Contrary to popular belief, there is money in small jobs. Contractors shy away from them because it takes as much time to organize a large project as one lasting a few hours, so why bother? This creates a niche market.
I pull up to a smart suburban house where I have bid a small patio repair. A Saturday job, a filler, for the lucky self-employed who can dictate how many hours a week they want to put in (over 50). I announce my arrival to my eighty-something client, who is very pleased to see me since the last three handymen she called never showed up. Let's hope she didn't give them a deposit. I pull my bag of hand tools and a pair of kneepads from the truck and lay them out carefully on the stone work. This pleases me and makes up for the fact I have forgotten to bring coffee. Behind me I see the old lady hobbling toward me dragging a lawn chair. As she sets herself up on the lawn not far away to watch me work, I'm thinking this is going to be trouble-- the backseat mason. A few hours pass, and to her credit she utters not a word. For some old age really does bring wisdom. She smiles while handing me a check, and says 'I can see you've done this before'.