Nov 4th - It's not good being a woman at times

LSB

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This week I have been getting price estimates for everything I need, the list is getting very long and it's taking ages as I'm trying to get multiple quotes, I may give up on that idea.

I am also submitting this to estimating companies / builders merchants, but want the control of also doing it myself.

 

This morning the roofing company man rang me, asked some stupid questions and didn't listen to the answers as he talked over me.

He then said, I'll be there at 11.  At 12:45 when I'd finished with the horses I rang him, he said "I'm just coming down the road"

No apologies for being late.  I'd wanted HID to be there, but he had a problem at work.  I'd tried ringing the roofing company to change the time, but no answer, left a voicemail, no response.

The barn is about 100m from the house up a slight slope, the reptile didn't want to go and look, saying that without the plans there was no point.

Anyway, eventually he did agree to look, but the whole time he kept making stupid statements like "So, it's a roof for the pigs", even though I had told him it was being converted to a dwelling.

He spotted that the 'L' had an asbestos roof and declared that he wouldn't go any nearer than 50' because of the danger.

Then my phone rang and it was HID.

I duly handed over the phone and a complete personality and attitude change happened to the reptile.  He spoke sensibly, answered the questions I'd already asked, explained the process, suggested that we went to their factory to see how it works.

He also gave a very general ball park figure of 30 - 40k, which is what I actually wanted.

All this because he was talking to a man.

Once the phone call finished he handed me my phone and said, just email me the plans and we will get a proper estimate and walked off.

 

This all seemed to be because I'm a woman, who knows a lot more than HID about this whole process and what we want.

This is quite a disappointment for me as I will never agree to using this company even though they are our most local zinc roof supplier at only 25 miles away.

He also said that metal is no cheaper than zinc, I'm sure that's wrong and despite me saying that our planning specifies a zinc roof he kept trying to sell me a rubber roof.

His timing to install was, "about a month", really!!!

When I mentioned solar panels he said, just put them in one of your fields.

 

I feel quite strongly about using local suppliers where possible, but this has left a bad taste in my mouth and made me very wary of having people to the site when I'm on my own, if I'm not going to be taken seriously.

 

On a better note, the last gas check was done this morning, by a lovely man who even asked about my grandson as he remembered that I'd said it was due.

I would recommend this company to anyone, and thankfully they were local.

Once I receive the report then I can discharge the condition, tell CIL and start pulling things down.

 

Now, another week, more planning, I'm so looking forward to when I can do something, even thought ultimately the plans should make the process much more efficient in the long run.

 

 

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Unfortunately I have come across this attitude before but quickly nipped it in the bud by talking about the build process and using words they didn’t expect a woman to know, can’t stand men like that and certainly wouldn’t give them my business. Hubby had put some of them in their place too when they tried to address him instead of me and he turned round and said there’s no good talking to me you need to talk to the boss!

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6 minutes ago, recoveringbuilder said:

Unfortunately I have come across this attitude before but quickly nipped it in the bud by talking about the build process and using words they didn’t expect a woman to know, can’t stand men like that and certainly wouldn’t give them my business. Hubby had put some of them in their place too when they tried to address him instead of me and he turned round and said there’s no good talking to me you need to talk to the boss!

as an IT manager for 20 years I have met a lot of this, but I naively thought things had changed.

What got me most was that he ignored my questions and then answered them on the phone.

pity for them, they have just lost 30k of business.

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Sad to say this is too common. Myself and my partner have a joint email address (hername_myname@.com). She spent weeks emailing various suppliers looking for quotes and signed off the emails with her name... on more than one occasion the replies came back addressed to me... even though I hadn't been mentioned at any point and they inferred my existence from the format of the email address only. Needless to say, she had words with them :) 

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3 hours ago, joe90 said:

Can you give them a “review”and don’t hold back.......

Good idea, I'll look at their website to see if there is an option available to leave feedback.

