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Rude, Condescending and Incompetent - The Builder's Wife

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Rude, Condescending and Incompetent

Rude, Condescending and Incompetent

Last week I was reading through The Plumbette’s blog and was happy to read a guest post by another of my favourite bloggers Hugzilla. Hugzy was sharing a reflection of her bathroom renovation with some really valuable, important tips. It’s really worth a read. That said, something she said really upset me. When asked “What was the crappiest part of renovating a bathroom?” I was absolutely mortified by the answer.

Rude tradespeople. Condescending tradespeople. Incompetent tradespeople.

I hear this just about every day. While we in our company are very passionate about ensuring all our staff and subcontractors are considerate, kind people, it is not an industry standard. In fact, it seems the industry standard is to the contrary.

My question is why? Why is it acceptable? Why is it ignored? Why do we not expect better?

At the beginning of my career in our company, this was the first standard I set. Our staff and subbies, MUST be patient, kind, considerate and understanding. We insist in getting to know a subbie before they work for us. If they cannot be on time, if they cannot return phone calls, or speak with respect, if they cannot take the time to explain something to me, or are unhappy taking direction from myself, they will not work for us. After all, our staff are the face of our company.


It is 2016, nearly 2017, the stubbies and singlet wearing, swearing blokes are gone, and in their place we need to all be expecting better. Tradies are professionals, it’s time we expected them to act like it and it is only with clients expectations that change does happen.

Don’t accept when a tradesperson is rude, or condescending, or cannot be on time. Let them go! At least hold them accountable for their actions. Consumers deserve better, and as a consumer you are the drive for the industry to change.

The Builder is currently writing training material for an RTO for certificate 4 in building. Within this, he has added to a module a section regarding professionalism. While we are doing our bit to ensure that at least all those we can educate to be better, we need you to drive the change in your area as well.

What change are you passionate about? Have you held anyone accountable recently? Every had a great tradie? What did they do different?

Nicole xxx






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  1. A couple of years ago now we had flood damage and needed part of the roof replaced. I can’t believe the amount of trouble we had with tradesmen. Not turning up. Not doing what they were paid to do and creating further damage to walls and falls in the process. One of the problems of having to go with tradesmen chosen by the insurance company. If only the insurance company was on site dealing with all the issues.

  2. You’re company sounds like it would be my first choice for any building or renovating work, now if only you were local to me!

  3. I have had rude tradies before and I’ve had tradies not turn up. I’ve also had super nice and polite ones too – punctual, thoughtful, considerate and good communicators. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced more of the former! So many times I have made the effort to stay home to await the arrival of a tradie and they do not turn up and they do not phone to explain why or even if they’ll be late. They seem to have so much work that they can pick and choose? I can’t think of any other reason that they would do this. I think a module on professionalism is an excellent idea for the training material your husband is writing!!

  4. I commend you and your hub for doing all you can to make the changes in terms of people’s behaviours and responsibilities. That said, as my hub was once a kitchen/cabinet maker, he could also tell stories of the rude clients! It is about mutual respect and being there for the same purpose. You want something built or changed, you pay us and we do a quality job for you which you expect to be finished. I guess, like all matters, communication in writing and in person is essential as is having employees/subbies who align with your company’s values!

  5. I had a very interesting chat with a cafe owner a few years ago. He told me he always made recruitment decisions based purely on personality. “I can teach them how to use the coffee machine but I can’t teach them how to be good people.” That conversation has always stuck with me!

  6. We haven’t had much experience with tradies down under, but all the ones we have encountered have been friendly, fair and polite. I’m with Ingrid, I just wish you (or me) were nearer because you guys are professional with a capital P and I know I’d be in good hands!

  7. When we did our renovation our tradies were really great. They were very polite and respectful at all times. I wouldn’t accept anything less. It is a shame that there are still some out there giving the good guys a bad name.

  8. You should totes run for President with leadership like that! Good on you for setting the standard!
    I’ve not encountered any tradies like that but have heard plenty of horror stories. Xx

  9. That is really sad but I’m so glad to hear that you and the builder are doing your bit to much sure it changes!

  10. My husband called some staff out this week on poor behaviour and poor quality work. They are a top notch company and should be delivering nothing but the best.

  11. Such excellent points. Trades people are professionals and should/deserve to live up to that expectation.

  12. My hubby use to be an electrician and the first thing he always did with new clients was introduce himself and find out a little about the client. That way they started a mutual respect and hopefully a long lasting referral base.

  13. My husband’s a tradie and I like to think he’s polite but I know from witnessing his workmates that a lot of them hate their job which is probably part of it! Sadly it is quite common, they also don’t get paid enough in my opinion for the shitty ass work they do! You’re paying loads but the wages they’re paid are pretty crap. No excuse though! #TeamIBOT

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