PDA

View Full Version : Lesson learned about dealing with irate people....


GTLC
05-09-2005, 10:52 PM
This afternoon I headed out to mow an account a few towns over. A trucking company. I am mowing with my Z around the front lawn of the warehouse. Lawn is a little dusty. All of a sudden this man comes over towards me from across the fence (at a boat shop) waving his arms like somebody's hurt. I get off and go to talk to him. He looks pissed off for some reason.

Him-"Can you come back to mow this tomorrow"
Me-"No sir, I'm afraid I can't b/c I won't have time, I live 30 minutes away"
Him-"Well you're blowing all this dust over here and I'm trying to paint my boat and you're ruining it."
he was not an employee at the boat shop.
Me-"OK, sir, I'll try mowing in the other direction"

So I mowed one direction, shut off the PTO, drove back to the end and started on the next lap until I got farther enough away.

Here he comes again throwing his arms in the air. I do the same, while he is yelling at me about the dust I am yelling back to him "I'm sorry, but there is nothing I can do!!!"

Me-"I can't come back and do this later"

He was really aggravated.

Him-"YOU'LL F!@#$%^ COME BACK TOMORROW B/C I SAID SO!!!"

I thought he was gonna jump the fence and attack me.

Thank god one of my buddies from the warehouse came over to cool this guy down and save my butt.
Me-"I feel your pain, sir"
Him-"NO YOU DON'T!!!"
Me-"alright sir, I'll mow the rest with my push mower, it has a mulching plate on it and it shouldn't spit out much dust"

Instead I decided to just come back the next day, with 1 hour of transportation time wasted.

Me-"Sir, I am going to come back tommorrow. Once again I apologize. Have a good evening sir."
No response from him, no apology, no Thank You, nothing.

End of story.

Well, one thing I learned today is no matter how hard you try, you just can't please everybody. It's hard to decide whether to give up a fight or not, and to just roll over.

grassyfras
05-09-2005, 10:56 PM
People are stupid. Had a lady tell me my strign trimmer head is moving to fast today. Ok lady.

QualityLawnCare4u
05-09-2005, 10:59 PM
Man, that would have been it for me right there. I would have finished it regardless of the outcome. Did he offer to pay you extra if you come back? The older I get the less patience I have for jerks like this. I actually got mad reading this post and it was not even me it happened to.

DLCS
05-09-2005, 11:01 PM
Well, I would have considered doing what you did but two things would have kept me from it, one being the travel distance( fuel prices are just to high to be doing unneeded traveling). But the BIGGEST reason would be when he said, "YOU'LL F!@#$%^ COME BACK TOMORROW B/C I SAID SO!!!". Talk to me in a respectfull manner and I'll respect you. Why would he be painting a boat outside for anyway thats just begging for problems.

QualityLawnCare4u
05-09-2005, 11:01 PM
I just read your profile and see you are 17, if he was over 18 let him touch you and have his azz arrested! Sometimes there are advantage to still being a minor.

Mo Green
05-09-2005, 11:03 PM
You know, I always try to be the better man in situations like this, but sometimes the temper in me takes over. I think I would have told that guy to kiss my ass. My first question to him would have been "Why in the hell are you painting your boat outside???" I think even most idiots know that you don't paint things like cars and boats outside. Most are painted in a dust free booth. What an idiot....... Serves his dumbass right.

turf9
05-09-2005, 11:07 PM
Well, I would have considered doing what you did but two things would have kept me from it, one being the travel distance( fuel prices are just to high to be doing unneeded traveling). But the BIGGEST reason would be when he said, "YOU'LL F!@#$%^ COME BACK TOMORROW B/C I SAID SO!!!". Talk to me in a respectfull manner and I'll respect you. Why would he be painting a boat outside for anyway thats just begging for problems.

exactly another classic is the Nambour of a client wants you come another day cause the wife is on graveyards.By the way I show up at this house right as she gets home from work( or I'm done and leaving ) what ever

NJSalesPro
05-09-2005, 11:09 PM
You shoulda went back that night and painted a long strip down the middle of the boat!!!

Just kiddin...........? :blob3:

WoodBrothersLC
05-09-2005, 11:25 PM
You sound like a nice and fair guy, and you handled it in a very calm manner. I think I would have kept mowing and told him you'd help him put some kind of cover around the boat or something so that you could mow. 30 minutes both ways is a lot of money you could have been earning otherwise. A motto that I have begun to really say in my head a lot this year is, "Don't bend over for anyone!" Especially anyone with an attitude.

-Mark

lawnprosteveo
05-09-2005, 11:28 PM
Its because of guys like him that I keep a baseball bat in my truck....he'll make do what because he said so?? Try it *****!

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
05-10-2005, 12:29 AM
What kind of boat shop is painting a boat in the wide open where dust is affecting them and expect it to look good? Close a damn door. What a complete ****** this guy is. If you are 17 I can see why you did what you did, but me being 26 and not taking crap from anyone, no matter how big they are or scary they appear, I would have kept mowing and told him to suck a fat one. I personally carry a nice blade on my belt for a reason in case you run into Berkowitz or Richard Ramirez the Night Stalker on your route. You handled it the way we would all like to handle things in these types of situations but sometimes little pricks like this guy just need it thrown back at them with some feroscity in your tone. Most of these guys are worthless little pussies who would back down anyway. He was probably giving you crap because of your age but no one, and I mean no one tells me how to run my business. If someone wants to get froggy, well, you better be able to defend yourself. Never let people, especially loud mouth jerks like this take advantage of you because if they smell weakness or fear they will be unrelenting, just like a school bully. I personally when I first would have heard him say the dust is screwing up my paint job I am doing on my boat, I would have said are you borderline ******ed or something? Close the door moron.

