Finally my Taiwan worker luck ran out

After several years of pretty damn good luck in fining decent Taiwan plumbers, air con guys, tilers etc I crapped out on the weekend with Mr Chaobaduo air con installer.

One of the most ridiculous and frustrating experiences in my life.

Essentially for the 4 HOURS (yes thats right) it took him to install the freakin thing, I did half the work. This included, cutting and trimming wood around the window without ripping the ceiling down; readjusting his screws so the actual frame mount was level and there werent screws everywhere sticking out of the frame etc etc. And what the hell is the deal with ME having to clean up HIS mess??!?!

So I am now part of crappy service club…

Spervision people. Always supervise and never assume the person is actually trained in any way shape of form.

I reckon some foreign trained carpenters, plumbers etc with half a business brain should set up a technological college here giving training in the trades.

Commiserations. I don’t know if the Taiwanese care enough about quality to justify top notch work, or else there would be quality electricians widely available. There is also a shortage here (I am told) of ones that are actually qualified. I got a qualified one in once (NT$1k an hour) and he did a reasonable job after he finished laughing at the appalling state of my rainbow spaghetti fuse box. But he said it was as a favour to the landlord because he has more work that he can handle working on new buildings. He also said only 3.5 people a year pass the examinations and so real electricians with valid commercial and residential licences (like he said he had) are as rare as hens’ teeth. On the other hand, I would like to employ a foreigner to do any future work because we are on the same wavelength re. quality. But how could it be done? Would a foreign spark work for NT$1k an hour? How much then?

1000 an hour? I’m going to finish my trades ticket ASAP!

I would go back to school and learn to be a sparky for NT$1,000 an hour. Beats teaching.

I do most repairs and installations myself, unless it’s a big or complicated job. I refuse to waste an entire day waiting for someone to show up at my house, only to see that I can do it better than the “expert”. One of the lesser-known benefits of growing up on a farm, I suppose.

how much do you charge per hour? air con installs on 2nd floor houses?

Yea me too, having a Grandfather whose idea of fun was buying four broken lawnmowers at yards sales to build one working one has most definately helped me here as I gave on on local tradesmen after a few months.
Now I do all my own work. last year I rented a jackhammer and installed my own flooring, guess what it is level and straight!

Cha bu dou is a fucking excuse to be a dog fucking asshole. Pride in your work is a wonderful thing

I’ve had two proper sparks out and the first one charged NT$8k to run a cable to an a/c from the consumer unit and replace a fuse. The landlord at the time was the owner of eight houses in Taipei City and he paid. He also said he was happy to pay that much as he didn’t want his houses to burn down. It’s an absolute disgrace that any old cobber is allowed to fiddle with the wiring and get away with it. New flats in Shanghai are wired to more or less UK spec with Legrand consumer units. Seen them in two places with my own eyes. Old flats are of course wired with bell wire to Taiwanese spec. Ont he other hand, thanks to the wonders of modern communism, if you call out the People’s Liberation Electricity Board they will rewire it for you. Not for free, but at least they’re qualified sparks. Can’t Taipei City even pull itself up to the standards of Shanghai City?!!!

One bit of wiring I got done was for an oil filled heater (UK price £30, NT$1,800; Taipei price NT$6,000+). Cost NT$3,800 for a cable from consumer unit to earthed plug (fee included finding the earth!) so that I could run a 1500 Watt heater from a 110 Volt supply and sleep at night. God only knows what’s going to happen next winter now that these high drain heaters are getting more popular. The bog standard cable just isn’t man enough to handle a constant 15-20 amps without generating significant heat in the walls - never mind the fact that fuses are often linked to create one big 100 Amp fuse instead of five twenties etc. I don’t know what’s worse, running heaters on a mains ring that would embarrass a train set, or four a/c units that crank at 60+ amps each all screwed into the same 40 amp slow-blow fuse. I also like to put the fusebox right next to where the gas comes in. Why not connect some hand grenades to the doorbell too just for added effect?