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Have I become a grumpy man...?

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 Tonybhoy 17 Sep 2020

The street is currently being dug up due to gas pipe upgrades.

one of the workforce, the youngest at my guess, knocked on the front door and asked if he could have a drink. Glass of water? Nope. ‘Any chance you could do a round of brews for me and the lads....?’

personally I thought this was a bit cheeky. 

1. The company should ensure there’s drinking facilities available.

2. What happened to making sure you bring something with you, ie a flask?

3. There’s a hoofing great Asda next door

I politely declined and asked him to send his manager.

The manager didn’t appear.

As I said ‘Have I become a grumpy man?’

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 marsbar 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

If he is the youngest then he has probably been sent by the rest of them for a laugh. 

I'm going to guess you live in Southern England.  

It's either my Northern heritage, or possibly my Jewish ancestry, but I couldn't make a cuppa for the electricity company man this morning (as he had switched my electricity off) and I felt very uncomfortable.  

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 Ridge 17 Sep 2020
In reply to marsbar: 

> I'm going to guess you live in Southern England.  

> It's either my Northern heritage, or possibly my Jewish ancestry, but I couldn't make a cuppa for the electricity company man this morning (as he had switched my electricity off) and I felt very uncomfortable.  

Same here. First thing I do if I see anyone working outside the house is offer them a brew.

Edit: Plus I'm a genuinely grumpy old git.

Post edited at 12:25
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 Tonybhoy 17 Sep 2020
In reply to marsbar:

> I'm going to guess you live in Southern England.  

A bit presumptuous...actually I’m not.

if workmen are doing work in the house specifically then I would have no hesitation in making them a brew. I thought it was taking the piss a bit. 

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In reply to marsbar:

> I'm going to guess you live in Southern England.  

I do and would have had Jeeves release the hounds.

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 abr1966 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

Cheeky fecker!

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 Rob Parsons 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

> The street is currently being dug up due to gas pipe upgrades.

> one of the workforce, the youngest at my guess, knocked on the front door and asked if he could have a drink. Glass of water? Nope. ‘Any chance you could do a round of brews for me and the lads....?’

Did he go on to say: "That's a lovely yellow pipe you have there, running highly-inflammable gas directly into your house. Wouldn't like to see anything happen to it - if you know what I mean ..."

Post edited at 13:52
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 marsbar 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

Very presumptuous.  But as none of your neighbours had made them tea either it did seem a possibility.   

It probably is rude of them to ask. However in some places they would probably be surrounded by people forcing cups of tea on them whether they wanted it or not.  

Post edited at 14:31
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 TomD89 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

> if workmen are doing work in the house specifically then I would have no hesitation in making them a brew. I thought it was taking the piss a bit. 

Exactly. If working directly for you then it's obligatory to at least offer.

If the bloke offered a few quid to make a round of tea I'd probably do that but otherwise tough titty.

What's next, getting a coffee ready for the postman every morning?

PS. I do live in Southern England and proud of my stand-offish and stingy heritage.

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 dread-i 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

To be fair to them, they're not on directors level wages. They are going to be digging holes in all weathers, probably at night, if it's an emergency. Eating crap, yet expensive, food from takeaways or shops. They'll continually get lots of nimfy (not in my front yard) types complaining about not being able to park on their drive or street. Lots of 'Can you move your digger so I can get Tristan and Isolde to gymkhana' etc. With pubs shut, they cant go for a quick lunchtime pint, or dump.

It's not a big ask to fill an empty bottle with water.

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In reply to dread-i:

> It's not a big ask to fill an empty bottle with water

That’s not what was requested though 

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 Rod_Vortex 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Yeah it's well cheeky. It was always traditional to force tea/coffee and biscuits on tradesman where I grew up but I wouldn't necessarily if they weren't working for me. The point about them being on low wages and working back-breaking laborious life doesn't always fly either, as they could be an engineer on double what I earn. I'm not going to ask to see their P60 before deciding if I offer them a cup of tea. There's a certain expectation if you're working in someone's house that they will provide some refreshments. If you're working on the street and you want a tea or coffee, get yourself a thermos. 

