AIBU to feel like I’m being told off by tradespeople

(120 Posts)
KeepWashingThoseHands Mon 08-Mar-21 20:46:35

I tend to only have tradespeople in when there’s an issue ie. blocked drain, broken this, needs replacing that. I often feel judged and like I’m politely being told off; ‘you should have done this sooner’ or ‘whoever did this previously didn’t do a good job’ and constant comments about other observations. It’s not they’re unkind insomuch as make me feel silly I’ve had to call someone out or I didn’t know. I have an office based role but am decent at DIY, my house is in good condition overall but i’m not an expert in roofing (for example)... cos i’m not a roofer so how would I know X, Y, Z! I’m sure they’re just explaining knowledge but it’s like having to go to docs and fess up something embarrassing sometimes. I’m an assertive senior leader yet whenever people come round for a repair I feel really stressed having to deal with them/the situation.

Anyone else or just me?

OP’s posts: |
Coffeeisnecessary Mon 08-Mar-21 20:49:10

I know exactly what you mean!! It stresses me out too. Also hate the way they wince and tell me it's going to be expensive to fix and look at me like I couldn't possibly afford it before they've even given a price. I think it's a trick to freak me out so that I don't question it when it's not as bad as I think!!

Chimoia Mon 08-Mar-21 20:51:28

I know, but the blind confidence they have is not always supported by the facts.

LemonRoses Mon 08-Mar-21 20:52:02

Our chimney sweep always gives me a half hour lecture. He doesn’t take a hint but chimney sweeps are limited, so we don’t want to lose him.

BlackBucketOfCheese Mon 08-Mar-21 20:53:35

This is usually why I put off having tradespeople in.
I don’t want to be made to feel stupid in my own home.
Things they think they can patronise you about:
- your choice of previous tradespeople was wrong
- you should have done xyz improvement in a different way
- grey is the only option hmm
- persuading to go for a different decorative option because it makes their job easier - even though I’m happy to pay for the full job to be done
- not being available when they decide to rock up. Why can’t they turn up when they say they will.
- not understanding their technical jargon and being laughed at for not getting it. I don’t laugh at people who don’t understand my professional jargon.

Tinty Mon 08-Mar-21 20:54:14

I often think, some of these types of comments are too justify the large fees that they charge to fix the drains, or pipes etc.

ShirleyPhallus Mon 08-Mar-21 20:55:32


And I find myself turning in to a simpering fool who ends up asking stupid questions like “and what does THIS pipe do?”


Laggartha Mon 08-Mar-21 20:57:49

And calling you “luv”. I can’t stand the patronising nonsense. OP YADNBU.

MaizeBlouse Mon 08-Mar-21 20:58:59

Oh gosh OP I totally agree..I have been lucky to find one good tradesman in my time. The rest have either moaned about previous tradesmen handiwork, haven't got the right part to complete the job, the job is more difficult than they expected, huffing cos its hard work, complained about the company they work for, hang around for ages chatting instead of doing the bloody job they're there for, damage flooring or generally leave a mess in their wake, say they'll arrive at X time and are hours late, patronising, rude, no customer service... I could go on and on.

If I behaved like a tradesperson in my job I'd never work again!!! Like I say I have found a handful of people who are reliable, affordable, skilled but Jesus you have to wade through the shit to find them.

the80sweregreat Mon 08-Mar-21 21:00:15

The same! Had this so many times. The worst ones are the trades prior who look at me as if I should know that would be a problem ! That's why I called you out , because I don't know what's up. I think they like people looking silly so they can look good. Not hard in my case to be fair when it comes to electrics or plumbing or a roof etc.
I feel your pain op.

Gunpowder Mon 08-Mar-21 21:00:40

God yes. This is all so true. I think it’s a weird sort of misogyny as they don’t do it to DH, even though I am the more clued up one where any home improvements are concerned.

I’ve found two tradespeople who don’t do it (an electrician and a decorator) and I appreciate them so much and consistently recommend them.

Dingleydel Mon 08-Mar-21 21:02:07

I thought it was just me. I’m almost phobic of tradespeople and I just can’t work out why. I feel so uncomfortable even phoning them. I think it might be feeling like a kid whose going to get told off.

