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...to keep the builders fed and watered?

(41 Posts)
Londonista123 Wed 30-Sep-15 15:56:30

I'm at home today as we're having our front door replaced. It's quite a big job for reasons to do with the style of building etc, and involves one builder and one apprentice here for the day - they appeared at about 8am, have been here since.

I've never dealt with English builders before (been here ages, but originally from SA). I took the stereotype about builders and tea literally - offered them tea (with cookies) when they arrived, and stuck my head out every few hours to ask if they wanted a refill. (Also told them to help themselves, but got hmm looks from them.) At lunch I ordered them a pizza - that is, I ordered one for myself since it's not the best environment to be cooking in, and paid another £3 for a two pizza "deal". They were grateful and ate happily.

DP has just come home and thinks I'm insane to treat them like this - one drink is enough out of courtesy and they can sort themselves out after.

My feeling is: they're working hard, they're in my home, it's no skin off my nose and a nice way to say thank you to two blokes who are working hard? What do others reckon?

ishouldcocoa Wed 30-Sep-15 15:58:34

I say keep them 'sweet' with tea, and cheap biscuits, and they'll be fine.

I think the pizza was a bit OTT!

Spilose Wed 30-Sep-15 15:59:00

Well neither of you are YABU but I couldn't be bothered with all that personally

ishouldcocoa Wed 30-Sep-15 15:59:17

... Oh, and are they staying for dinner...?? grin

trollkonor Wed 30-Sep-15 16:00:30

Drinks and cookies.

Londonista123 Wed 30-Sep-15 16:02:25

grin No news yet about dinner, but the rate of tea consumption and drilling has decreased, so fingers crossed we're in the clear...

ShoeJunkie Wed 30-Sep-15 16:04:15

We've had a builder here for a good few months (major renovations) and I keep him supplied with tea and coffee through the day if I'm about. Otherwise he goes without or helps himself.

Katie2001 Wed 30-Sep-15 16:07:58

I once popped back to my flat when it was being refurbished, only to find the builder, his wife and child having a packed lunch on the dustsheets in my bedroom. Anyway, I'd think drinks and biscuits were enough.

Tanith Wed 30-Sep-15 16:09:04

I kept our roofers well supplied with ice cream as well as drinks and biscuits. It was midsummer and absolutely baking up there: didn't want them falling off the roof due to heat exhaustion!
Can't see the problem, myself - I mean, how much does it cost, really?

megletthesecond Wed 30-Sep-15 16:12:26

Yanbu. I always offer drinks and biscuits to tradesmen.

Londonista123 Wed 30-Sep-15 16:12:28

Katie - I had a similar thing once with a plumber who was "testing" my bath hmm.

From my perspective this was almost no expense, and some good karma. I also would have felt like a right knob having food delivered for myself while these two worked through.

wonkylegs Wed 30-Sep-15 16:25:17

We've had various trades in our house for the best part of 2 years as we've done a complete rennovation.
Tea and coffee and when hot, cold drinks have been made a plenty but no food. Mostly they've popped up to the village shop to grab something and take a break.
I think your pizza was a bit of a generous gesture, mind you I've overloaded our electricians with spare plums from the garden and our kitchen joiner got a bottle of homemade plum brandy for Christmas (kitchen was finished on Christmas Eve)

Roussette Wed 30-Sep-15 16:35:08

Always tea and coffee but I never feed them. My neighbour had an extension done and every morning would do a huge plate of bacon baps so they had about 3 each. I do think that's a bit OTT.

YouBastardSockBalls Wed 30-Sep-15 16:48:55

Well I wouldn't pander to them like this but by all means feel free.

It doesnt sit well with my feminist ideals, to perpetuate the idea that us wimmin' should be keeping the poor menz fed when they're working hard.

What's wrong with a flask and sandwiches?

Londonista123 Wed 30-Sep-15 16:54:14

I didn't see it as a gendered thing tbh - and I'm the kind of person who glares men into submission when called "darling", "love" and so on grin. It was more that I feel they're working hard and treating my home well, and showing some gratitude was appropriate.

I've also just remembered that when I used to tutor in NW London the girl's mum used to make me a four-storey tiffin for lunch each week, including fresh samosas. So there are apparently others crazier than me grin.

onecurrantbun1 Wed 30-Sep-15 16:55:50

We had builders here for about 6 weeks doing our garden and driveway. I tended to do a coffee when they got here and one at some other point during the day, if I was around. Also the odd Cornetto on the baking hot days, the odd chocolate biscuit, and a couple of McDonalds breakfasts when they came in on the weekend. It probably cost me about £30 total, and in proportion to the £10k the work cost, frankly, it was small fry and kept them happy and willing to go above and beyond.

I wouldn't bother with more than the odd brew when I was making one myself usually, though. I think the pizza is a nice idea but certainly more than the norm.

YouBastardSockBalls Wed 30-Sep-15 17:02:12

I feel they're working hard and treating my home well, and showing some gratitude was appropriate.

You'll be paying them, I presume? That's all the gratitude I think they'd need.

YouBastardSockBalls Wed 30-Sep-15 17:02:50

Goodness I come over harshly in print!

Londonista123 Wed 30-Sep-15 17:05:15

I'm paying their employer - I doubt they see much of it. It also just seems the hospitable thing to do (certainly drinks, anyway), given that they're in my home.

FeelingSmurfy Wed 30-Sep-15 17:05:27

I gave mugs of homemade soup when it was really bad weather and they were outside still carrying on. Normally it's a drink if they are OK, biscuit if they are nice and nothing if I don't like them!

Londonista123 Wed 30-Sep-15 17:06:07

Goodness I come over harshly in print!

Ha! That's alright, I come over happier in print...

FeelingSmurfy Wed 30-Sep-15 17:07:49

wonky they were happy with the excess of our home grown stuff too, we were giving bags of stuff to anyone we knew so why not offer the builders. I had already cooked up tons of stuff to freeze and there was no more room anywhere!

FishOn Wed 30-Sep-15 17:35:27

I think it was very nice of you.

DH (tradesman) was once bought fish and chips by Kate Bush's boyfriend when they were working on her house of an evening grin

PurpleDaisies Wed 30-Sep-15 17:43:14

Feminist issue? That really is a stretch youbastard. Surely most people would offer someone working in your home a drink regardless of if they are male or female? It's just polite. I'm a private tutor. Every single person I see offers me a cup of tea even though they are paying me to be there and I'd do the same job regardless.

PurpleDaisies Wed 30-Sep-15 17:44:28

Op I always offer people tea and coffee while they're working.

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