how do people get through the day?

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by peter palmer, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    This isn't a rant or anything like that, more of an observation. When I was young my dad and many other friends parents had workshops and garages and such like and they all seemed quite capable of fixing many different things, it was the norm, some tinkered about with cars, others built stuff out of all sorts of materials or were making new stuff for the home. I suppose in them days it was either the case of having no choice but to do stuff themselves or a lack of options to get it done by other means.

    I'm the same, I can do almost anything to a high standard, obviously I can do electrics but I can also plumb, do woodwork, vehicle mechanics, you name it and I will have a go at it, I recently change the timing belt on the van without breaking a sweat and today me and a friend found a knocking noise on his car and replaced several suspension components, its now sweet as a nut.

    I know this is a bit of a ramble but I'll get to the point, nothing phases me, if the engine blows up in the van I'll replace it, if the roof blows off my house I'll replace it and I'm sure many of the older generation would feel the same way about stuff. But come across someone under the age of say 30 or so, not only is the task of doing even a simple DIY job beyond their practical abilities but it would fill them with absolute dread if you suggested they even attempted to have a go. When did everyone become so impractical and how on earth do they afford to get stuff done all the time.

    They seem to get a man in for everything nowadays, how the hell do they afford it? either people who work in offices and such like are on a vastly superior wage to the likes of me or you or they save up for years and years just to get simple tasks done. How does someone who works on the tills in Tesco afford a tradesman to redo their bathroom at £200 a day? I would feel ashamed if I had to get someone in to change the plug on the washing machine, yesterday I replaced a CH timeclock for someone, it was a really easy task, couple of screws and 3 or 4 wires replacing like for like, it would have even slotted over the old backplate if I wanted, but the hipster bearded house holder just sat at his kitchen table tapping away at his laptop. I suppose he could have made 10K on the Forex markets whilst I was hunch under his boiler for all I know but it didn't look very manly at all.

    I'm really glad I can do all the stuff I can do and I'd never ever trade that for being a snowflake rich boy.
    RolandK, Jord86, Muzungu and 7 others like this.
  2. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    A lazy culture has developed.
    People that work with their hands are not only uneducated, but actually so stupid that they do physical and often dirty work, instead of using their brain.
    (At least that is the way many people nowadays see it, although they might pretend otherwise).

    Time is precious (it is the only real “wealth” we can’t get more of) and maybe these people who sit back and just pay others to do work are not all that far wrong
    masterdiy likes this.
  3. masterdiy

    masterdiy Screwfix Select

    The idea was as a child growing up, you would be taught by the Father how to do things.(sadly today not many dads around)
    At the age of 15, I was removing an engine, rebuilding it etc.
    Dad was there, he showed me how to, but I had to get up & do it.
    Sadly today the younger ones just don't want to, its too much bother.
    Also "in our day" we just didn't have the money, so did things ourselves..
    Now Kids earn the money but spend it all, on trades cos they would rather be doing something else.
    That's why our generation have something after a life of working & saving. Then we pass it on to the kids who have nothing but our money. :(
    Completely renovated my currant house, built my own garage.
    Service all my own cars & motorbikes.
    Heat likes this.
  4. Rulland

    Rulland Screwfix Select

    I agree with you Peter, I'm not going to write an essay, like you, lol:),but I find society today seems to be brought up a different way with respect to learning ways of the world.
    I suspect you may be of the same-ish generation as me, My Son can turn his arm to most things, only because I actually took time to show and teach him, I feel times are changing, and men these days either lack the required knowledge, time, or just can't be ars*d to learn.
    As for Heats reply, I'm educated, I'm always learning, and thus using my brain as well as my hands.
    Unfortunately in this day and age it's either use ones brain or hands, not both, which is a damn shame and spawns numerous men who are generally snowflakes and not much good for anything manual, hence why they have to pay real tradesmen, with brains, to solve their problems;)
    masterdiy and Heat like this.
  5. Mike83

    Mike83 Screwfix Select

    This generation should in theory be better at stuff.
    They have better technology and tools. They also have the internet.

    Previous generations were better at doing tasks with inferior tools and mechanical aids.
  6. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    I am also educated and I try to keep learning. :)
    But sadly how many parents today say they hope their children are going to work with their hands?
  7. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    Today fixing my friends suspension was quite enjoyable, first we found a broken coil spring which was an obvious and easy fix but after a road test the knocking was still there, sounded like the wheel was loose but nothing obvious was visible. After you have levered this and that on a complicated double wish bone suspension with the pry bar and are just about to give up scratching your head, to then lever in the right direction and find a slightly loose ball joint saying "got it" must be the equivalent of seeing £10K appear in your bank account after hitting the "sell shares now" button on your laptop screen. The plus point being when I found the knocking there were no losers either.
  8. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    I must admit to using technology where it suits, Youtube is brilliant for howto's when you have to take something to bits, they are usually fronted by a hairy arsed Russian though as opposed to someone in a suit.
  9. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    I suspect part of it has it's origins in "need"...

    When I was a kid, (I'm about to turn 60), it seemed to me my dad could fix anything. By the time I was born he was working as a draughtsman, on some big scale engineering projects, but he had a background prior to that actually working in engineering shops...
    He is a "I can do it" sort of bloke.... The only time I remember having a workman round was when someone laid some lino tiles in the living room, and that was a family friend...

    As a consequence, as I got into adulthood and had repair jobs to do it just never crossed my mind to pay someone to do it... if I didn't know how to fix something, I'd ask my dad, and if he didn't know we'd take it apart anyway and work it out. If it was plumbing or electrics I'd find a pal that knew and ask them.

    Over time I've got used to doing almost anything, (not plastering!!), and to a decent standard.

