I despise cheating tradesmen

[First published on 17 November 2017].

So I ring round some carpenters. One of them comes to look at the job, spends an hour here, wants me to buy some of his tools for him, whinges about how hard one or two parts of the work will be, and then he emails me a quote. He puts it in what is now standard idiotic British language, saying “I’ve worked out the price for you”. But he doesn’t state a company name or even his own address. So I email him back to ask who the contract would be with. He responds by email within minutes, as if he were a thickwitted teenager chewing gum, asking “Contract?????” This is a man of about 50 who is presumably running a business.

Yes, mate, an agreement to do work for payment is a contract. You have to do the work we agreed, and then I have to pay you the amount we agreed, you idiot.

Seriously, imagine not knowing that.

So many tradesmen nowadays put most of their effort into sales, believing that when they’re actually doing the job they can play it by ear, scrimp on materials, tell you black is white, then change it to black is green and forget they said black is white, and so on. They think they can make up rubbishy reasons on the hoof and you’ll believe them. They think that if they pepper their lies with phrases such as “to be honest” and “to tell you the truth” you’ll lap it all up – or at least that you won’t say anything even if you’re not getting the work you expected. As if anybody who hasn’t got poop for brains can’t recognise such deceitful behaviour and obvious signals for what they are. Most liars aren’t very skilled at lying at all.

The more liars who go bust, the better.

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