If they'd asked to fill their bottles with water then absolutely - it's a human right, it takes no effort, it's in my pipes and it's already paid for. Making a round of tea on the other hand would be a nice gesture but shouldn't be expected and is not really on to ask for.    

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 dread-i 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> That’s not what was requested though 

>> ... one of the workforce, the youngest at my guess, knocked on the front door and asked if he could have a drink. Glass of water?

Now, there may be a cohort of housewives, or indeed househusbands, who would welcome in a muscly, yet cheeky, young workman. Perhaps they would like to find about more about his pipe, or to discuss when he might be available to fill in holes. One can understand not wishing to engage if one is busy. But it is entirely reasonable to suggest that a drink can be obtained from a bottle or a cup, mug, glass or other vessel.

Post edited at 15:30
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 WaterMonkey 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

> Any chance you could do a round of brews for me and the lads....?’

Given the evidence above I can't understand people suggesting you are Southern.

We all speak correct English down here and would never use the term "brew" as it is a verb not a noun.

However, it would normally be feasible of course that the workman could have been a Northerner working da'n sa'f, except of course, all you Northerners are riddled with Covid so we're not employing you at the moment.

Post edited at 15:50
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 Lankyman 17 Sep 2020
In reply to dread-i:

> Now, there may be a cohort of housewives, or indeed househusbands, who would welcome in a muscly, yet cheeky, young workman. Perhaps they would like to find about more about his pipe, or to discuss when he might be available to fill in holes.

Ooh you are awful - but I like you!

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In reply to Tonybhoy: under current social distancing guidelines I don’t think you could provide them with brews - unless they provided their own sanitised mugs etc, but even then there’s still a risk and a good reason to say “sorry, but not during this pandemic”.

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 gezebo 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

How many were there?

I’d have probably made a couple and if there where a few I’d probably have run an extension lead for them to power their own kettle for a day. 
 

Having done similar jobs in the past it is hard graft but the chap was cheeky but probably sent over as a laugh and sometimes you don’t get if you don’t ask! 

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 marsbar 17 Sep 2020
In reply to wert:

Soapy water kills covid.  If you wash your hands and wash your mugs the risk is fairly small.  

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 Timmd 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Rod_Vortex:

I'd have probably felt surprised, and then made them some tea. I used to have 'quite a moment' on finding I'd not brought my teabags during conservation volunteering, though, maybe it's recognition of a fellow addict which means I would. The day would be marred without my teabags. 

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In reply to Tonybhoy:

Being a suspicious type, I'd be wondering if it was a joint-casing ruse...

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In reply to Tonybhoy:

If asked I would make them a brew. If it during the day then I wouldn't offer but last winter they replaced all the gas pipes on our estate, something went wrong and the lads were still out there until midnight when they normally knock off at 3. I took them a few brews out un asked and offered bacon sandwiches but their foreman had gone on a McDonald's run.

We were the first house in the street to get the new meter fitted and our gas back on. 

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 flatlandrich76 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

Thought I might offer some balance to this thread as someone who has spent his life living on hand out tea.

If there was only three or four of them then I probably would have. It can be a massive pick me up, especially on a wet/cold day. Having said that, I'd never ask a stranger for a tea.

Most people have the right idea, but a few tips if you're employing a trades person:-

Nothing will get you removed from the preferred customer list faster than not offering a decent tea*. (apart from not paying)

Don't even think about asking the 'while you're here can you just… question without first offering tea*. (Biscuits are optional, but usually appreciated)

No, we don't want to try your fancy goats milk or elder flower and nettle tea. Proper tea* please.

Yes, we do have a flask but you can't beat a fresh cup.

If you watch them sweating while drinking a cup without offering, your hourly rate will go up.

If you start frying bacon at the same time your rate will double and they'll never come back.

* or coffee

Incidentally, I believe, if someone knocks on your door and asks for water to drink, you are legally obliged to give it to them. An archaic law from a time when travelling was by foot.

