Women- Exploitation, Manipulation or Taken Advantage of by Workmen?

I am tired of being taken advantage of. I know men get taken advantage of what in the world of work I think women, particularly taken advantage , get taken advantage of much more. 

At this time of writing, I am waiting for workers to refurb my bathroom and install the new one. This guy has cancelled me several times, and I understood because we are coming out of COVID-19 lockdown is and trying to get work people to try to come to do work is difficult because many of them are book up six months of the head trying to cope with the backlog of work. So, I understand that and being very patient. But this guy had promised me that he would come this morning and I had not heard from them yesterday. I have texted him and phoned him, and left a message. He was not available on the phone, and for an hour or so, I have not heard from him. Given that all my dealings with him, he has answered the phone immediately I’ve never left a message, and my text message has always been answered within 10 minutes, but this morning it’s different. I sourced this guy through a reputable online platform, so they are vetted, so I’m presuming that this guy is reputable.

 In South Wales UK, it is common practice that when you employ someone with hundreds and perhaps thousands of pounds worth of materials to purchase, you will pay the sum of the materials upfront. Then the person can purchase your materials, and then on completion, you paid for the other half of the materials and the work done. So, I have paid him for some of the materials, and I am still waiting for him to contact me. 


Writing this paragraph, it is now a few weeks since I last wrote that last paragraph, and the work has started, but he is extremely slow and doesn’t turn up every day. Nor does he turn up on the time he says he will be here. He doesn’t seem to care about being paid; I bet if I were a man, the work would have been done by now!

I have many friends who are single women, some the result of widowhood, others divorce and one friend that has never been married. Speaking to these women, I hear the same story echoed time and again. The stories are distressing, and it makes me angry that they have been taken advantage of by workmen time and gain. 

Whether it’s mechanics, decorators, handymen, or builders, this seems to be a common thread that these men think women don’t know what is going on. Therefore they can be taken advantage of either momentarily or messed around with times and appointments like I am today. Workers performing shoddy work for women is quite common, and I have experienced that recently myself. 

A few years ago now, I bought a rundown cottage which is 100 years old. So, you can imagine the renovations and repairs that need to be done. The back garden or the yard, which is only very small, had a big stone shed upon it that was dilapidated and leaking water, so I employed a couple of guys to pull it down and take away the rubble.

 That was 18 months ago. It costs a lot of money, and it’s taken me this long to be able to renovate the backyard. I have a friend who is also a single woman, and she uses a particular handyman who happened to be a carpenter. So I employed him to build a back fence to cover the old stone walls falling the dilapidated and quite disgusting and needed to be hidden. I also asked him to cement the yard because the old stone shed coming down the ground was exceptionally even and broken up. He duly cemented the area that I wanted him to, but it didn’t quite look right, but not knowing anything about cement, I thought that it might drive the next day fine. It didn’t. It had big deep grooves and troughs in them, and I wanted a smooth service surface. It was apparent he didn’t trowel it smooth! At least that’s what I thought I was paying for.

I missed the cement by hand, which was a true feat, and I have lost partial use of my right arm due to an injured shoulder in an accident. But I prayed for God’s strength, and my Lord indeed came to the rescue, and my shoulder held out Okay. So, I learnt how to use cement and cover it up with a fresh layer. It still doesn’t look smooth but certainly looks better than it did! The project has cost me more money than I budgeted for, and I had to take out a bank loan. 

I am so sick of been taken advantage of that I have. I decided that I would learn all I can do what I can as my disabilities allow. One could take a builder to the small claims court. But there are costs to pay upfront, and the time’s ad stress to see the process through is considerable. Therefore, many, including me, usually don’t take that route to sort out these difficulties. 

I don’t’ know if this article is very different than I usually write, but I want to share my real-life difficulties with you. It may resonate with one of you. If you have had a similar happening, please comment below or email me as I would love to hear how you have dealt with it.

On an Another Note ………..

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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish