If you work in a trade business, you know how hard and intense the work can be. But you also know that it’s one of the most fun and varied jobs there is. Everyone thinks they know what it’s like, but here are some things that only true tradespeople understand. If you know, you know!
1. The pranks
You only have to open Facebook or TikTok to see how many pranks get played onsite every day. Usually at the expense of an unwitting apprentice – but, hey, we’ve all been there. It’s all part of the learning! There’s also the joy of getting revenge on the regular prankster in your crew. At least there’s never a dull moment.
2. Tool thieves
There are two kinds of tool thieves: the harmless mistakes of coworkers, and actual theft that leaves tradespeople out of pocket.
Anyone in a trade can relate to the confusion and frustration that ensues when you reach for a tool you put down moments ago, only to find it gone.
The other kind, however, where tools are being stolen from vans and sheds, is a serious problem tradespeople contend with. Kit worth thousands can be lost in seconds, so insurance is a very necessary expense. Taking steps to hide your equipment in your van (like with <cough> a Get Stowed storage unit <cough>) is also a good idea.
3. January self-assessment horror
Each year, as Christmas ends, the dread sets in at the thought of the January self-assessment. And it’s made worse knowing that HMRC are likely to mess it all up anyway. It is frustrating to say the least. There will be some who are super organised and have it all done in advance – yeah, we know, “tax doesn’t have to be taxing”, and all that – and we do totally recommend that approach… it’s just not always that easy in practice!
Not only are you meticulously working on your self-assessment, you are also renewing your CSCS Cards and public liability insurance. January – what a month, eh?!
4. The notorious quick favour
Every tradesperson has encountered the request for a “quick favour,” whether from family, friends, or neighbours. Make it known that you work in any kind of trade, and it’s inevitable. Some little things here and there for loved ones seem pretty reasonable, but as those jobs get bigger it’s only fair for you to be paid! When a favour becomes a job, the line has been crossed, and, if you feel you deserve compensation, we say make that boundary.
5. Chained to the weather app
Last but not least, no person is as clued up about the weather as a tradesperson. When your work is quite literally controlled by the weather, anticipating rained-off days and keeping up-to-date with jobs becomes a handful. Especially in the UK where rainy days are not exclusive to the winter!