a drink (water, tea) 15 or so mins in and then occupy myself with dogs, kiddo, something else. I'll go back in after 30 more mins or an hour or so if it's a long visit and say something like "How's it going?" But no, it's not the most comfy experience in the world. I'm pretty territorial original.gif

#10 kpingitquiet

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

QUOTE (++----++ @ 25/01/2013, 12:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really don't get it.  Tradies are people, there to do a job.  I'm not sure why you're treating them like they're from another planet?  Basic courtesy, as you would extend to any other human, will be just fine.  Don't unecessarily bother them while they're trying to get on with the job and don't ignore them like they're dirt beneath your feet.  Is it really that hard?

FWIW, I don't think 'the trouble' is with the poor tradies.

Because, in the normal course of things, most people's offices are not in our kitchens/bathrooms/etc. Homes are generally people's sanctuaries away from unknown or uncomfy situations. We're conditioned not to let strangers into our homes, and now we're paying one to come in at a fancy price! original.gif My husband is a tradie and I understand this. Not sure what's so strange about it.

#11 sāta kōrsa

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

Yeah, I suppose some people could be all awkward about someone else in their 'space', despite the fact that the tradie has been invited there.  I just don't get the 'oooh, there's a TRADIE in my house, how should I interact with this person?' attitude.

#12 Propaganda

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

You leave them alone to do their job and only ask questions if necessary. Standing around watching them and asking questions is like when you're trying to do something and your child is following you around harassing you. It's annoying and slows the whole process down.

This is what I've been told from my tradie husband.

#13 WYSIWYG

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

I've never had an issue, until last time. And thankfully DF was home.

Our aircon was leaking. So DF called someone to have a look at it. He came half an hour early, so DF hadn't even gotten out of bed, I'd just gotten out the shower and dressed! I answered while DF quickly put clothes on. DF took the guy round the side to show him, the guy got on the roof to have a look. DF quickly went for a shower. When DF got out and was getting dressed again, I was just standing in the bedroom putting cream on, when the guy just walks into our house (and past our bedroom, and actually LOOKED in the room), we didnt even know he needed to come inside?! Then he walks right back out a minute later, saying nothing to me.

It was so weird and I am so glad DF was home because the guy was just weird and creepy. I don't think I'd be very comfortable having tradies come over without DF being home after that. Even DF said to me he was glad he was home.

I've usually left them to do what they needed to do. Sometimes they are chatty and like the company, sometimes they like to be left alone.

Edited by RunawayPrincess, 25 January 2013 - 12:08 PM.


#14 babybeli

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

We have trades here right now installing the aircon.  They know what they are doing so we Srebrenica just doing our normal stuff.  Kids just had lunch and are now on the Xbox dh is on his computer and I'm on eb.   When my kids were younger I would have had my hands full keeping them away from there tools.  I'm of the opinion that you should leave them to get thejob done.  Most tradies I have dealt with seem to bring there own drinks and lunch.  One even made toasted sandwiches in our backyard.  I did offer him the use of the kitchen but he was happy outside.

#15 belinda1976

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:17 PM

TBH I think they would just like to be left alone to get on with the job.  I would find it annoying if someone was standing watching over me, trying to make small talk when I was trying to work.

Whenever I have a tradie at my house working I always leave them alone and say to them "if you need me I'm just inside (or wherever I am), so yell out if you need me".  Of course I always make a tiny bit of small talk and offer them a drink when they arrive but after that I leave them alone.

But in saying that I still always keep an eye on them, from a distance.

#16 josh2003

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Bloody hell... you would hate my house at the moment! I've been project managing a 16sq extension on our house, so we've had tradies here weekdays and weekends!

If they're just going to be there for an hour or two, I generally go through what I want done, offer them a coffee, and tell them to yell out if they need me. If they're going to be there for a few days, then I go and chat to them every couple of hours to see how things are going, offer them a coffee etc.

