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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A handyman and his desperate housewives

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:01 AM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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There are some women out there who think a handyman's job is sexy.
They are usually the single women who live on their own, claims 35-year-old Mike (not his real name), who started working as a full-time handyman five years ago.
Mike asked not to be named as he is afraid that his confessions would affect his work.
Tall, muscular, strong and loud, Mike is an alpha male.
He confesses to being a skirt-chaser and says one way to get a date with his customers is to display the traits of an alpha male whenever he goes to a customer's home to fix their broken appliances.

"A handyman opens himself to all kinds of risks when he enters a woman's home. There is the risk of the woman crying rape after sex even though most of them seek only one-night-stands," says Mike, who confesses to having slept with two of his customers before he got married three years ago.
"Then there is the risk that you may not get paid for your work. It will be hard to ask the women for payment if you end up having sex with her. So get your payment first."
With a diploma in electrical engineering from a local polytechnic, Mike's first job was an engineering assistant.
He found his interest in a handyman's job when he first helped to paint a friend's new home five years ago.
The friend later recommended him to other people who were looking for painters.
"First, it was just painting. Then I was asked if I knew how to fix their lights. Soon, everyone started calling me whenever something broke down at home. It could be their washing machine, air-conditioning system, refrigerator, fan and cupboards," says Mike.
"I found a handyman's job to be fun and challenging. And soon I was earning more than my full-time job. So I decided to quit my job and do this full-time."
He adds: "There isn't a market rate for fixing things. You name your own price. That's what I like about the job. There are also no real deadlines to meet.
"If I take on something that I can't handle, I can abandon the work anytime and tell the homeowners to find someone else to do it. I also love the flexible working hours and that the job is tax-free."
He says he's is never short of business.
"Handymen are sought all year round. And many prefer independent operators as they tend to be cheaper and easily available," says the man, who does not see a need to register his business.
Money is most easily earned from installing electrical appliances and lighting fixtures, reveals Mike, who charges $25 to install one lighting fixture in a home.
He explains: "I will take on a job only when there are at least three lights to install, which usually take less than an hour to complete.
"I will try to schedule four to five appointments a day for such work. On good days, I can earn up to $500 a day."
The weeks leading up to Christmas and Chinese New Year are the peak periods, when he earns twice his average monthly income, which is around $2,500.
As he lives in the east of Singapore, he charges more for work in the west, confesses Mike.
"But you don't reveal such costs to the customers. You just mark up your charges by spending a little longer time at the homes and telling the customers that the work is complicated."
When he encounters a problem that he can't fix, he will Google the problem and try to find a solution online, reveals Mike.
"What I do is not that difficult. People are generally lazy and prefer to pay someone else to do it for them," he notes.
And like any job, a handyman needs to work smart and be selective of his customers if he wants to earn more, he adds.
The man confesses to preferring customers who live in big, private houses.
"Those who live in big houses generally have more work for me to do and I can earn more per trip.
And they will call you back or recommend you to their friends, who are likely to be living in private houses too," says Mike.
Secrets of the trade
1. Always clean up the mess that you have created after the work is done.
That will leave a good impression with the homeowners and they will be more likely to call you again.
2. Be selective of your customers.
Those who live in bigger houses tend to have more work for you to do.
3. Set a minimum charge per trip to cover your transport and parking fees.
4. Don't know how to fix a problem? Google it. Most of the time, the solutions can be found online.

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