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A Day in the Life of a Tradesman

When you hire someone to come and do some work on your house, it wouldn’t be unusual to expect them to simply turn up, do the job and go home. But unfortunately things are never as simple as that and for your tradesman, a million and one things might interfere with him being able to complete your job how both of you would like. Take this one day as an example and hopefully you will realise that things don’t always run smoothly.


casual tradesmanYour tradesman wakes up with sore muscles and an aching back. After all, he spent yesterday lugging bricks to and fro and getting plasterboard into the van on his own was a nightmare. But once up, he puts on his usual dirty clothes – no point in having a shower, he will save that for when he gets home.

All workmen need a huge breakfast. He is trying to be healthy and his wife does warn him of the consequences – but eggs and bacon call out to him and he justifies it. He’ll be working hard today!

Traffic….oh, and a bit more traffic. Before he can start today’s job he needs to get to the wholesaler and get a few bits. He knows that no matter how well he has prepared, there will always be something which he will need later on too. Unfortunately the store he uses is 15 miles from today’s job – so lots of wasted time.

Finally on site at 9.30am. The customer is a bit surprised to see him so late. She doesn’t realise that his day started an hour and a half ago. On arriving he notices that the promised skip hasn’t arrived yet – something else to sort out. But an entire flatpacked kitchen has been delivered into the garage. So that’s the morning taken care of. The customer is bringing him plenty of tea and choccy biscuits. So in a good mood, the morning goes past fairly quickly.


Usually he would go home for lunch, but this time he is based too far away. So it is the homemade lunch his wife made him. She packs it like the kids school lunches with little pots of this and that. He scowls at the carrots sticks “yeah, right…” Luckily the shop is round the corner and dessert in the form of a Mars bar is just perfect. Pity the skip hasn’t arrived yet and the old kitchen is now sitting in heap in the front garden.


Lunch must have done the trick because good progress is made until the inevitable happens and the phone goes. Another client is having an emergency. The toilet he is supposed to be replacing next week is blocked and she really needs his help straight away. He knows that he can sort it out in an hour and the extra money comes in handy – also you can’t let down a new client. So he leaves the current job just a little early and pops in on the way home. The new client is so happy that she gives him a little tip. Something for the pub on the weekend!


Home at 6.45pm. He has made a promise to his wife that he would always be home by 6.30pm, so she isn’t happy and dinner was on the table and almost gone cold. The kids are eating their desserts and are bombarding him with talk of their day. He would love to settle down in front of the telly with his family, but he has a quote to do tonight. A quick shower after dinner and he is out the door. The quote is one of those ones where they don’t really know what they want. He has a long discussion, with lots of drawings and ideas. They seem quite interested, but he hasn’t sent the quote yet. He thinks it will be more than they can afford.

He gets home just in time to see the kids off to bed and finally he can talk to his wife. He has some grovelling to do and shows her the extra money he got for his efforts today. That seems to cheer her up and it goes into her purse – for the kids she says – so much for the pub!

He knows he can relax for a couple of hours now, until his wife goes to bed and he can get out his laptop and write up the quote. Work has been slow, so he needs to make it competitive. But there is only so low he can go…


Off to bed – quote done, printed and ready to send, materials ordered on Screwfix and a written list in his pocket of what he needs for tomorrow. He expects yet another battle through the traffic. Still…at least he has a few hours sleep ahead of him….