So I've had a few tradies in my house the last week, and I am curious as to a few things... tradie etiquette I guess...
Do you offer them food/drink/toilet? Is there some kind of etiquette here?
The pair that came last week, I actually had no idea how long they would be, but they ended up being here for about 5 hours! They helped themselves to the toilet (fine by me), and when DD got home from school she got them a drink and gave them Halloween lollies from her stash. It made me think that perhaps I had been rude not offering them anything, but I truly didn't know how long they'd be. I'm not a very good host at the best of times anyway, I always forget to offer people anything and prefer people just ask.
Which leads me to my next point... shouldn't they have warned me how long they would be?? Lucky I had no plans, and lucky my eldest got home from school early so I could ask him to go and pick up the other 2 from school.
Now today's one...
How accommodating are you to fitting in a time? When I spoke to him yesterday, he asked when is good for me. I told him tomorrow (today) is good, and he said great, how does 7:30am sound as he said he could get in here early and then head out to other jobs. He made it sound like he lived local and then would be heading out throughout the city, so I felt obliged to agree to 7:30am. After I got off the phone I realised that I needed to clean up a bit before he came, and then realised that I've got to drop 2 kids at school at 2 different times this morning. But I didn't want to be a pain, so I didn't ring him back to re-arrange.
Am I too soft? Do I need to fit my life around him or should he fit his schedule around me?
Then, he arrived at 7am! Me still in my PJ's (still am, he's only just left).
I was just about to get in the shower so I could be dressed by the time 7:30 came along.
So again I was lucky enough to rely on my DS1 to walk the kids to school (at 2 different times, with no complaints).
Are you always home when you have tradies over or do you leave them at your house while you're out?
And last question... what do you do when they are in your home? I always feel a bit awkward. I tend to busy myself with folding washing, which there is always plenty of.
Do you chat to them? The pair last week I didn't much as they just got straight to work, but this one today was so chatty, and was also waiting for a patch of Gyprock to dry, so he talked and talked. Started with smalltalk, then he led into things such as euthanasia, God, gays adopting children, etc. So uncomfortable.
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12-11-2015 10:41 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
12-11-2015 10:57 #2
Hmmm tricky one. I've never offered tradies drinks or anything, but then again they've always been less than an hour. We have a gardener but she brings her own drink bottle. I usually just tell them when they get there "this is the issue/thing I need done, please let me know if you need anything" and leave them to it. I have left tradies to it when I'm dropping ds at cc or running a quick errand. Haven't had an issue with it so far.
As for scheduling I do find it annoying if they are early. We had a guy come do a quote a few weeks back, he was meant to be there at 8.30 but was there at 8. Dh was having a shower and he was quoting a bathroom
job, had to tell him to get out quick smart!
I don't really like having to schedule around tradies either. I had one out recently and they said they'd be there in 2 hours but would call before arrival. I had my phone next to me the whole time except when hanging out my washing which is of course when he rang. I called back
15 minutes later and they cancelled my job due to no answer and they refused to come until the next day. I just arranged the bloody appointment less than 2 hours earlier. That really ****ed me off so I refused to reschedule and got someone else out. If they want my money they need to be somewhat flexible and reasonable IMO.
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12-11-2015 12:01 #3
I always offer water/drinks and when they are here all day I give them lunch , I don't hang around and usually just go about whatever I had planned ( we do use a lot of tradies for work so we know them sort of so I sometimes even leave the house open and they just lock up when they leave)
It's near impossible for a tradie to give exact times as their jobs and quotes can sometimes run over ( if they find its bigger than they thought or the opposite and go quicker ) all tradies start early so it's just what you have to expect, I know with ours they are always busy so I'm glad to get them at any time!
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12-11-2015 12:26 #4
My DP is a plasterer and does sometimes do jobs at houses where people live (mostly new builds though). 7am is a normal start time Mon-Fri. He gets up at 5:15 every day to start at 7:00.
He always takes his own lunch and water so he doesn't expect anything from the clients. Though you do need to provide use of a toilet of course.
In his eyes he's there to work so he just stops for lunch and that's it. No tea breaks. I don't think tradies really expect to be catered for, though it is nice to offer water perhaps.
One day when it was 40°C his client very kindly provided a whole heap of bottled water for him (he's self employed so he still works in the heat, is not dictated to by unions)
12-11-2015 13:06 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
I usually offer tea/ coffee/ water when they arrive, some will take up the offer, others come with their own. Also obviously provide use of a bathroom, I'll usually just say the bathroom is over here if you need it. Then I leave them to it and say something like give me a shout if you need anything. I never offer lunch, I find most tradies will either bring their own or if it's a long job they'll take off for lunch and come back after.
Most of the tradies I use are referred through my Dad or brother who are in the construction industry, so I usually sort of know them and we might have a bit of small talk if they're waiting for things to dry etc. most just want to get the job done and get out which suits me fine. I'm also happy to pop out and leave them home if I need to run an errand. If it's someone I don't know at all then I stay home, nothing personal but I'd feel weird leaving a complete stranger alone in my home.
12-11-2015 13:45 #6
I always offer tradies tea/coffee and snacks if they are around at morning or afternoon tea time. Obviously point out toilets etc.
If the tradie is a friend or known to us then I just do my own stuff. Otherwise I hang out with them. Usually my kids and their constant chatter keeps awkward conversations away.
12-11-2015 14:23 #7
I have always offered coffee or a drink. One time years ago the tradie was in our house for hours and I ended up cooking dinner while he was still working, so I offered him a plate when we were ready to eat but he declined.
12-11-2015 14:42 #8
My dad taught us to offer them a full buffet lol. I always make tea or coffee and offer a plate of biscuits or something. I leave the house with them around and go do a daycare drop off or something. We look after our tradies and work around their times etc. A good tradie is worth his weight in gold.
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12-11-2015 15:09 #9
If they have been there for 30+ minutes, I ask how long they think they will be and base my "offerings" on that.
I always have cut veg and fruit in the fridge so will take that out, if they will be there more than 2 hours.
Always tell them to help themselves to water and the toilet.
As for lunch, etc, that is up to them to provide, not me. I am paying the company for work and time, they are paying the tradie.
I have never worked anywhere where lunch has been provided for me.
12-11-2015 18:14 #10
I always work around the tradies and offer drinks, food etc if I'm already making lunch / snack for the toddler. Hubby is a tradie so understand their early hours, time frames etc. It's very rare we have tradies here as hubby fixes most things and if he can't we know someone who can.
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