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And if they do it, they take 6 months rather than the 6 days he said he could but not necessarily specified that he would?

My husband is a tow truck driver, so he barely has spare time as it is. He also has an odd job business, which doesn't get much business.

He still has a heater here at my apartment left from 8 months ago that he was supposed to fix. Still has to fix his truck and put the new motor in it which he still has to drive 2 hours to get, even though he has a perfectly good one right here.

He has also claimed in the last year that by next year (so that'd be pretty much now, right?) he would have rebuilt a tractor, a snowplow, 2 trucks, a house trailer and a flat bed and he was going to build one, and a motorcycle, plus a 3 wheeler, 4 wheeler, help his dad with his house, get him and I a place...I could go on and on.

Yet he barely sees his son and me and hasn't been home for dinner in 6 months because he is busy working. I will admit he has gotten some jobs done but just at max only 2/3 of them.

I think it's more like 1/3 but I'm trying to give him credit. So what would he be called?

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Okay to re-word, in a way I guess he takes on to much work? Takes on more than he can knowingly handle? –  Melanie May 8 at 2:35
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Are you looking for a noun or an adjective? Unreliable seems to fit. –  starsplusplus May 8 at 8:21
    
"All talk and no trousers" is a good expression (might be UK only), or just "all talk" –  user568458 May 8 at 9:29
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I'm pretty sure that this is a quote from somewhere, but Google has failed me in finding its source. Maybe I just invented it. Who knows? When men say we're going to do something, we mean that we're going to do it. We don't need "little reminders" every six bloody months. –  tobyink May 8 at 9:56
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Some of us DO need reminders, I would refrain from sexist comments and stereotyping on Male memory capacity –  Tom J Nowell May 8 at 14:19

9 Answers 9

Reasonably unformally, but not vulgar, would flake (noun) or flakey (adj.) for somebody who is unreliable.

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That's the only one that explicitly expresses the concept asked for in the question. –  Joe Blow May 8 at 13:24
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A flake will flake-out, indicating something like a neurosis. 66% success rate is not neurotic. That's better than average for software projects. –  som-snytt May 9 at 0:24
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This is very apt, but it's worth noting that it's mainly an American word --- it's unusual in British English (and I think also Australian), though not absolutely unknown. –  PLL May 9 at 9:28
    
@PLL - I'm a Kiwi and it's not uncommon here. –  dwjohnston May 9 at 12:33

It sounds like his heart's in the right place and he's not slacking off, he's just overambitious and bites off more than he can chew.

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He's an optimist. –  som-snytt May 9 at 0:21

I would say he overextends himself. Also, perhaps he has a hard time saying no. Anyway, he doesn't need a label, he needs a hand.

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Answering the question in general terms, the word I'd suggest is procrastinator.

If the person's slowness at getting round to the tasks is involuntary -- because they simply don't have enough time to do the jobs they said they were going to do -- over-promiser or over-optimist may be more to the point.

(From your posting, it does sound as though you and your husband need to periodically sit down and prioritize and/or timetable those tasks and/or hand some of them off to other people. Better that, perhaps, than to let your anger continue to build up and fester. :-)

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If you're looking for an adjective, they're definitely unreliable.

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I would call him a "cunctator" or "postponer."

cunctator: someone who postpones work (especially out of laziness or habitual carelessness).

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Well, that certainly sounds dirty. –  Kyle Strand May 8 at 22:19
    
The only time I heard this word used, it was used as a compliment: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabius_Maximus –  gnasher729 May 9 at 16:43

shirker may be a definition for:

  • a person who evades work, duty, responsibility. But it looks like from your description that your husband is also a busy person.
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Perhaps he is an optimist, overconfident or unpredictable. He might (or might not) be uncommitted, unfocused or off-task.

Idiomatically, you might choose in the weeds, off the deep end, out of his depth, or perhaps he's just a poor estimator and/or in the dog house.

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"He bites off more than he can chew" is, I believe, an excellent colloquialism referring to this sort of behavior.

Also, "He has great expectations" or "high aspirations" - used in a somewhat ironic/euphemistic sense.

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protected by RegDwigнt May 12 at 9:00

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