    But would that have happened if 60 years ago my dad had been able to afford to pay someone to do stuff? Hard to say for sure, but probably not.

    I suspect the vast majority of DIY folk have, ultimately, a similar route into things.
    (Having said that, my 33 year old son is not very DIY minded at all!)


    masterdiy and WillyEckerslike like this.
  10. Kas228

    Kas228 Active Member

    I try to make my hard earned salary go as far as possible, which for me means doing as much as I can myself.
    I will give anything a go and usually to a very high standard. My job gives me 3 days off a week plus generous amount of leave and I build up toil as well so have plenty of free time on my hands. I know my limits and am wise enough to know when to call in the professionals.
    tore81 likes this.
  11. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    I was lucky to have a fantastic grandad, that I spent a lot of time with when I was growing up that taught and encouraged me to use tools and fix and make all manner of things. He was a master mechanic, so I just helped him whenever i could and it went from there. Still do a bit of mechanics now when I need to, but mainly enjoy house bashing.
  12. sparky steve

    sparky steve Screwfix Select

    Without writing an essay much the same experience as all above mentioned. Do not think people neccessarily earn more or save more to get someone in? just think the flexible plastic makes it easier for them but creates a much greater problem for them (Debt).
  13. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Mrs Eckerslike says she likes a man who's good with his hands!

    Both of us come from that sort of childhood where our parents (both genders) worked on the assumption that 'it can be fixed' before 'we must get a new one' or 'get a man in'. As a professional nurse (latterly carer) and full time mother for many years, there have been many times Mrs Eckerslike's upbringing has prompted her to either 'repair it on the spot' - often with a pair of nursing scissors as her only resource - or diagnose the fault using her own abilities or the internet, order the parts and tell me about it when I got home. New brushes for the washing machine motor and some electronic part from one of our touch lamps have all been sorted without my assistance for instance.

    Strangely this hasn't entirely rubbed off on our sons to quite the same extent although it's still early days....

    Also, as we have now moved in with my mother to care for her since my father died, I'm beginning to find a number of things he's installed or 'fixed' over the years that now need doing properly!
    masterdiy likes this.
  14. jimoz

    jimoz Active Member

    They must be on a good screw themselves. I'm doing a bit for a pilot atm who reckons he's not overly well off no pension etc. The jobs he's having done are completely aesthetic. Priorities eh. Oh and not always sensible to do Everything yourself. I can clean my house but at 25quid I'd rather pay my cleaner and enjoy my weekend. Same with the Windows. 15 quid would take me a couple of hours.
  15. glob@l

    glob@l Active Member

    A Monty Python scetch in the making.
  16. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    What a lot of people do is finance it. They will get a loan to "do the kitchen" either through the bank or remortgaging the house as prices rise. The same as cars , so many of the new cars on the road are on a personal lease and the drivers will never own their car.

    Most "well to do" people are actually living on a financial knife edge, should something change redundancy, divorce or even an interest rate rise they won't be able to cope and could lose everything.

    Conversely, some people are sitting on a property windfall when their relatives pass away. If you consider average homes in the SE worth £500,000 plus each it gives some legacy. I was talking to a guy this week selling a greenhouse from his cousins house. He had was the nearest kin, hardly knew the guy but ended up with a £240,000 house, cars, bank accounts etc. He normally sells logs for a living and this was like wining the lottery.
  17. soabar

    soabar Member

    I'm not qualified in a single thing, but I could spec & build a tuned engine by 18 & now some 30 years on I'll tackle anything that needs done, drawing the line at structural / brick type stuff as I've never had any cause to go near it. There is always a list from family & between that, decorating & figuring out why the combi is loosing pressure yet again I'm always busy. A couple of observations;

    I'm not so sure that this is strictly generational thing, but something that been getting worse for a long time - my father-in-law, who is well into his 70's is incapable of changing a light bulb (100% serious!) & most of his extended family are much the same.

    If the kettle went belly up back in the day, you called Russell Hobs & ordered a new element / switch or whatever, primarily because a kettle would represent a fair chunk of a weeks wages - you would then figure out how to replace said part. Now the parts are generally not replaceable or available & the kettle costs peanuts, so why would you waste you time repairing it. In the course of popping down to Argos you loose the knowledge gained by not carrying out the repair. It's pretty much a sealed up world to the consumer now & the normal course of action is bin or return for repair.

    Go back about 30 years & the majority of tradesmen were employed by companies, to the average man on the street this suggested that a large part of the cost was profit to the company which was an incentive to get on with it yourself. Fast forward to today & you have a plethora of "man in van" operations & everyone knows someone in their extended family or Kevin Bacon circle that can do whatever job needs done. There is a perception that the friends friends "man in van" is there to do everyone a favour & only profit enough to put food on the table & that is absolutely not always the case (no offence to the fair & reasonable at all). Many consumers also seem obliged to get work done in this way & take quotes as read rather than questioning - cause it's a friend of a friend. they wouldn't do that & they don't want to offend them

    Health & safety also plays a part - can't paint unless you have a space suit, can't use a bit of sandpaper without an air fed mask, can't use a power tool without an ambulance waiting & ready to roll. Sensible & adequate protection should always be used, but their isn't half some nonsense out there on the WWW some of which wreaks of protectionism.
    tore81 likes this.
  18. Muzungu

    Muzungu Screwfix Select

    It should be compulsory for kids to build an Airfix model a week, problem sorted.
    kitfit1 and Sparkielev like this.
  19. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Apart from playing football (20 a side for 5 hours) my ceiling was full of Airfix kits from spitfires to Stukas, to be fair I work most of week and weekends so if any jobs need doing then I'm calling in a few favours from other trades
    Muzungu likes this.
  20. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    That's a very congested football pitch. What formation was used back then?

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