Monday, 2 March 2015

良い大工さん What is a Good Builder?

週明けのミーティングで、"He is an excellent builder." と屋根やさんに言われました。





180 kg もの鉄の柱は、大工さんチームだけではあがりません。その場の協力もしかり。



What makes a 'good builder' to our roofer was not clear until now. He told me today,

"Your builder is an excellent builder. He does everything we ask without any questions."

I did not realise how much cooperation with the builder was required for the roofing job. We simply could not imagine it. Now I know it. If there was no builder around, the roofer could not finish his work.

"What if you were not here. will the roofer do some work himself or will they arrange a builder to come?" I asked to the builder. "The roofers always assume there is a builder around."

The roofer said once to me when we asked the timing of the roof job to be done, "It's the best to do the renovation & the roofing job at one time ....bang!" Now I understand why. There are so many places that the roofing job was not possible to complete without a hand of builders; taking off some weatherboard, making a slope with plywood for a flat roof, etc.

Without any question or grumbling by a builder, it makes a world of difference for a roofer to ask him - hence 'a good builder'. Imagine if a builder gets upset every time by a roofer's disruptive demand for a help, the roofer will be hesitant to ask. It often happens that the roofer requires their helping hands in one process and cannot continue. I could not know. I saw that they were calling each other "Hey bro!" afterwards. They all started at age 17 and now they have their own young apprentice, which makes them feel a 'team sprit'. They seem to be happy at one same work place to share the work. This time, the builder x the roofer match was perfect!

We all need a cooperation. Even the window installers (after a slight joke comment of 'we will charge this') helped to bring up the heavy 180kg steel beam up in the ceiling for our builders.

I see that a builder is often alone, especially older ones with or without an apprentice. Our builder told me the other day coming back from lunch that he found a near-by bakery where builders get together for a long lunch pause. What does it mean? Do other builders are allowed to take long lunches? Do the owners know? I am not sure. I am often at home but sometimes I am out and do not know what the builders do in my absence. After a month, I trust them.  It is my place but it is also their work place, so we need to respect them as a worker not a friend visiting and make a happy work place.

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