Nick Daws suggests 12 thoughtful Christmas gifts for older people, ranging from tech gadgets to…Read More →
Tradesmen and women sometimes get a bad rep for cutting corners or charging too much. But, in my experience, this isn’t necessarily fair.
Last year I won a ‘customer of the year’ prize from my builder.
I have called him ‘Alan’ here, not his real name, but he knows who he is.
It’s like having a nice husband who talks at breakfast and then goes off and fixes the house.
He works wonderfully well and loves to sit over some lovely ground coffee first thing in the morning for a chat.
It’s like having a nice husband who talks at breakfast and then goes off and fixes the house all day. No other demands, except the odd chocolate Hob Nob.
Today he was telling me that, as he gets older, he increasingly avoids jobs from people that he knows will be difficult – he meant the people AND the jobs!
When he sees someone he knows will want some work doing (Alan works locally when he can to save petrol) he feels for his wallet theatrically, pretends he has forgotten it and hot foots it in the other direction.
I hope you can visualise that one – it keeps me endlessly amused. If he gets stopped by someone from a different district, he is “busy till the end of the year”.
He keeps a list of vaguely unwell relatives he can call upon to fend off keen customers. His wife is scheduled to phone every half hour or so to demand that he return home to deal with some emergency that has just cropped up.
He is justifiably proud of his techniques, developed over some years – ducking and diving to dodge doing.
Alan couldn’t be further from the image some people have of builders.
He makes a decent living somehow, so don’t worry. He has narrowed his client base down to the locality and my main concern is to make sure I don’t see him cross the road when I approach.
So, you can see – Alan couldn’t be further from the image some people have of builders. He’s not obsessed with making money, doesn’t cut corners and is a pleasure to have around.
(Pic credit: here)
York-based artist. Of the baby boomer gen, loves yoga and hates overpriced travel. Freelancer with a lust for life.