How furniture makers fail deadlines, scam clients

By Kemi Olatunde

They abound in every nook and cranny of any neighborhood. Most people cannot do without them because they are always there to rescue them in the house especially when it comes to both minor and major repair. They are the furniture makers who have their workshop mostly with shattered planks in open places along the roads and streets. They can be down to earth when they need a contract from you but when they hit the jackpot, they go wild. You go from pillar to post to have them do your work.

They are everywhere because not much training is needed for the job thus allowing people with limited education to enter the workforce.

The demand for their products is growing around the world, providing even more opportunities for them to share their culture.

Carpenters work indoors and outdoors on many types of construction projects, from installing kitchen cabinets to building highways and bridges. Carpenters may work in cramped spaces and frequently alternate between lifting, standing, and kneeling. Those who work outdoors are subject to variable weather, which may affect a project’s schedule.

Most carpenters work full time, which may include evenings and weekends to meet clients’ deadlines.

 It has been argued that being educated increases access to information, education, and communication materials, enables a better awareness of various workplace hazards, and ensures an understanding of safe work procedures and a better propensity to develop a positive attitude towards work and clients. It has been observed that most of them in small scale and informal enterprises in Nigeria completed only primary education, hence they are largely unskilled, requiring apprenticeship to do their job. This to a large extent contribute to their negative attitude most times to their customers.

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Speaking with The Hope, a Teacher who simply gave her name as Mrs Akintayo described them as the necessary evil who extort people unjustly with substandard piece of work to show for it.

She said; “I have never been privileged to have a responsible carpenter work for me. Their work is important in the set up of a house that is why they always put people off with their attitude. You give them a job, they disappoint you. They also ensure that they insult you over your money especially when you try to call them to order. It is better for one to patronize the big companies who would not want the company’s name dragged in the mud.”

A trader, Mrs Bisola Ajayi said; “I have an encounter with one of them in Shagari village recently and my money is still with him. I had an issue with my Kitchen cabinet and needed someone to just have it fixed. He billed me and I paid him immediately without even negotiating the price as I wanted a neat work from him.

“I patronized him due to some of his displayed work in his shop but his irresponsibility came to play when I began calling to ask for my work. Initially, he was calm but after about three months, he became rude. He never did my work not refund my money. He said I should do my worse. I reported him to their state Chairman, who promised to intervene. He called the Chairman in charge of Shagari and was told that he had never been a responsible member and that a lot of customers have laid complaints about him.

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“I never stole the money I gave him but I leave him to God to deal with him for me.”

A student of an undisclosed higher institution who craved anonymity told The Hope that one has to be smart in dealing with them adding that they can play be one’s intelligence if care is not taken.

“Most of the time in my school, we refer to them as mad people because they no longer value you when your money becomes theirs. They can be naughty especially when you are the cool type and that is why it is important that you have a measure of craze in you when dealing with them.

By this, you are sure if getting a quality job from them otherwise, you regret your action of patronizing them.”

A Civil Servant, Mr Abiola Temidayo while sharing his experience said; “Before I moved into my house, I was introduced to one who was to help out in the furniture aspect of the building. He gave me a huge cost which I never minded due to the fact that I expected the best from him only to use substandard materials for me. Immediately I made payment into his account, the first thing he did was to buy a lady’s bike which he was using to cruise the town. Before I used one year in my house, I was on the look out for another person to help in fixing damaged furniture work in the house.

“The shocking thing about the scenerio is that after so many pleadings to ensure that a good job came from his end, he left my area to an undisclosed location. It has been five years I built my house, he is yet to show up either to apologize for his failed work or refund the balance to us as he never completed the work up till date.”

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Another Civil Servant who failed to reveal her identity berated the attitude of carpenters stating that they can be frustrating when it comes to their work.

She said; “Most carpenters are terrible beings. When they deal with you especially when you need them to fix something urgent for you even with you making full payment for the job, they bring out the devil in you.

“One of them is along Irese road in Shagari village, he has no means of identification, appears responsible but he is a wolves in sheep clothing. I gave him money to fix a portion of my house and he disappointed me. I patronized him because I was deceived by the work he use to display In front of his workshop. So many people pleaded with him to have the work done or refund my money but he refused. He is among those who make others misbehave. If I arrest him, I will be given a bad name by those in the neighborhood.

“The annoying part is that, he tells those who come to him to tell me to go to hell. He went as far as comparing my house with that of an animal. I have resolved to let go of the money but I believe that posterity will judge him.”

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