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Rude Tradies in Canberra

By ex-vectis - 29 November 2011 26

Ok, so I’m using Riot-Act to get this out of my system.  But it really got to me so need to vent my spleen somewhere.

Last night we noticed that there was a patch of very wet carpet next to the cupboard where the Water Heater is.  Investigating it I found that the heater was bulging and the floor around it very wet.

The propery is a rental and so I contacted the agents and they told me to contact the agency-used plumber directly.  I described the issue and he said he’d be around after he finished the current job. Fair play, no worries with that.  However, the bulging did worry me a bit so I check on the web.  I found a few ‘Plumber’ forums and in all of them the message was the same – turn it off imediatly.

When the plumber came (to be fair, only a couple of hours later) he looked in the cupboard for 10 seconds and grunted that it needed replacing. I said that I’d turned it off by pulling a few fuses out of the main electricity board (the labeling was awful so I wasnt sure which was the right one), joking saying that i didnt want it to explode on me.  He just kept a blank expression and grunted it wouldn’t explode.  He asked for the keys to the house but I said i’d be in all afternoon anyway.  Another grunt and he said he’d be back later in the afternoon with a new boiler.

Couple of hours later I noticed some guy wandering around the back garden.  Front door was open AND has a bell but he hadn’t even bothered trying.  I zapped out and said hello.  Greeting was ‘wheres the boiler?’  Slightly taken aback I showed him.  Trying to be friendly  I was chatty and jokey.  All I got back was grunts.  The ‘boss’ and the other gorilla were just as conversationally challenged.  I was really taken aback, even checking I didnt have a  “All plumbers are tools’ t-shirt on or something.

Later, trying again to be friendly (I’m nice!), I offered them a cuo of coffee/tea.  One grunted ‘nah’ and the other two just ignored me completely.  When I then tried to make myself a coffee I found the mains water was turned off anyway!!  Whats wrong with ‘hey mate!  Just got to turn the water off’  or even a jokey ‘hahah, you’ll have a fun trying to make coffee/tea, waters off’.

Eventually (again, being fair, they were efficient and quick), one of them said that all was done and he was just venting system.  That was it no other words.  When the water finally came through I was given the manual, told to keep the cupboard open for a bit and a ‘see yah’.

Not even the ‘boss’ couldn’t be bothered to come and say goodbye etc…

Now, i didn’t want them to be my best mate and invite me to be the birthing partner for their first-born.  But some courtesy and basic communication would have been nice.  I dont think I’ve ever been blanked so much.  I even racked my brain to think if any thing I’d said on the phone could have been heard as ‘you arsehole’ or something.  But no.  I just dont think they’ve ever been taught basic manners or even communication skills.  Quite bizarre, why would someone be like that?

Anyway.  Spleen vented and those plumbers crossed off my Christmas card list, the Fat Yak six-pack I’d got them as a thankyou stayed in the fridge and I put their names on my list of petty people.

Okay – let the flames begin 🙂

What’s Your opinion?

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Rude Tradies in Canberra
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Ivylee 2:42 pm 30 Sep 14

Completely agree – if your going to do a job that requires customer service you should make an effort, however just cause they are polite and approachable doesn’t mean they do a good job!

Sadly as any advertising medium, the Chronicle like YP, HiPages etc etc, its all about who is willing to pay for the space, they are not allowed to discriminate against or pick and choose advertisers. They do not support or condone any of them. Best choice is like KB1971 post, request quotes from a few tradies, ask people for word of mouth info, or contact the advertising medium directly and ask if they have had any positive feed back about that advertiser. They legally can’t give you details but they can say if they have had any positive feedback.

Wily_Bear 6:49 am 30 Nov 11

I hear you, ex-vectis, I hear you. Undertaking a large building project over the past 12 months, requiring a number of quotes etc, has been a real eye opener. You’ll be please to know the behavior you encountered was not personal, it is them. Really.
By strange coincidence, I was reading your post last night, when I received a call from a tradie, announcing he would be available to tile my bathroom next week. I was a bit confused, as my bathroom was tiled in March this year. Then it dawned on me that here was one of those tradies who had been way too busy to call back after coming out to do a quote. I can’t count the amount of times this has happened. Is it too hard to let your customer know that the job is too small/not worth your time/can’t fit it in etc ? Not wanting to be rude, I invited him over to have a look at the completed job. He hung up on me. It did get me wondering if this rude and arrogant behavior was due to a high demand, which is now abating? When an economic downturn occurs, these trades might find their past attitude bites them on the backside.
On the flip side, there have been some really honest ones, who have done beautiful work. Oddly enough, they are usually the ones who are polite and considerate as well

Henry82 11:42 pm 29 Nov 11

Scrumpox said :

You should be lucky you have a responsive landlord and reliable plumbers. If you want a private little chat with tradesmen – register on e-harmony and say you love to meet touchy/feely, talkative tradesmen..

LOL, +1

I’d rather a quiet/strange guy who was really into his work, than someone who would muck around having a chat. I understand OPs frustration on the “strangeness” of the workers, but who cares, they got it done…quickly.

ex-vectis 10:06 pm 29 Nov 11

Tooks said :

….socially retarded, knuckle dragging mongoloids as mentioned in the OP.

Hahahah, wow! And I thought I was going overboard with `gorillas`! lol

I work hard. Usually about 6am to about, well now! But even when I`m tired and cranky I still dont blank my fellow human being. No, I was not `watching over their shoulder` for exactly the reason the poster eludes – its bleedn offputting and they have a job to do I realise that. And yes, I am happy that they dropped what they were doing to come and replace my boiler, but I was not whinging about that. Anyway, thanks all – most have restored my faith in most 🙂

Mumbucks 10:06 pm 29 Nov 11

GardeningGirl said :

Mysteryman said :

Xunlyn said :

Wait, so your problem is that they didn’t talk to you while doing their job?

Wait, so you had trouble understanding the post?

Obviously the issue is the lack of common courtesy/decency. It’s expected that when someone speaks to you that you’ll have the decency to acknowledge and respond appropriately, especially if you are in a professional capacity at the time. The fact that they are working in someone’s house and are potentially going to inconvenience them should also be considered. A simple “we’ll be turning off the water for a while” would be the bare minimum I’d expect from someone who was being paid to provide a plumbing service for me. These people are being paid professional rates, they should behave professionally.



Mumbucks 10:02 pm 29 Nov 11

Holden Caulfield said :

longshanks said :

…However, it’s always better to have a d*ckhead who does a good and professional job, than a friendly, chatty and generally pleasant tradie who does a lousy job…

O’Reilly v Stubbs (1975).

What you need is a good old fashioned gnome !

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