My friend from Belfast was telling me about his friend also from Belfast who has moved into the top floor of an old Georgian house. His friend has loads of books and the movers found getting the stuff up to the top floor very trying. Towards the end of the day, the man who was moving house, found one of the movers lying on the floor saying, “I can’t take it anymore, don’t make me move another box.” “Typical Belfast labourer,” snorted my friend.
Somehow, if you’d asked me what a typical Belfast labourer was like, I would have said words like, tough and hardworking. I don’t think my expectation would be that they would lie down on the floor and give up. It just goes to show that stereotyping is misleading.
I suspect what your friend was alluding to was the relaxed attitude of the worker to the customer, not to laziness or giving up.
Ah – that makes sense.