Freelance carpenters wait for opportunities in Hanoi
  • | | November 08, 2020 07:14 AM
Many carpenters are gathering on Hanoi's Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street to wait for the busy time ahead of the Tet Holiday.


Carpenters waiting on the Hanoi street.

The carpenters often gather on the street from 7 am and wait for jobs until 9 pm.

Nguyen Van Ban said he was the third generation to leave Bui Village in Ha Nam Province to move to Hanoi to find jobs on this street.

During the leisure time between harvests, the farmers will find other jobs to earn more money and being a freelancer also means more freedom.

"It's like fishing. Some days I earned hundreds of thousands of VND, some days I was able to earn millions of VND but there are days I had nothing," he said.

Another carpenter, Tran Dinh Thang, said about 40 people from his village had come to Hanoi to find jobs. They often rented rooms to live together. They have different skillsets and expertise. If there is any big project, they would ask other people to join in.

"Each person's skills will decide if the job is easy or not," Thang said.

According to Ban, most of their incomes come when Tet is near as customers want to repair and upgrade their house for the new year. The costs will be negotiated beforehand. After the work is completed, the customers will reduce the agreed fees or give more depending on the quality of the work.


Waiting for customers.

Ban said he once received a simple job of repairing a set of doors for VND200,000 (USD8.60). But it took him a whole week to complete as the customer wanted everything to be extremely precise in accordance with Fengshui and other superstitions.

"The doors were huge but after the job was completed, I was given just VND1m (USD43)," he said.

Since the carpenters don't have an office, they have to stay on the street even if it rains or sunny and wait for any job to arrive.

"We have nothing to do at our hometown. In Hanoi, if I live frugally, I can still send VND5m (USD215) to VND6m a month to my family," Tran Dinh Thang said. "For repair jobs, we have to save as much of the furniture as possible since the customers will not buy a new one for a long time."

Thanks to new technologies and machines, their jobs have become much easier compared to previous generations.

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