I've only had one tradie that was a bit creepy, and one of our tradie friends that was here at the same time said to me that I should try and go out when he was here because he found him creepy too!

Our chippies have become part of the family though now, and pop in to see us every now and then. They even gave us presents for Christmas!

#17 lamarque

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

I chat with tradies at my house.  Offer them a drink etc and then leave them to it.  Our plumber was reminiscing with me the other day about how my son when he was a toddler used to love to follow him out and sit in his van but not any more at almost 10 yrs .

#18 MintyBiscuit

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

QUOTE (~*Twilight~Zone*~ @ 25/01/2013, 12:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When they are outside it's okay because I can kind of ignore them but then they have to come in and out the house getting stuff from their ute etc.  What do I do then?  Play on the computer?  Do housework?  Is it rude to just sit and watch TV?


Yeah, this is part of it. When I was 36 weeks pregnant we had ceiling fans put in every room and some other electrical work done - the only room that they weren't working in was the kitchen. They were here all day and I just felt weird. Couldn't go about my normal day because they were doing things in each room, but felt weird just sitting in the kitchen on my laptop or reading a book. It's very strange.

QUOTE (Mamabug @ 25/01/2013, 12:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you were at work, would you like your client peering over your shoulder the whole time asking questions???


Sorry, I should've clarified - I don't actually stand around asking questions, I was more trying to illustrate the opposite of not engaging.

QUOTE (++----++ @ 25/01/2013, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really don't get it.  Tradies are people, there to do a job.  I'm not sure why you're treating them like they're from another planet?  Basic courtesy, as you would extend to any other human, will be just fine.  Don't unecessarily bother them while they're trying to get on with the job and don't ignore them like they're dirt beneath your feet.  Is it really that hard?

FWIW, I don't think 'the trouble' is with the poor tradies.


huh.gif

Where did I say I treated them like they were from another planet? And I freely acknowledge I'm the strange one, not them. The title was meant to be lighthearted and a bit quicker to read than "I feel strangely awkward when there are tradespeople in my house"

QUOTE (++----++ @ 25/01/2013, 12:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, I suppose some people could be all awkward about someone else in their 'space', despite the fact that the tradie has been invited there.  I just don't get the 'oooh, there's a TRADIE in my house, how should I interact with this person?' attitude.


For me it's not an attitude I've consciously tried to have, it's just that I feel really odd around them in my house. Don't know why.

QUOTE (josh2003 @ 25/01/2013, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bloody hell... you would hate my house at the moment! I've been project managing a 16sq extension on our house, so we've had tradies here weekdays and weekends!


Yes, yes I would laughing2.gif

It's not even a creepiness factor because I've always had great tradies. I'm just useless with the interaction part. But I'll start pushing myself to not have DH here and follow the idea of introduction, direct to problem, leave them to it and just be around/check in every now and then.

#19 josh2003

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE (HollyOllyOxenfree @ 25/01/2013, 01:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, yes I would laughing2.gif

It's not even a creepiness factor because I've always had great tradies. I'm just useless with the interaction part. But I'll start pushing myself to not have DH here and follow the idea of introduction, direct to problem, leave them to it and just be around/check in every now and then.

Yeah, I've only had one in the whole 9 months that I've felt a bit uncomfortable around, but I think it was reinforced when someone else noticed it. But generally, ours have all been great.

#20 sāta kōrsa

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (HollyOllyOxenfree @ 25/01/2013, 01:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
huh.gif

Where did I say I treated them like they were from another planet? And I freely acknowledge I'm the strange one, not them. The title was meant to be lighthearted and a bit quicker to read than "I feel strangely awkward when there are tradespeople in my house"

For me it's not an attitude I've consciously tried to have, it's just that I feel really odd around them in my house. Don't know why.

Lol, ok, I think I understand you a bit better.  I do feel for tradies though who are just trying to earn a living and have some people struggle to interact with them.  They're just people!

