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Tradies Are Non-Smoking, Podcast-Loving, Women-Respecting Sophisticates

Turns out these noble professionals have been totally misunderstood.

Wendy Syfret

Wendy Syfret

Image via Shutterstock

This series is supported by James Squire, who want to help level-up your pub banter over summer. This article was originally published on VICE.com.

Tradies... gotta love 'em. Salt of the earth legends. Well, to be specific, chicken-salt of the earth legends. Chicken-salt of the earth on a jumbo sausage roll, washed down with a Dare iced coffee bought from a Vietnamese bakery at 6 AM. It is currently 8.30 AM as I'm writing this and I haven't had my special desk breakfast yet. But I digress. Tradies: rough and tumble, no bullshit, battler legends—right?

Wrong. Tradies are culturally attuned Renaissance men (and women).

Don't believe me? Think I'm basing this all on my friend Scott who just bought his second tasteful inner-city investment property? Industry website ServiceSeeking.com.au, where tradies bid for jobs, recently conducted a survey of 1,700 Australian carpenters, plumbers, painters and customers. And the results are... surprising.

(Heads up, the survey was self-reported. And I know if I was feeding back on the integrity of writers, I wouldn't mention how much I cry in the shower. So, keep that in mind.)

They looked at negative stereotypes around tradies (they're late, they over-quote, they scream "show us your tits") to see if they held up. And they found 56 percent of tradies are never late to a job, 44 percent didn't "lie at work", and three quarters are non smokers. In fact, 16.6 percent treat themselves to one smoko a day, and only 8.6 percent identify as frequent tobacco consumers.

Also, while talkback radio is still the favourite entertainment onsite, podcasts were the second preference, followed by youth broadcasters Triple J and FBI.

Of the tradies' customers surveyed, less than 3.7 percent had a problem with tradie body odour, and only three percent complained about wolf-whistling. To be fair though, the survey participants probably weren't 17-year-old girls walking home from school.

Also, loved my joke at the start of this article? Well guess what, it was factually incorrect. Over 80 percent of those surveyed said they actually preferred a healthy packed lunch to a take away.

I'll be the first to say it: Sorry, gang. You are so nice and chatty, helping with all the things in my house I don't understand. And I, along with the rest of the country, mock you for your hard work in return. I hope the world starts waking up to you. Enjoy your balanced, homemade lunch.

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This series is supported by James Squire.

Read more:

The Female Tradies Making Australian Women Feel Safe

Photos of Australian Workers Assembling Chinese-Made Prison Cells