This Is Not A Secret Available Only To Men: We Are Women And We Make Repairs For Women

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This Is Not A Secret Available Only To Men: We Are Women And We Make Repairs For Women
This Is Not A Secret Available Only To Men: We Are Women And We Make Repairs For Women
Video: This Is Not A Secret Available Only To Men: We Are Women And We Make Repairs For Women
Video: 10 Secrets Women Hide From Men (WARNING: These Will Upset You!) 2023, February
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IN THE HEADING "COMMUNICATIONS" WE TELL ABOUT GIRLS, who came up with a common cause and achieved success in it. And at the same time we expose the myth that women are not capable of friendly feelings, but can only compete aggressively. This time we talked with Yulia, Nadya and Sonya - members of the WLab team that makes repairs for women - about why they often have to redo for men, the difficulties of the profession and learned helplessness, which can and should be dealt with.

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ksenia petrova

How it all started

Julia: Nadya and I have known each other for a long time and have always loved doing something with our hands. For example, they helped build a house for a friend who lives on a farm in the Pskov region. Once we realized that we didn’t want to go back to the office, but we wanted to work together and do a project for women. They came up with it, immediately wrote to the Sister to Sister group and made a VKontakte page. Not that we were holding tools in our hands for the first time in our lives: I opened a furniture production, I used to rotate a lot in this environment, Nadya once worked as the head of the outdoor advertising production, and at the age of eighteen she even worked at a construction site.

Simple things that require only dexterity of hands and precision of movements, we both knew how from childhood. The rest had to learn, to study electrics deeper, for example. Any information is now available, so you can study theory as tasks come in.

Nadya: Now we are not afraid to take any assignments. It’s easier to say what we don’t do - we don’t carry out work at heights, for example. And we will not change the riser, the housing office should deal with this, we cannot take on such responsibility.

JULIA: It became clear almost immediately that we had to expand. Most of the orders are replacement of an outlet, cornice or faucet, but there are also long-term projects that take a month or even three months to complete. At this time, the work of WLab is practically paralyzed, we put customers with small jobs in line if they are ready to wait. We really need girls in the brigade, but this is associated with certain difficulties: we need a car, tools, experience to work. We are ready to teach, but it takes time, which we practically do not have. After all, at home we have a "second shift", children, dogs, a house. Also, at first, we cannot guarantee a woman a stable salary. It all depends on her herself - on the number of orders that she and her partner can fulfill.

We understand that the project is cool and we could give jobs to many women, but we are in Russian realities. We need to stop, sit down and start promoting the project so that there is enough work for all women, there must be a manager who will calculate estimates, organize teams, decide who, where and who is teaching today, who delivers materials. And this is another responsibility. For now, we are a small group of women who survive. In principle, we do not want to break a high price tag, our services should be available.

It is important for me to show that I can do hard and complex things with my own hands, that I can do it and I like it. So the repair ceases to be a secret, available only to men.

Sonya: I have been watching Nadia and Yulia's project ever since they posted the first ad in the Sister to Sister group. I wanted to work with my hands, I was always good at it, and I also really liked the idea of ​​the women's team. In general, I am an artist, I made wardrobes, backpacks, I also did all sorts of activist things, for example, I illustrated the book by Lena Klimova "Children 404", participated in feminist projects. Once, Nadya and Yulia, I crossed paths with a mutual friend - they were just finishing the renovation there. This is how it all began, we worked together very well. It seems to me that it is a great luck that we are so comfortable with each other.

JULIA: We are not just women who can replace the toilet or wallpaper. Recently we broke off at night and went to open the jammed lock. I really didn’t want to get out of bed, but I didn’t even want the girls in Vidnoe to sit alone at night in the entrance. So we arrived, opened the lock and at the same time looked at what was wrong with the dishwasher.

NADYA: An atmosphere of trust is very valuable. Thanks to the project, we have got a lot of cool acquaintances and close friends, in general, the work is very pleasant from all sides. There are sometimes difficult moments, but you don't want to quit.