 

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I've also had issues during our build.  With one company who did supply us I took to signing off the emails with my husband's name as I knew I would then get a response.  Some men just prefer to deal with men.  As we had already contracted them before I realised this I just did whatever I needed to get the quotes / agreements done.

Once people came on site though it typically worked out pretty well.  Being an ex-civil engineer with 2 years building site experience, albeit 20 years ago, certainly helped ask the right questions and get on the same level for a proper conversation.  In the end, you choose people you can work with and it is really important that either of you can liaise with suppliers / trades / anyone coming on site as there will be occasions when you aren't both around.  

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"the reptile", this tickled me😂 You owe local trades nothing, if you are able to and want to use local trades thats great but at the end of the day the priority is who you are happy working with. If they are a bunch of cretins as these appear to be simply tell them to Rod off and move onto the next one. I went with a more expensive timber frame supplier simply because the cheaper company were a bunch of turds who I couldn't communicate with. Cost me slightly more but a far more professional outfit to deal with.

 

Keep fighting through.

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Sisters :))

Same experience here, although nipped in the bud. Early on in the project whenever the builders and our PM and myself would get together, talking as a group they completely ignored me (regardless of me having more info and thinking times quicker then all of them put together). They just do not hear when a woman is trying to put in a remark or make a suggestion. All full of themselves. I had to seriously raise my voice on one occasion and very loudly and clearly state that I WANT TO SPEAK and I WANT YOU TO LISTEN CLOSELY. You should have seen the look!.. Since then, we've changed the builders to a really nice one who actually maintains eye contact when listening and makes a real effort to answer specifically. 

 

I've had the same experience in my 20 years of corporate City meetings - whenever you are in a meeting room full of men, you don't exist until you put a double effort into being heard. Boys club. Read somewhere that men are not wired to hear female voice frequencies :) Actually lowering my voice when talking REALLY helps - this is astonishing.

 

On a positive side, our local timber & builder merchant shop (a large one) is really female-friendly, and I am always treated with respect. By the end of the project they know my name, ask after the family, the son, the cat, the neighbours, etc. I only have to walk in and say "guys, I need this thingy... you know... the square white one with a metal thingy on top" (or close), and they immediately produce that very thing, and we joke about it. Really nice :) as a result they got £££'s worth of our business in the past 6 months.

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10 minutes ago, Bored Shopper said:

Sisters :))

Same experience here, although nipped in the bud. Early on in the project whenever the builders and our PM and myself would get together, talking as a group they completely ignored me (regardless of me having more info and thinking times quicker then all of them put together). They just do not hear when a woman is trying to put in a remark or make a suggestion. All full of themselves. I had to seriously raise my voice on one occasion and very loudly and clearly state that I WANT TO SPEAK and I WANT YOU TO LISTEN CLOSELY. You should have seen the look!.. Since then, we've changed the builders to a really nice one who actually maintains eye contact when listening and makes a real effort to answer specifically. 

 

I've had the same experience in my 20 years of corporate City meetings - whenever you are in a meeting room full of men, you don't exist until you put a double effort into being heard. Boys club. Read somewhere that men are not wired to hear female voice frequencies :) Actually lowering my voice when talking REALLY helps - this is astonishing.

 

On a positive side, our local timber & builder merchant shop (a large one) is really female-friendly, and I am always treated with respect. By the end of the project they know my name, ask after the family, the son, the cat, the neighbours, etc. I only have to walk in and say "guys, I need this thingy... you know... the square white one with a metal thingy on top" (or close), and they immediately produce that very thing, and we joke about it. Really nice :) as a result they got £££'s worth of our business in the past 6 months.

My current job is the IT project management for a new 8,000 m2 factory for work, they have been really good and the PM is very happy to chat to me because I understand building and the processes.  Even though the size is different the processes are just the same.  I'm really glad that they are ahead of my self-build as I have found out lots.  My last job was doing the same for a previous company and their PM was good.
It was just this dickhead today, but I was so angry about it.

