Us lot? Everyone knows we’re a bunch of mucky, uncaring hard-cases! All of us have dirty finger nails and some of us even suffer from “builders’ bum”
Somehow or other, that is the public perception of construction workers, at least in Britain! Actually, it couldn’t be much further from the reality! If you want confirmation, ask women! I’ve forgotten the statistics, but the most common husband or partner for women in the caring professions is a man who works in construction! – and we’re talking site-based here! Another thing! Ever noticed on TV how, when disaster has struck, like the London bombing of the Noughties, construction sites are empty because all the lads have walked off to give blood?
The guys, be they management or tradesmen, tend to be very hard-working. They have to be if they want to earn a living because so many are self-employed on price work. Standards are high because there tends to be an inspection of everything before anyone gets paid!
Now it does tend to be a male culture and the reason for that isn’t chauvinism! It is because of gender differences and most women simply don’t want to be bl**dy builders. The few who do find that, once they have demonstrated their competence and commitment, their male colleagues will allow no liberties to be taken with them! The girls can flirt if they wish, but no bloke is allowed to try it on!
Then we all belong to the “Warrior Classes”. The building game isn’t yet so regimented and stifled with political correctness that it does have an attraction for youngsters who want to stretch their wings, be independent and show some originality. Then, despite all the H&S regulations being imposed, there is still a sense of danger involved in some work. Nothing better than an adrenaline high! Must say, though, that our “Warriors” would have had to be mercenaries – too bolshie a crowd to fit into the Armed Forces, although many leave the Forces and come into construction! Probably misfits in their previous jobs!
Now the next, and last, I’ll keep simple; could make it a Doctoral Thesis on Management Theory,
but can’t be bothered! If the lads are faced with a bit of a problem about who does what, where and when, they have a discussion. Then they come up with the best way forward. This is known as “Viable Systems Thinking”. Then every job they walk onto is different. On some they have to apply a method of thinking known as “learning to learn to learn” to be able to sort out how to do their bit of it. Now if you want your PhD you’ll have to display both those ways of thinking. Strange, isn’t it, that within our construction culture this is done by us der-brains all the time?