Why do tradesmen think that just because they were a tight pair of battered stubbies and a knock-off football t-shirt that they have the right to waste our time, make idle promises, bully and emotionally torment us?
Have you ever had an experience with a tradesman that hasn’t resulted in 36 phone calls to a mobile phone message that seems to have been recorded by the same people who make cut-price furniture advertisements? Waited an entire winter and half of spring for them to return a phone call, listened to excuses straight out of the manual: Oh, there’s been a lot of rain lately so I’m running behind; I’ve got a lot of other work on at the moment because of the rain; I’m really busy at the moment working on Richard Branson’s holiday home in Barbados but I can get a mate to look at it, You’re at the top of my list at the moment and the classic … I’ll be there tomorrow at 7.30am.
You take a day off work; 7.30am comes and goes. You give them the benefit of the doubt because of all of the above and they said they’d be there. At 10am you phone. No answer. At midday you phone again, the phone mysteriously cuts out. Then you’re getting angry. Plus you’re hungry and would really like some lunch but you can’t go out, just in case they arrive. You keep phoning every hour then every half hour and then at 3pm they answer. They make it sound that you have forgotten to take the little red pills this morning. What, are you nuts?! Was only going to get to you if he finished up Richard Branson’s holiday home. And well, that hasn’t happened because of the rain, sun, economy. Whatever. You get angry. Explain that actually he did make a promise to you and that you’ve taken the day off. That you too have deadlines, schedules and things to do other than sit around waiting. But it’s no good, the tradesman doesn’t care about your deadlines and there’s nothing he can do about it anyway, as he’s at the pub. But, as a special favour he’ll see you next week, probably Friday but could be anywhere between Tuesday and Thursday too, it just depends – too much rain or too much sun and the whole deal could be off.
And when they do arrive to paint the fence, unblock the toilet, grout the ceiling, they demolish the letterbox on the way through in their oversized ute, smash a window with a ladder, drink all your cordial, eat all your Kingstons and charge as though you had the bank account of Richard Branson. But you’re so pathetically grateful they turned up at all that you say thank you and open up your special packet of Tim Tams.
And it’s time to fix the letterbox and the window, so you take a deep breath and make a phone call to another tradesman.