The Grey Army

The grey army

The grey army

Originally I liked the concept of The Grey Army – older tradies who you ring up and they come out and do things for you. A few years ago I needed weatherboards replacing and so I contacted them. Sounded like a great plan, but my goodness was I setting myself up for fail.
I liked the concept until I met the total asshole they sent out. Insulting and patronizing, that guy was. He told me my house was not worth fixing, I’d be better off ‘knocking it down and starting again’, and he openly sneered at the shed. Yes, the shed was falling down – it was replaced a few years later when I could afford to replace it. I didn’t ask him to fix the shed. I asked him to replace some weatherboards.  He was without exception the nastiest trades person I’d ever had to deal with; and he was standing on my property insulting me to my face.

My house, mind, is 1951 and is in pretty good shape. just some bits and bobs here and there.

It was pretty awful. I was at a loss as to how to take it so it tried to laugh it all off. I think he thought i needed a very small job done, he turned up and realized it was a medium sized job, so he went into attack mode rather than say “I can’t handle this job”.

He said he’d send me a quote and never did. He stalked off and that was that.

I got onto the Grey army website and sent them a letter telling them this is not on.

They never bothered to respond, no apologies or ‘we will send someone else’. I guess their customer service was run by his wife or cousin or something.

So there you go. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THE GREY ARMY. With all tradies, take recommendations on who to hire. that’s how I got my electricians.

Hence for this painting I tried to get the arrogant look into the guys. It’s the same look that a certain type of person who works for a hardware store will give you if you ask them a question. The person who gives it always has a white beard and seems to have made the point to work in an area where they assume no one but them is allowed to know anything. If you say ‘where is the xxxx’ – they say ‘what do you want that for’. I don’t want to have a conversation about what I’m doing with it, i want you to tell me where to locate it! Hence I try not to ask because I’m sick of setting myself up to be patronized.

Also… I have made  not many times that if I ask the question of one of those white beard guys, they will turn and conduct the conversation with the man I have with me, not me. Usually the man I have with me has no idea why he is there and cannot answer. Those white beard guys are incapable of understanding a female might actually know about hardware. It’s astonishing in this day and age that some staff a big happy customer friendly shop will display such rampant sexist behavior. You know what, next time this happens I’m going to write a letter of complaint. I’m too old to put up with this shit.

There you go. This post turned into a rant. It was probably about 8 years ago and that Grey Army incident has still left me pissed off!

6 responses to “The Grey Army

  1. My stepdads in his seventies and still does building work, he’ll take the piss but he’s never patronising.

    I once mentioned to an American on the net that my little house is nearly 200 years old and received genuine sympathy. I was taken aback because I’d been quietly boasting- here in England we love old houses, they cost more.

    • I have met multiple tradies who are older and pleasant. I’m sure the grey army is full of totally nice people who are competent and pleasant, just that I hit the dude who was not and my fairly mild complaint was ignored by the company. Everyone’s dads I know who do building things are totally fine and I’d recommend them like a shot.

      200 years old! We barely have a structure in oz that is 200 years old! I have a chair from 1680, I like to tell people it’s older than European Australia! (as distinct from 50000 years old which is how long people have been on the continent).

      • It’s a fisher mans cottage, but it’s not even the oldest on my street, there are two from the 1690s a few doors down ( they’re gorgeous) but the listed ones are tiny, and slightly sunken down to shelter from the sea winds- mines tiny enough, I can reach up and touch the ceiling in the front room and I’ve got some very wonky walls. This and next door were once one house, and my neighbour told me he once took the plaster off the big party wall that’s two foot thick, only to find it’s made from beach cobbles.

  2. LOL. I know precisely the type of tradesmen that you mean. I am a fairly arty guy who grew up without a father. Home maintenance is not my forte. These types treat me like the village idiot. Also, just as you said, they say that they will send a quote but never do. Maybe it’s our houses. I live in a little fibrotile cottage.

    • For the same reason I don’t buy anything from a car dealer – I take a guy!
      Some tradies are just really good but so many of them just never turn up. The guys who replaced our roof were incredibly good, it’s such a contrast when you get the bad ones.

Comments are closed.