As a Professional in Your Field, What Are Some Things Non-Experts Do That Frustrate You?

A construction worker works on a home.
A construction worker works on a home. Is that contractor you hired bonded and licensed? You should find out.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Murat Morrison:

I’m in construction. That means I am competing on a daily basis with every out-of-work man who happens to have helped Uncle Bill build a dog house fifteen years ago.

Being a quality contractor has nothing to do with owning a hammer, yet these people advertise their services on craigslist and take people’s hard earned money and deliver a product that is shoddy.

Example: I bid on a bathroom remodel in a 1920 Tudor in an upscale neighborhood. The homeowner wants marble throughout, tear out the old walls and install new drywall, ceilings, tub, fixtures, move the toilet, etc.

I have to be EPA Certified to do the tear out because of lead issues in older homes.

Some jack-of-all trades bids $3,000 less than me. Gets the job. Wonderful. He isn’t certified, doesn’t practice good lead abatement techniques (none at all in fact), has no license or insurance.

How costly is this mistake likely to be for the homeowner? My best guess, when the EPA is done with them, about $25,000 more than my original bid.

That gives my entire industry a bad name, and it is frustrating.

Get the best price, by all means, but make sure the bidder is going to do the work properly.

Answer by Kathy Hurst Davis, Nurse:

I am a nurse. For 30 years of my career, I was a labor and delivery nurse. I took care of women through all stages of labor and through their delivery. Due to the many times that I have worked 16 hour shifts, I bonded with many women and helped them through long hours. Finally, through much work on the mom’s part with my guidance, she would be ready to deliver. In would sail the doctor, spend five minutes catching the baby, and then pose for all the pictures. I would hear from the families how wonderful he/she was.


Then why is my back killing me because I stood for two to three hours with a woman in a variety of positions including resting her foot on my shoulder while she pushed? Oh, and did I mention that she is also paralyzed from the waist down from the epidural, so I was also helping to hold her up while she squatted to push?

Why have I had to change my scrub clothes twice in a shift because someone either puked on me or amniotic fluid soaked everything?


Who is it that actually got that IV started while reassuring the poor mom?

Who is it that took the camera out of the daddy’s trembling hand and started taking family pictures because she knew that otherwise there would be no proof that he had even been in the room? And capturing the look of wonder on both parent’s faces at the same time.

Who is it that cleaned up every body fluid that can spew from a human, with a smile on her face and encouraging words for the mortified patient who has never been sick in front of a stranger in her life?

Who is it that tracked down the anesthesia people, chased them out of the lounge, and threatened them with their lives if they didn’t take care of her patient, NOW?

And when things didn’t go well, who was it that took that poor baby that didn’t make it, cleaned it up, dressed it, wrapped it in a soft blanket, and brought it to the broken-hearted parents to hold for the first and last time?

Oh, yeah, Dr. Marvelous is just great.

I’m just a nurse.

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