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To think a lot of self employed people couldn’t hack working for a large organisation

102 replies

Notagoodtime · 28/09/2022 10:07

I may just be very sensitive right now as we are in the middle of building work and have been let down really badly so many times. Currently have a builder here who hasn’t worked a full week since he stated a month ago.Wife’s car broke down (2days off -she is a SAHM but he didn’t want to leave her at home without a car until it got fixed)baby has a cold so he didn’t sleep well (1 day off), he has a cold (2 days off), the list goes on. We’ve had similar excuses from various other trades. There is no way in a million years my husband could get away with so much time off. He would have a disciplinary hearing. I try and be understanding but I’m finding it really frustrating. Anyone else feel the same.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Mariposista · 28/09/2022 14:31

Very rich coming from someone who doesn’t work at all. I am SE, work my skin off to gain and retain clients, do my accounting, work and try and look 6 months ahead. Both the employed and the self employed have challenges and neither is more or less valuable.


minitures · 28/09/2022 14:33

I think you will find they are probably on other jobs. jobs over run because customers want extra work done but in the same time scales (which is impossible) or unforeseen issues in building works always comes up which means things take a lot longer and over run.

I think you will find self employed generally work 3 x harder than employed .. with quotes, work itself, retaining customers, sourcing materials, book keeping, invoicing and tracking additional work etc... they don't get paid when they don't work.


Sugarsandwiches · 28/09/2022 14:33

Hoppinggreen · 28/09/2022 14:14

I used to Freelance and spent time in large organisations regularly. The amount of pissing about was shocking - people showing eachother holiday photos and discussing wedding plans and what they were up to at the weekend. Coffee breaks/fag breaks were a thing too
Blew my mind

100% on the pissing about. So, so much, and so many meetings. One client pays be half a day extra to 'run through' the monthly directors meeting a week before. It's mad, but I'm happy to sit on mute on a zoom while I work for other clients.

As a consultant you go in and start work on day 1. As an employee I've been explicitly told I'm not expected to add value until 'I've got my head around things in a few months' absolute madness. When I'm working I'm working - no chats, no downtime. So happy with that because it means I can have more holidays/random days off.


minitures · 28/09/2022 14:35

housinghero · 28/09/2022 10:17

I agree - when my extension was built I was working from home 7.30-4.
They used to arrive at 8.30 and leave at 3.30.
God I wish I had those hours and get full time pay....

I think people forget that the materials don't just turn up in their own back. These need sourcing across various merchants both in shops and online and usually collected early and organised in the evenings... definitely not just the hours you see believe me.


DameHelena · 28/09/2022 14:37

YABU and very offensive to boot.
I'm self-employed/freelance. I work many bank holidays, weekends, evenings. I take typically about three weeks off work all year. In recent years I've only had time off sick (two days) when I had Covid. I'm currently working with a heavy cold and unsettled guts. Obviously I don't get sick pay or paid holidays, so if I take time off I don't make any money.

Have worked for organisations large and small in the past and, in these respects at least, it was a walk in the park by comparison.

I'd say that actually many people who work for organisations couldn't hack being self-employed; it's highly responsible and stressful as the buck always stops with you.


BarnabyRocks · 28/09/2022 14:53

I feel your pain. We had a builder who would turn up at or 11am, would say things like, he needed stop off for materials (think screws) on the way to our house, (he lived about 20 mins away and there's loads of places in between he could stop off at). Or turn up at about 11am with his lunch that he'd just bought from a takeaway place, use the microwave to heat it up, sit down at our dining table and start eating it, go and do few hours work then frig off about 3pm. Or that his dog, who he brought with him to work, wasn't feeling well and might have a tumour (a guess he'd made based on him having zero veterinary training), so he had to leave to take him to the vets, only to return much later with the dog, saying its o.k. it's just the shits, and letting him wander around my house. His dog also pissed in my house and when I brought the pool of piss to his attention, he said, " Are you sure it was him? Did you actually SEE him doing that?" and didn't even offer to clean it up. Nightmare. Took about 5 weeks to renovate a bathroom when it could've been done in 2. A "friend" of my partners, and now banned from entering my home.
Anyway, we have a lovely tiler in the house at the moment, was due to start on Monday, turned up on time, has started early everyday, gets right on with it and is due to finish tomorrow, exactly when he said he would. It's one of those things.


QuandaleDingle · 28/09/2022 15:15

Espritdescalier · 28/09/2022 10:20

I'm self employed because I hate working for big business. The politics, the presenteeism, the rigidity...why would I choose that when I can make more money in a way that suits me? And no worrying about a boss breathing down my neck threatening 'disciplinaries' if I fail to toe the line. Not sure why you're trying to make it sound like a failing?

Love this 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

Summed up neatly why I love being self employed as well.


cloutneerbeout · 28/09/2022 15:17

No I couldn't, that's why I've actively chosen to be self employed.


HappyKoala56 · 28/09/2022 15:20

YANBU - I'm a self employed bookkeeper/accountant and moving into an employed position in the next couple of weeks. The biggest thing I will miss is being able to go to lunch at a moment's notice because I can set my own hours 🤷‍♀️ I'll adjust though


Tonty · 28/09/2022 15:24

@OP it is working for a large organisation that is the easiest. Working for a small/medium organisation is tough and working self-employed is very very hard!


Eyerollrsi · 28/09/2022 15:24

Large organisations make me shudder. Most self employed people I know very rarely take sick days.


Blizzardbeach · 28/09/2022 15:25

🙄🙄🙄 both I and DH are SE, we freelance as project managers for a large organisation.
I agree some of our contractors we oversee have some clangers for why they haven't turned in, and it's repeated, but its not all, or even most.

