Aussie Tradies

Posted: 19th November 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

There are a lot of things I’m learning about Perth, Western Australia and every day there is something new. I generally give something a chance and time to develop, to give me different experiences so that I don’t end up generalizing and stereotyping.

As a person from several “unliked” cultures, trust me, I know all about stereotyping and generalization… it’s not nice when you’re on the receiving end. So although I’m human and I do err (a lot!), I try my best not to fall into the stereotyping trap.

On the subject of Australian Tradesmen (‘tradies’ in Aussie lingo), I hate to say but you can actually generalize. It’s so sad that you can, but you can.


We will have been living in Perth for 6 months on December 13th this year, and I can safely say that in the past 5 months I have learned the following truth:

Aussie tradies are useless compared to their non-Australian counterparts!!

I’ve had many things go wrong in the house we are renting, and I always know from the tradie’s nationality how the problem is going to be fixed.

When our real estate agent books a British or Asian tradie, they are always on time and efficient. If they are delayed, they will call half an hour earlier to say they are delayed. They may call to say they are coming early. The Asian and British tradies I’ve come across are efficient, fast and reliable.

Aussie tradies on the other hand, I’ve had nothing but trouble from them.

They are always late… not just by a few minutes… by up to 5 hours sometimes! And they never call to tell you they’re running late.

When they finally do turn up, they take such a long time to do something that doesn’t need all that time.

At the moment, we have an issue with the garden reticulation system. It doesn’t seem to be coming on and the grass is dying. Unfortunately, there’s no working hose pipe either that would at least allow me to water the garden to buy us more time. An Aussie tradie called yesterday to book a time to come in and we agreed that 11am would be good. I rushed back from my morning appointment so I could be home by 10.30am just in case he turns up earlier (maybe I was still being hopeful and not so judgemental at that point!). By 11.30am, he still hadn’t turned up. So I gave him a call.

I was half expecting him to say “Oh I’m on my way I’m just stuck in a bit of traffic”. Instead, I heard “I’m at another job in Fremantle for another hour or so”… Fremantle is about 45 minutes away from our location. “I’ll try to make it there around 1pm.”

Really, at another job? Does he not factor in jobs possibly going on longer than anticipated? Did he not take into consideration traffic or any other last minute problems that might arise? Even that time of 1pm seems a bit farfetched. Even if the job did finish by 12.30pm, he would’ve needed time to pack up all his equipment, get in his car, get on the motorway and make it over to ours. That would certainly take more an half an hour. There is no way he could be here by 1pm unless the other job finishes sooner. And if by 11am, he was still in Fremantle, knowing that he still needed another 45 minutes to drive to me, couldn’t he have at least called to let me know?

“You’re home all day, aren’t you?” he said.

Uh, NO. When you make an appointment with someone, fucking stick to it. If you’re going to be late, call and say you’re running late. This way of doing things, for me, shows complete disrespect for my time. It’s like saying “I don’t care if you have other things to do. I expect you to wait around until I make time for you.”

This has happened so much to me with Aussie tradies, that I’m absolutely fed up and am now ranting! I recognize that.

It is possible he was held up. He just didn’t sound like it, or he would’ve said he got “stuck” on a job.

Maybe it was his choice of words, coupled by previous experiences, that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I’m being pedantic. Or maybe I’m just in a bad mood!

Whatever the reason, it is annoying, when you don’t actually have the luxury of time, to wait around all day for someone to turn up.

And they may, or may not, even do that! I guess I’ll find out at 1.30pm….