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 squarepeg 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

Yorkshire man here, I would have pretended to be out. 

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In reply to flatlandrich76:

> If you start frying bacon at the same time your rate will double and they'll never come back.

This is perfectly acceptable as long as you ask the question, lightly done or crispy and do you want red or brown sauce with yours. 

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 brianjcooper 18 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

3 road repair men tarmacing a section of the road 50 metres from the house. One politely asked if they could have a drink of water as the 'firm' had not supplied them with anything to drink or eat.

Yeah, they should have had flasks etc. Pint glasses of orange squash and a cereal bar each resulted in the uneven patch in front of the house as good as new again.     

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 deepsoup 18 Sep 2020
In reply to TomD89:

> If the bloke offered a few quid to make a round of tea I'd probably do that but otherwise tough titty.

If you don't want to give them a cup of tea, that's fair enough. 
You're not willing to give them tea but you are willing to sell them tea?  Assuming you're not running a cafe, something is profoundly wrong with you.  Perhaps you were born with some essential part of your soul missing.

> PS. I do live in Southern England and proud of my stand-offish and stingy heritage.

I grew up in Southern England, and I'm never going back.

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 Lankyman 18 Sep 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

> If you don't want to give them a cup of tea, that's fair enough.

> I grew up in Southern England, and I'm never going back.

I grew up in Liverpool so I'd make them a brew then see if anything was lying around that might go missing. Only so nothing got nicked yenoworrameanlike, Officer ....

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 TomD89 18 Sep 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

I struggle to imagine myself turning up on a strangers doorstep and asking for 10 teas for me and the lads for free. If we were absolutely desperate for said tea I'd definitely offer to pay. You'd probably be more likely to get the tea for free if you at least offered payment. 

Can you explain why them getting no tea is a better outcome than them paying for the tea they want? Any reasonable person wanting caffeine from a stranger would stump about a quid or two to sweeten the deal. 

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 Timmd 18 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

A relative once said that one can become grumpier into one's 40's, and psychology people talk about the 40's being a time in which we can be most dischuffed IIRC, with happiness/contentment becoming easier again after that. 

I wonder if it has something to do with assessing one's life and pondering related things?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2020/jan/14/are-you-really-at-your-most-miserable-at-47-years-old

Edit: It seems to be that 47.5 is the age at which men and women both get most discontent or unhappy, and then things lift from then on, it's seen around the world, and chimps have a similar occurrence at age 30. That it can happen in chimps and other primates sets me wondering whether it's not a mid life crisis type thing and more genetic instead - unless primates can think about their lives in a way we've not yet discovered.

Post edited at 13:32
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In reply to Tonybhoy:

Like with tipping at a restaurant, I might offer, but asking for it means it will definitely not be on offer.  By that I mean anything "cruising for a tip" (such as circling "service not included"[1]) means no tip.  You ensure a tip by giving good service.

Anyway.

An appropriate way would be for them to start with "Do you mind refilling my water bottle for me?" which might be met with "Sure, do you want a brew as well?"

I've always worked like this, I don't think it's purely being old

[1] I actually reported a member of staff at a restaurant for doing that; it's rude as it implies that I can't read.

Post edited at 13:34
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In reply to Tonybhoy:

Don't feel bad, there's almost no chance you would have had enough sugar anyway.

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 im off 18 Sep 2020
In reply to Tonybhoy:

We've had various tradesmen in the house recently. They all flatly refuse offers of a cuppa as its against corona rules..... They all seem to be well prepped on this....

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 girlymonkey 18 Sep 2020
In reply to im off:

My husband is a landscape gardener. They would never ask for tea or coffee, but there is a rule that you must accept if offered as a refusal generally means the customer doesn't offer again even if it's different people working. You don't have to drink it, but you accept it so that others get the chance in future!

I'd have given the guys tea. It's no great hassle or expense. It's nice to be nice! 

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 Timmd 18 Sep 2020
In reply to girlymonkey: I like that rule. 

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