The only time DH has been off for either of our kids was because I was having the baby. He took a week off after, but nothing else.

Car or not, I'll or not. Even when the family caught Covid, he kept away so he could continue working


AuntSalli · 28/09/2022 15:26

Eyerollrsi · 28/09/2022 15:24

Large organisations make me shudder. Most self employed people I know very rarely take sick days.

That’s probably because they’re mentally and physically fitter.


10HailMarys · 28/09/2022 15:30

I imagine that a lot of people who work for large organisations 'couldn't hack' being self-employed either. I know I couldn't - I like things like paid holiday entitlement, sick pay and a steady secure income, and not having to do a fuck-ton of admin to keep things running.

Your husband have a disciplinary for this sort of thing because he is paid for sickness days and so on and because he is on a salary, so the firm is losing out if he's not working. Your builder doesn't get paid if he doesn't work, so while he doesn't have disciplinary action taken against him for his absences, he also doesn't get paid for them. His situation is no less fair than your husband's.

It's bizarre that you're making this into some sort of competition at all really. I suspect your builder actually just has some other work he's doing, which I appreciate is very annoying for you, but there isn't really anything you can do about it. It sounds like he's got more work than he can do right now, so he is in the stronger position.


LoobyDop · 28/09/2022 15:32

Completely agree with the OP. I’ve always worked for large Corporates, and some stuff is just basic. Like, do what you say you’re going to do or offer a sensible excuse in advance. Apologise if you fuck up. Actually get back to customers every time they ask you to, even if only to say really sorry but I don’t have an answer yet.

I do think it’s a fair observation that the skillsets you need to be good at a trade and good in “business” are not the same, and you don’t usually get both in one individual.

But also I’m thinking I could name a couple of people in the large Corporate I work for who never do any of the things listed in my first paragraph, and much to everyone else’s annoyance it never seems to come back on them.


10HailMarys · 28/09/2022 15:40

I think a lot of the generalisations about workers at large organisations on this thread are every bit as sweeping as the OP's views on self-employment, to be honest. I'm not sure why people are so keen to take sides on this sort of thing. There are pros and cons to both forms of employment and there are hard workers and lazy bastards in both. I've worked with some great self-employed contractors and some that really took the piss. I've also worked in some really nice, well-run organisations and some really inefficient ones.


gatehouseoffleet · 28/09/2022 15:41

Veeragall · 28/09/2022 10:30

I've done both. I worked for many years in corporate business and I am now self employed. Both require discipline in different areas and have challenges. If people are competent and diligent it is perfectly possible to adapt to either environment. It's not either or. In my experience being self employed isn't a picnic. There are no cushions and if you don't work you don't get paid.

This. I've also done both. On the whole, I prefer being employed.


StonerWild · 28/09/2022 15:51

They used to arrive at 8.30 and leave at 3.30.
God I wish I had those hours and get full time pay...

The hours at your house aren't the only working times. I've been on both sides of corporate and trade, due to a career switch in my 30s to a trade. I'm done with outside work today, but have to pick up supplies and admin type stuff, I'm still working even if it's not on site. Also being self employed there is no guarentee of full year full time pay, no sick pay etc.


onmywayamarillo · 28/09/2022 15:53

I'm self employed and have never cried off sick, but also didn't when I was working for a commercial company.

Builders are a different game though! Not all but some


bloodyplanes · 28/09/2022 16:11

My ex is a self employed tradesman and also a lazy bastard! Never did a full week at work in the whole time i was with him didn't need to either because he was so well paid when he did work! He saw work as optional and so did most of the blokes that worked for and with him. Coming from a NHS background this used to really annoy me, i am now self employed and I work extremely hard and never skive off.


thecatsthecats · 28/09/2022 16:15

It's swings and roundabouts.

I've considered learning a trade on the grounds that 1) I've had a professional career, and some people would like dealing with someone punctual and literate and 2) as a woman, I think that some people would be more comfortable having me in their home.

But then I've worked with plenty of workshy shysters in office environments.


GyozaGuiting · 28/09/2022 16:32

I run a business so slightly different to self employed, as I have employees that rely on me and technically I’m an employee, buts it’s BLOODY HARD and life in a big organisation was far easier.

Some trades are raking it in right now and not having to work full time, although I know some that have to!

So I wish you were right Op, but no it’s very hard.


Miajk · 28/09/2022 16:44

Notagoodtime · 28/09/2022 10:51


No - I don’t work. I’m a SAHM. Not sure why that means I can’t make a comment though. The reason I don’t work is because while my children a young I prefer to be at home. I have though worked for many years before having children and was always very reliable.

You prefer being at home, and the tradespeople prefer work life balance.

It's not heart surgery or emergency so really why should they care more about redoing your kitchen than their sick child?

They're in demand and can call the shots, so why shouldn't they. Just because your husband has to be on every whim and doesn't have any autonomy doesnt mean the whole world should be like that.

Also, not everyone has the benefit of having a stay at home partner like your husband does, so circumstances vary.


Angelofthenortheast · 28/09/2022 17:03

Equating tradesmen and self employed people is crazy - tradesmen are a law unto themselves.


Userg1234 · 28/09/2022 17:20

I almost pissed myself laughing at your tittle...I worked for a global financial institution for 20years. One that saw nothing wrong with me driving to Manchester, doing a full day, driving overnight to Swansea, full day work. Then overnight to London for another full day before driving home.
for myself I worked for 15 years 70+ hours a week during the summer and 50+ in winter. I would work 350+ days a year because my job was one where you had to keep on top of things, prepare for the summer, do jobs at a set time and was very affected by weather....which I worked through rain, snow, hail and did not stop to shelter.
so whilst your builders a bit shit, not every self employed person is like that

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