LawnFever Mon 08-Mar-21 21:02:09

God yes! The bloody teeth sucking and head shaking - I just want to know facts is it fixable, how long will it take to fix, how much will it cost.

MrsSugar Mon 08-Mar-21 21:05:06

I wouldn’t take much notice. I’ve found that all tradesmen tend to slate the last persons work. Maybe I’m weird but I don’t really engage much lol I just show them to them job and let them crack on ! I’ve nothing really helpful to say to them and I’m sure they are not bothered

Dontknownow86 Mon 08-Mar-21 21:06:42

I work with contractors daily and they all do this. I think it's mostly showing off tbh 'oh I'm such a better workman' blah blah. They are hoping you think they are the font of all knowledge and so you'll keep booking them.

mathanxiety Mon 08-Mar-21 21:07:54

No, you're not the only one.

I actually lost my shit one time with an electrician who got all snotty with me. I had been in the house less than three weeks and he complained about all the previous owner's bodgery.

I complained to the company and told them they had lost my business.

PurplePrimula Mon 08-Mar-21 21:09:20

Hairdressers do it too, pick up a lock of your hair and look at it like they are holding a maggot covered turd before asking "who did this to your hair, it's all wrong".

Think it comes down to trying to convince you that you have found the world's one true expert and all around fabulous person so that you keep providing them with custom.

Doesn't work on me. Criticising the work of others or a client's previous choices puts me right off because I find it quite arrogant.

user17425763247742 Mon 08-Mar-21 21:13:55

I do not use tradespeople who behave like that. I'm not going to be made to feel shit in my own home and then pay them for the privilege.

The ones who get my custom and loyalty are the ones who are respectful and explain to me what the problem is and available solutions are without trying to make me feel small.

They do exist.

I had one horrible experience with someone who was a patronising dick. He was asked to leave.

Pepper54 Mon 08-Mar-21 21:14:19

Oh God OP! Thank you for this thread! Totally agree. I put off having tradesmen in, phobic at this point. One great painter but countless others who lecture me, criticise previous work done, don’t turn up (secretly relieved by those) and the last couple of years everyone brings their dog or dogs and let’s them loose in our garden while they work! What’s that about!

Balaur Mon 08-Mar-21 21:15:45

I think they must do a module as part of their training "how to put your client on the back foot". It's like a form of negging shock

HenslowesDiary Mon 08-Mar-21 21:18:15

When I had my new washing machine the delivery man said criticused my choice and told me I should have bought another brand.

I was so annoyed I complained to the company.

the80sweregreat Mon 08-Mar-21 21:21:09

The worst one I had to do a job for me was the man who had to move two white goods around for me and plumb in a dishwasher.
He took all day, was on his mobile for most of the time and didn't stop telling me how much work he ' had on ' which he couldn't do (because a two hour job took him all day! )
The teeth sucking and head tilting is just ' tradesmen theatrical acting ! ' smile

WingingIt101 Mon 08-Mar-21 21:23:15

Thankfully DH is very handy and can do most jobs - we typically only need trades in for carpet fitting and electrical work but my god do I know what you mean.

It makes me feel so useless - like you I hold a senior leadership position at work, I’m a functioning adult with many skills but this reduces me to feeling like a child!

Nitpickpicnic Mon 08-Mar-21 21:29:51


God yes. This is all so true. I think it’s a weird sort of misogyny as they don’t do it to DH, even though I am the more clued up one where any home improvements are concerned.

I’ve found two tradespeople who don’t do it (an electrician and a decorator) and I appreciate them so much and consistently recommend them.

It’s the same, bog-standard misogyny. Every time.

I once got so fed up, I starting speaking to the roof plumber in French. When he looked at me like I was a crazy woman, I smiled and said ‘Oh, I thought we were showing off our foreign language skills? You were teaching me about the history of guttering, so I thought I’d thrown in some of my skills too.’

He got the message. Kinda.

BlackCatsRule88 Mon 08-Mar-21 21:30:28

Yep, I’ve had this. I now lie and say I’ve only just moved in so can’t be “blamed” for things.

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