I can't quite believe it but I have had a postive experience with a workman. I have mentioned my runaway builders in past columns, as well as my kitchen botch-up when the fitter took the wrong measurements and ordered the wrong worktops.

With a history like that, I was always going to have a lack of respect for builders and other cash-in-hand types. So when I was choosing an electrician, I was determined to watch him on the job at all times.

A guy came round to estimate how much the job would cost. I needed all my light shades put up, some sockets moving around and some fixing (the previous builders had gone AWOL with the sockets hanging out of the walls, with all the wires exposed).

John the sparkie hadn't got back to me after his initial visit and, as usual, I had the job of chasing him up.

This is going to be the same old story, I thought. He's going to charge me a fortune, leave the job half done, and I'm going to have to badger him for the privilege of being ripped off.

So with a heavy heart, I phoned him for a quote.

"It'll be £300," he said shortly, and I couldn't help thinking he'd just plucked that figure out of nowhere.

"But I can't do it for another three weeks."

There was a silence as I contemplated the whole business of calling up another unreliable guy who would come round and give me another extortionate estimate. So I agreed for him to come early one morning and I didn't even raise an eyebrow when he phoned to say he'd be late. In fact, that was a good sign. Most of them didn't bother phoning and just bowled in, smelling of something strong, when they were ready to work.

He started drilling holes in walls and going about his business with extension wires. I nipped out for a carton of milk, running all the way there and back so he wouldn't think the pressure was off. When I returned, I went back to following him around with a dustpan and brush.

I began to get twitchy by 5.30pm when he still hadn't finished. I had a hospital appointment at 6pm and it was looking like I'd have to leave him in the flat to finish the job.

I had visions of coming back to an empty flat. It would be so easy for him to take everything and I only knew his first name and mobile phone number.

But I had no choice. So, glowering darkly at him, I gave him his £300 and went.

Two hours later I opened my front door with every expectation of seeing it depleted of all things valuable. But after checking for my bank cards, my jewellery and my new laptop, I realised he'd taken nothing. He'd managed to find the dustpan and brush and cleaned up around him, fixed a picture that had fallen off its hook, and washed his coffee cup. AND he'd put the toilet seat back down. My trust in workmen is restored.