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

 

Five ways my second pregnancy is second best

As I roll into the second half of "Pregnancy: The Sequel", here is breakdown of the differences I have found thus far.

Domestic politics

Why I felt guilty about having a cleaner

Coming home to a clean house was a pleasure – and yet, I felt uneasy.

'Ugly' hearing aid ad leaves parents fuming

When Alecia Donoghue found out her baby would need hearing aids she worried about him becoming the target for schoolyard bullies.

Have you seen these missing children?

The Australian Federal Police has released the following information to locate some of Australia's missing children through the Family Law Court.

Margarita time

Keira Knightley welcomes first child

British actress Keira Knightley has become a first-time mother.

IVF patients in the dark over which clinics are least successful

Couples with fertility problems have little way of knowing which IVF clinics are the best performers despite significant differences between clinic success rates.

Couple forced to defend their decision to become parents

They met, fell in love and got married. Then, just like couples everywhere, Simon and Vicky Moore decided it was time to have a baby.

The one parenting tip that made all the difference

Amongst the useless, ill-informed advice we're given as new parents, many of us also receive nuggets of wisdom that make our lives just that little bit easier.

Five lies you tell yourself when you're pregnant

You can see it all now: glowing mumma with her gorgeous babe ... you know exactly what you're going to be like. Or perhaps you know exactly what you're not going to be like.

Family expecting fourth set of twins

A couple is expecting their fourth set of twins in five years.

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

The universal working mother experience

These days mothers need more than just traditional career advice.

Obama feels full force of toddler tantrum

Shopping centres, restaurants, the White House ... the list of places toddlers like to throw tantrums is endless.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Welcome to Winter

Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
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.