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Why only women

NADYA: We all have negative experiences with male repairmen. When I was on maternity leave with my eight-month-old son, a man worked at my house who literally did everything wrong. Although I quite reasonably tried to correct him, he sent me to "cook soup" and called my husband, although the programmer does not understand anything at all. Now our friend in St. Petersburg is in the same situation: she is a shoe designer with a completely technical mindset, and her husband is an art critic. The builders broadcast something to her husband for a long time and do not pay attention to her, and when they leave, she has to explain everything to him or just figure it out herself and, for example, buy the necessary materials.

Sonya: Women are often treated as if they do not understand anything, do not know how and need a man. I often hear from customers that they did not start repairs for a long time, because they were afraid that some unfamiliar man would come and talk to them rudely or condescendingly. If you try to intervene in the process, they immediately "put in place". This is a very uncomfortable, humiliating situation. Therefore, for me, a very important point is the reassignment of this niche and the destruction of stereotypes. It is important for me to show that I can do hard and complex things with my own hands, that I can do it and I like it. So the repair ceases to be a secret, available only to men.

JULIA: We chose to work with women primarily because, not only for the customers, but also for ourselves, it is so comfortable and safe. It happens, for example, that somewhere in the apartment there is a husband or a son, this is not a problem, but we communicate primarily with the woman customer.

Women are afraid to understand the repair industry, because they have been told since childhood that this is not a woman's business. In labor lessons, they sewed aprons and learned to cook borscht

NADYA: We're not that incredibly fast. But we always listen carefully, check, ask, explain. It often happens that we have to redo after men. During these three years what we have not seen! For example, a twist of wires on masking tape, thrown into the wall with a rotband (plaster mix. - Ed.). Or a washing machine and a heater on one wire with a cross section of 1.5. Well, or the kitchen, the upper cabinets of which hang on black self-tapping screws in holes filled with liquid nails (all these are serious safety violations. - Ed.).

SONIA: Women are afraid to understand the repair industry, because they have been told since childhood that this is not a woman's business. In labor lessons, they sewed aprons and learned to cook borscht, regardless of their talents and desires. It turns out such a learned helplessness.

JULIA: For example, they call us and say that all the electricity has flown, everything is very bad. We arrive - it turns out that the light bulb just burned out and turned off the machine. And they didn't even try to turn it on, because they have no idea what it is and where it is. We sat without electricity for three days and waited for us! It is because of such situations that we dream of shooting training videos. So that women can look and do everything on their own, and not sit without light.

NADYA: Yes, there are some elementary things: the client's light bulb exploded, she calls, and I explain to her that you just need to go to cut out the shield, take the pliers and unscrew the cartridge. In such cases, it is easier for me to instruct by phone than to drive to the center through traffic jams, waste time and pay 300 rubles for parking at her house.Previously, we most often did such a simple job for donation - it is really difficult for us to take money for ten-minute work, but we understand that we spent gasoline, working hours and now, unfortunately, we can only afford it in rare cases, when we understand that the woman is really in a desperate situation.

Orders and customers

JULIA: Our very first major order turned out to be a nightmare. The apartment was in poor condition, the amount of work was not at all what we expected. Since this was our first order, we did not argue with the customer and increase the cost, we worked there for two weeks like the damned. We told more about this story on the VKontakte page.

We were in hell, but we understood why we needed to stay there: we came up with a cool project, this is what we want to do, and this order just needs to be lived through. In the end, we didn't earn anything, we were in hellish stress, and most importantly, we thought: is this really what awaits us?

NADYA: But three years have passed since then, and we have never regretted that we took up this business, despite the unpleasant first experience. Sometimes, of course, it happens that customers are asked to do something that is unrealistic for one reason or another, but this is simply because they lack experience and knowledge in this area. For example, one client asked us to expand the window sill so that we could sleep on it, but refused to put legs under it. But we explained that this is impossible, that emphasis is needed, everyone understood each other in the end.

Although we take on almost any job, we also have our favorite areas. For example, it is most pleasant for me to work with wood, just recently we insulated the balcony and sheathed everything with clapboard, this is a thrill.

Julia: And I love the electrician. This is an interesting task - to think over the wiring diagram in the apartment, calculate the voltage, distribute the load to the network. Make your home comfortable and safe.

PHOTOS: Uros Petrovic - stock.adobe.com (1, 2, 3)

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