Some Do’s, Don’ts, and Basic Etiquette:
‘Tradies’ who’ve been around a while will tell you that just a few years ago it was commonplace for their customers to have fresh baked items, tea, coffee, and a friendly chat on offer at morning tea time. A Kiwi tradition perhaps? And greatly appreciated it was too. Sadly it seems those days are largely gone and it’s mainly just the ‘oldies’ now who offer so much as a cuppa.
So, what’s happened? Are people now (allegedly) ‘too busy’ to offer such basic hospitality? If you have a tradesperson or other ‘worker’ at your home whether they’re a skilled and experienced craftsman (or woman) or someone carrying out other tasks like lawn mowing, window washing, house cleaning, or rubbish removal, they are there doing what they do because you either can’t do it or because you don’t want to do it. So, be welcoming, treat them with respect -they’re helping you as well as earning an honest crust.
Anecdotally, there are folk who stay indoors, peer out the window whilst someone is grafting away in the hot sun for hours on end and their ‘host’ does not have the simple decency to offer them so much as some chilled water. What the hell is going on here? That’s not the Kiwi way – nor the way any half decent human being should treat another. It’s also not the way to get the best job that person can do – why would they go the extra mile for someone demonstrating such appalling disdain?
And here’s a tip: If you really want to irritate a tradesperson who’s at your home to undertake some work then be sure to stand over them and watch their every move – that’ll show them that you consider them either incompetent (and therefore require your ‘supervision’) and/or a thief who will disappear with your stuff if you turn your back.
So, when someone comes to carry out a task at your home: greet them, introduce yourself, show them to the area in which they’ll be working, point out where the toilet is in case they need it, ask if they’d like some refreshments (then ask them again later when you’re having some). Then, LEAVE THEM ALONE – they know what they’re doing! And they will work better and faster without you spying on them …. and they’re not going to nick the family silverware the moment you leave the room, that is why you are dealing with a reputable company.
Finally, thank them upon their departure for the work they’ve done, and ask about preferred means of payment. Thankfully the archaic nonsense of posting an invoice and waiting for a cheque by return are now gone, many tradies have mobile eftpos machines and/or can provide their bank account details to facilitate on-the-spot payment.
Now sit back and enjoy the results with a cuppa!