 

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Thanks everyone for your support, I'm quite disappointed at home much this still seems to be happening.

I could understand it if it was something that maybe I couldn't do, but when I'm stood there with him and he still wants to talk to the 'man' then it's rather annoying.

Anyway, time for a G&T me thinks.

 

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8 minutes ago, LSB said:

Thanks everyone for your support, I'm quite disappointed at home much this still seems to be happening.

I could understand it if it was something that maybe I couldn't do, but when I'm stood there with him and he still wants to talk to the 'man' then it's rather annoying.

Anyway, time for a G&T me thinks.

 

 

I feel your pain. We are a same sex female couple and it's bloody hard work at times. I continually feel like I have to battle more than a guy would and thank god for this forum I can go back and ask relevant questions or be firm with things and pretend I know what I'm talking about. It's not so much our builder now who knows not to try that sh!t with me although I do get the sense would treat a guy differently. Only this week the ASHP contract people said to me they were sure after I'd shown the updated spec to my husband he would understand it more than me 🤬

 

 

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In most my work and other aspects of my life. I don't think to much about racism, sexism, disability, because I have grown up with the expectation that everybody should be treated equally and I don't understand why anybody would treat an individual differently for whatever reason.

 

However during the self build, as a couple it was a clear that my wife was treated differently. Whether it is emails always addressed to me, instructions to be passed to me, or contractors acting more aggressively or the hysterical woman card when I would be at work.

 

Our joiner who was our principal subcontractor was a notable exception. He is never short of work and has a good reputation with everybody I have mentioned him too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry to hear this.

11 hours ago, LSB said:

Good idea, I'll look at their website to see if there is an option available to leave feedback.

 

Would it work to change them by dropping a note to the MD explaining exactly why they lost this 30k of business and identifying the miscreant?

 

 

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I find using my title Dr makes me an honorary man, so I use it as and when required, as it seems to work well for gentle emasculation. The method of taking your business elsewhere is just as effective. 

 

You don't need to be a man, but you do need balls 😂

Edited by Jilly
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9 hours ago, Thedreamer said:

Our joiner who was our principal subcontractor was a notable exception. He is never short of work and has a good reputation with everybody I have mentioned him too.

 

 

There are some good uns. Our plasterer who came via the builder has been the one person who came over to us, introduced himself to us both, whenever we are there comes to find us both and who has a great reputation.

 

What is really strange is the response from tradesmen when they realise there is no man to speak to. It either falls into one of these categories.

 

- decide who is 'the man' (that's been me up to now as I've been dealing with most things) and only speak to me - ignore the other one

 

- the 'I don't know who to speak to so I'll just ignore you both' and look at the floor and not make eye contact

 

- The 'there is no man' approach where tradesmen think flirting, winking and having banter will either make us decide we don't want one another, swoon or make us not notice any bad work.

 

- Look like a rabbit caught in headlights when one of us introduces the other as 'my wife' - we are in 2020 get a grip. 

 

I've been very firm from day 1 so generally our main builder gets us now, though he did confess he was a bit scared of me!

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13 hours ago, canalsiderenovation said:

 

I feel your pain. We are a same sex female couple and it's bloody hard work at times. I continually feel like I have to battle more than a guy would and thank god for this forum I can go back and ask relevant questions or be firm with things and pretend I know what I'm talking about. It's not so much our builder now who knows not to try that sh!t with me although I do get the sense would treat a guy differently. Only this week the ASHP contract people said to me they were sure after I'd shown the updated spec to my husband he would understand it more than me 🤬

 

 

Having worked in IT since it was 'computing' when I left uni in 1983 I have been in a male dominated society.

Without being to generalised I have found the more intelligent the male the better they respond.  I never really had an issues at work as I knew my stuff.

The guy yesterday was young so it was even more of a surprise.  When he spoke to my husband I thought he would be exactly the same, so I was surprised when his whole attitude changed.

But, keep battling on and when you find someone good, keep hold

 

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