Anyone who reads this blog for more than a moment will know that I am passionate about women in construction, what I don’t often talk about, is what I hate about being a woman working in construction. I guess most of these won’t surprise you.
Ok let’s get this one out of the way. I can’t stand sexist people, and unfortunately in construction there are many. Anywhere from the client who thinks I am simply a interior person, to the people on site who look at me like I come from another planet when giving instructions, there are still too many. Just last week we had a regular company on site, we work with this company often and have never had any issues. This time however, the company has grown and had sent different people to site obviously forgetting to tell them the structure of our company. Didn’t they get a rude shock when I was happy to put them in there place, but the point here is, I shouldn’t have too. I have a right to be respected on site, like everyone else.
There is no doubt construction sites are hot, dirty places, but there is no excuse for poor hygiene. Have a shower, wear deodorant for crying out loud, it’s not hard to be hygienic!
Resentment Towards Safety
One of the biggest parts of my job, is keeping out staff and clients safe. While affordable quality is important, nothing is more important than everyone making it home safe to their families at the end of the day. For many years there has been a real slack attitude to safety on the construction site, this is something that is not only illegal, but downright stupid! Weekly I face so much resentment from tradespeople, for asking them to sit for a toolbox talk, or sign in and out each day. Most people do not know, no matter whose fault a workplace accident is, the builder will be held liable for at least part of it. I don’t want to loose my house, because a tradesperson is lazy, or doesn’t like the way the law works.
Careless Attitudes To Site Cleanliness
This is another big one for me, I have an ongoing job teaching our staff what I believe a clean and tidy site looks like. Builders rely on word of mouth for business referrals, and if a potential client should drive past and see out job looking untidy, what does that say about our company. Lets not forget the safety issues with an untidy site! I have been told on many occasions that I am being unreasonable, but how else will change come about, if I don’t stand my ground?
Being Thought Of As “Just” The Builder’s Wife
This one gets me all hot under the collar. Only recently has this begun to change. Yes my blog name is The Builder’s Wife, but actually that job will not run without me. I am not just a wife sitting at home putting my feet up, I work as hard if not harder than The Builder and most of our tradespeople. I may not have a handle on all the technical stuff, BUT I do schedule and then manage the jobs, so I have a pretty good idea of what is going on.
Arhhhh! If you give me or the client a time, stick to it!! Arrive on time, look and act professional, not like you just came from the club, don’t smell or swear and be grateful for the job! I’m going to leave this one here, or I could rant for hours.
While these are daily challenges, they are fixable providing I have the energy and the drive to keep pushing for change within our own company.
What drives you crazy about where you work? Do you have any pet hates with tradies? What is the best experience you have had with a tradie?