D. Barrett Decorating - The Blog

Life of a tradesperson

Recently I came across this on several posts on Facebook and thought I'd copy it on my blog. Things like these are often posted on the various forums I'm on, forums the general public who we work for aren't privy to so it may be interesting to read.

Life of a tradesman

We get phone calls all hours.
We nip out and quote jobs all hours (most nights) We get the job, we go to work.
We make lists, we drive to merchants we pick up materials. We prepare jobs we are about to start, while in the same day finish jobs.
We finish jobs so that we can get paid.
Sometimes we chase that payment. If a job runs over we don't finish until late, we stay until that job is complete, 10:00pm? Then so be it.
Somebody rings, I’ve a job needs doing asap, nobody likes to say no.. So as well as all the above we are now trying to squeeze a small job into a tight schedule that then takes twice as long as it should putting you under more pressure.
Van breaks or your ill, Your now a day behind and have twice the work load.
Sounds busy right? Now we'll chuck in a few more..
Clearing back of the van
Sorting our units/yards
Spending time with girlfriend/wife's/kids
Cleaning house
Food shopping
Paying bills
Seeing relatives
That decorating at home that's been waiting months.
Standard week of a tradesman.
So before anyone writes on Facebook about tradesmen this tradesman that, he didn't come quote, he didn't answer my calls, just cut us tradesmen some slack and remember we are only human, we can't be in more than one place at a time, we do forget things but most importantly we do try our bloody best!

Now on the whole I do agree with this, at times everything is overwhelming and we do struggle, of course we do as we are only human. Myself I don't work over till 10:00pm but I am constrained in other ways as I'm a single parent, so I work around school runs and holidays etc. If school closes so do I and that pressure is similar. When we are busy those emails and calls do sadly get lost, it's nothing personal and myself I do try to respond to everything, however sometimes it's not possible. As I write this I've noticed today that my Facebook business page has not notified me of any tags or messages (notifications are on as well) for the past 6 weeks so I have a backlog of missed messages. My apologies to anyone reading this who is one of those, I will get back to you! Apparently this is happening to several others too so again this can be covered in what's been already said.

I mentioned on my last blog the cost of living is starting to hit us all, however that doesn't mean it's ok to be rude when you think my prices are too high. Disclaimer, they really aren't its the going rate if not slightly under to my own detriment. Fair enough if you cannot afford or do not want to pay it, I understand and I'm the same with a lot of things, but calling me a con man or that I'm ripping you off is uncalled for. I don't work for cash in hand, I pay taxes, I have running costs for the business which have to be accounted for in my prices on top of earning a wage. If it's just a wallop of paint, get a handyman in who'll do it for £50 and a pack of cigarettes or someone who doesn't care about reputations or standards.
If I was to ask customers what do you earn they'd say it's none of my business, or say would you work for less than you're earning now, they'd go no, so I'm amazed how many think tradespeople should earn less to satisfy them. Speaking to previous customers, they were unaware beforehand how much effort and work go into to providing a quality finish and once they see what I do they understand more and really appreciate it, maybe this is why some people believe prices are too high as after all, it's only a bit of painting.