Wednesday 18 May 2011

Where have all the tradesmen gone?

Bit annoyed as I sit here. After getting rid of one bricklayer last week I had a replacement come yesterday. In one day he laid 32 bricks. I was unimpressed. We had a quiet word this morning. Today he laid more bricks, I thought he was getting on better until I looked a little closer at the lintel I asked him to put in.It was level but it didn't have quite the bearing you'd hope it would have. A little under an inch. Now you'd think he'd bring it to my attention or ask where the larger lintels were, but no, I had to tell him to take it out and replace it with a larger lintel. You'd think this was just basic bricklaying skills. Am I asking too much? Is this man a bricklayer?
I remember even when I finished my three year at college studying carpentry I was still nervous to call myself a full carpenter in front of other tradesmen, this was in case they pulled me up on my work or speed. I cared about the finished product and being professional in achieving this. I think doing my training in a much smaller area meant you had to be good, word would get around if you weren't. Working in Birmingham now I can see it's much easier for people to say they are tradesmen, work somewhere for a week and move on.
On a brighter note I managed to do a bit of studding yesterday to create a "vaulted" ceiling on the landing as well as insulate and counter batten the sarking level of the roof. This was in between inductions, phone calls, site visits from management, health and safety men and ordering materials.


  1. Sorry to say, I am not surprised. Too many people trying it on, to make a quick buck, never mind the quality of their work. Generally the quality is "shoddy". Problem is, you & me we have some pride in our work, and, reasonably, I think, want to be paid properly for it. Too many people want things done, but don't want to pay reasonably so they go for the cheapest. They get what they pay for. It's a bit of a vicious circle!

  2. Well the "bricklayer" turned up at 10.30 the next day, didn't give an excuse and went to make himself a cup of tea. I told him it was best if he put his tools back in his bucket and went the way he came (or words to that effect).
    I agree with you Joel about people going for the cheapest price and then moan about the quality they get. I dont want to be rich but I want to make a living and be able to pay my mortgage. I never try and rip people off and it frustrates me when customers try to haggle the price down (I might have said in the past that I'm not a car boot!).
    Maybe for the type of work I'm doing I'm setting my sights too high and I'm too fussy with the labour I'm given. But I'll keep getting rid of "tradesmen" off site until I get one who can acheive what I want.


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