#21 *melrose*

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

Ha I am a bit like that too! I always think do I just stand here and watch him, or do I go in another room, or hang washing out, I don't know what you are doing or what that means ect.

I hear you OP.

#22 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

We are tarting our house up to sell so it has been full of tradies for the last two weeks. I don't mind and just go about my business. Only issue is with DS's naps if noisy work is being done but tha can't be helped.

I like chatting to them in their breaks too- they are just like taxi drivers and very easy to talk to.

Strangly enough, I cannot stand to be home if the cleaners are there. This may be some tragic sexist throwback where women are conditioned to believe they should be doing the 'women's work' around the house. I know that I am being an idiot an academic sense but still need to leave.

#23 Toodee

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

I have my hands full trying to keep my 3 kids away from trades whenever we have one here. We had a plumber come once to install a dishwasher and DS, who was 2 at the time, kept trying to climb into the cupboard with him. The plumber was great with DS though and reckoned dealing with an inquisitive kid is much better than having to deal with adults who stand over him asking a million questions.

#24 Riotproof

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

I understand you, op. it's weird because its a stranger in your house and that's an unusual occurrence for most people. I feel awkward in what I should do, especially if I don't know if t will be a 5 min job or longer.  
It's not a problem my husband has at all, and mine would never make himself available at home just because of it (assuming I was home, of course)

#25 TheGreenSheep

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 25/01/2013, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because, in the normal course of things, most people's offices are not in our kitchens/bathrooms/etc. Homes are generally people's sanctuaries away from unknown or uncomfy situations. We're conditioned not to let strangers into our homes, and now we're paying one to come in at a fancy price! original.gif


I feel this way. I get so uncomfortable with tradies. I cannot change the way my head gets when I know they're in my home.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Show us your DUPLO creations to win!

We love to see the cool creations kids build when they play with LEGO DUPLO. Enter and share a picture of your childs creation for a chance to WIN 1 of 10 LEGO DUPLO prize packs worth over $100 each.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Anti-vaccination mum's seven children contract whooping cough

A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunised against pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Tips for flying with a baby

Travelling with kids requires a whole other set of skills - ones that I have learned through (sometimes unfortunate) trial and error.

How to stay calm in an emergency

I’m not expecting you to be as calm as you might be right now. What I mean is that if your panic levels are through the roof during a stressful situation, let’s bring them down to just under the ceiling.

Toddler gets 'drunk' after cranberry juice mix-up

A toddler was taken to hospital after a waitress served her sangria instead of cranberry juice at a US restaurant.

Show us your toddlers LEGO DUPLO creations

We love to see the cool creations kids build when they play with LEGO DUPLO. Enter and share a picture of your childs creation for a chance to WIN 1 of 10 LEGO DUPLO prize packs worth over $100 each.

We need to stop using this word when we talk about childbirth

Is it shaming to point out that women are often being let down in birth?

The certificate helping parents deal with pregnancy loss

For some people, this certificate will offer a sense of validation that their child was acknowledged as being here and now gone, and will help them with life post-loss.

The phenomenon of phantom pregnancy kicks

'Phantom pregnancy kicks’ are encountered by many mums months - or even years - after their pregnancy is over.

The health insurance advice you can't afford to ignore

There's one simple switch that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in private health insurance.

4D scans show how smoking affects babies still in the womb

The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements in their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, research has found.

The most dangerous toddler food trends

Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids caused a storm, but there are plenty of other unsafe food trends for babies and toddlers.

Infection killed new mum of twins

Modern medicine could not save 19-year-old Sophie Burgess who died 48 hours after giving birth to twins in the UK.

How to babyproof your job interview

Once upon a time, I was a fan of job interviews. That all changed after I'd switched careers, had a baby and decided to spend the first year at home with her.

Grieving families give warnings after toddler deaths

Two Queensland families are grieving the loss of their toddler sons after the boys drowned in separate incidents last week.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

SIGN UP NOW!

Win a year's worth of toys

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby for just the month of April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.