Monday, December 05, 2005

Workmen etiquette

I'm searching for workmen based etiquette solutions.

We had a carpet fitter in our house on Saturday doing the entire first floor and staircase. He was there for 5 hours. After making him a cup of tea and giving him a plate of hobnobs I really didn't know what to do with myself.

I didn't feel I could sit on the sofa for 5 hours watching telly while he slaved away on the staircase 2 metres away from me. I didn't want to go out in case he was a burglar posing as a carpet fitter, and there is only so long you can pretend to bustle about in the kitchen washing up and wiping down the worktops. Frankly I could have done with a nap but I thought that would have been super rude. Besides, he was on my bedroom floor on his knees and I might have had trouble nodding off.

So, my query is: what is an acceptable way of passing the time while men are working in your house?

5 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

My approach (while Rachel went out for a few hours) was to stay out of sight as much as possible, read the paper, drink coffee, play PSP, help move beds and wardrobes when asked, and engage in witty banter.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Xbox & lager.

Of course you could always move the car, block him in so he can't make off with yer telly, and have a nap in the car with Radio 4...

Or stand over him, tutting, asking questions and offering helpful advice. Men like that, you know.

Of course the best thing, would be to nip outside, come back in with a roll of carpet, and lay it downstairs, perfectly, before him, and then shout, really loudly...


"FINISHED"

10:57 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hmmm, tricky. I would say something like "Look, I know convention dictates that I am supposed to give you a cup of tea and some biscuits right now, but I don't understand why this is. Frankly, if you want tea and biscuits you can bring them yourself. I mean, it's not like you are doing this as a favour, I am paying you money, and I don't believe that you don't earn enough money to supply your own food and drink like normal people do. Even if you did an excellent job, I wouldn't feel compelled to supply you additional refreshment, because I don't believe people should be rewarded for simply *not doing a bad job*. Literally the least you could do is to fit this carpet in a timely fashion without my help, as that is after all what I am paying you for.

I'm going to sit on the sofa and watch telly now, because it is the weekend and I like to relax at weekends, after working hard all week. If I wanted to help lay a carpet I wouldn't have hired a carpet fitter in the first place.

Oh, and one last thing, I don't wish to get involved in any sort of conversation about how this country is going to the dogs because of immigrants, and how you probably won't have a job soon because all carpet fitting is going to be outsourced to Bangalore. That sort of conversation makes me feel very uncomfortable.

Thanks.
"

12:02 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hmmm, I've just realised that that BT engineer I had round my house not so long ago may have left a lasting impression.

12:04 PM  
Blogger yeractual said...

If I could find a burglar prepared to recarpet my entire ground floor and stairs, I would go out and leave him to it.

12:51 PM  

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