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
05-10-2005, 12:38 AM
Either that long thing I just said or maybe this....."Hi, I'm wind, have we met?"

mtdman
05-10-2005, 12:39 AM
Here's the bottom line with angry people. They are just plain angry, and want to pass that along. Whether or not it helps the situation does not matter. They are pissed and want to piss you off and pass the anger on to you so that they aren't the only angry one. They aren't going to be happy unless they piss you off. So you can argue back and get pissed off, or just remove yourself from the situation. I prefer the latter, as nothing usually gets solved from arguing. If they really wanted a solution, they wouldn't come out angry from the get go.

Which doesn't mean that it's not good to argue once in a while. Some times you just gotta say "**** you too, buddy!"

:D

hosejockey2002
05-10-2005, 12:40 AM
I would say he was trying to intimidate you because of your age, even though you were the bigger man for not screaming back at him. If I were you I would report his scrub painter butt to the EPA for painting outside of a spray booth.

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
05-10-2005, 12:55 AM
No kidding about the EPA, didnt even think of that. I am sure they would like to have a piece of his rear. The nice couple grand fine he would encounter would be more than worthwhile for me if I were you.

Woody82986
05-10-2005, 02:27 AM
I would have made sure every grain of sand and dust at that place made its way over to his boat before I got done. I have all the respect in the world for people until they do something that warrants me taking it away, and after that point, I become an a-hole.

lawncare3
05-10-2005, 03:47 AM
He's lucky it wasn't me. I would have given him the 3 step process. Any treats me like that and I feel I am IN DANGER I give them the 3 step process

1: Mace the eyes (one in pocket.)
2: Taze his ass (750,000 tazer in glove box)
3: Duck tape together (hog bound) Then walk away (4 rolls in truck)

sheshovel
05-10-2005, 03:49 AM
People are stupid. Had a lady tell me my strign trimmer head is moving to fast today. Ok lady.

You gotta be kidding with this one Really?LOLOLO!!

Mo Green
05-10-2005, 08:54 AM
Here's the bottom line with angry people. They are just plain angry, and want to pass that along. Whether or not it helps the situation does not matter. They are pissed and want to piss you off and pass the anger on to you so that they aren't the only angry one. They aren't going to be happy unless they piss you off. So you can argue back and get pissed off, or just remove yourself from the situation. I prefer the latter, as nothing usually gets solved from arguing. If they really wanted a solution, they wouldn't come out angry from the get go.

Which doesn't mean that it's not good to argue once in a while. Some times you just gotta say "**** you too, buddy!"

:D
That goes back to the old saying "misery loves company".

PaulJ
05-10-2005, 10:15 AM
aMke sure you bill him for your extra drive time and agravation.

LawnBrother
05-10-2005, 10:26 AM
He's lucky it wasn't me. I would have given him the 3 step process. Any treats me like that and I feel I am IN DANGER I give them the 3 step process

1: Mace the eyes (one in pocket.)
2: Taze his ass (750,000 tazer in glove box)
3: Duck tape together (hog bound) Then walk away (4 rolls in truck)



Damn dude, you're ruthless!

GTLC
05-10-2005, 11:27 PM
Thanks for all the great feedback everybody.

Here are a few more details I learned today:

-This guy did not work for the boat place, he was just some rich guy painting his boat

LOL,

-He wasn't even supposed to be there in the first place!!! He was kicked out of the boat shop earlier sometime this year for some reason. They store boats there, service and sell them but they don't let customers maintain their own boats there. Oh well, he's gone now and he got his work done.

-The owner of the boat place called to apologize about him.

Oh, like some were asking, yes, he did offer to pay me but I wasn't expecting to get any amount I desire, and also not only do I have the time, but I can't just go up to the business owner and tell him that some guy paid me to hold off a day on finishing your half-mowed lawn. I did not get any money from him. He wouldn't of paid me anyway.

In the end, it seems the good man may step down, but he eventually wins out :cool2:


This was a lesson for everybody to not let your emotions drive you in these situations, to stay calm, and do the right thing.

Remember, your reputation is always on the line, so act professionally. payup

lawncare3
05-12-2005, 02:06 AM
Damn dude, you're ruthless!


Gotta do what u gotta do. After having 4 guns pulled on me the past year, it's getting old FAST!!!!!!!! :realmad:

mpflood
05-12-2005, 02:34 AM
I would have been back there that eve w/aircraft paint stripper
all over the place

pagefault
05-12-2005, 09:48 AM
Him-"Can you come back to mow this tomorrow"
Me-"No sir, I'm afraid I can't b/c I won't have time, I live 30 minutes away"
Him-"Well you're blowing all this dust over here and I'm trying to paint my boat and you're ruining it."

...

Him-"YOU'LL F!@#$%^ COME BACK TOMORROW B/C I SAID SO!!!"



At this point, I would have told him to paint the boat tomorrow. Some of the other responses sound like maybe the boat painter is a poster. Seriously. I can and will defend myself, but I don't have elaborate plans about how I would do so.

Tn Lawn Man
05-12-2005, 01:11 PM
Here is how you deal with angry people....

First understand that they have no concept of courtesy. They do not understand empathy for another's job or life. All they care about is themselves and what is going on with them right now.

They want what they want and they use anger and intimidation to get that.


However, all of these inconsiderate idiots have one thing in common. They all understand and live by the language of MONEY!!!!!


So here is what I do when I get someone who wants me to mow another time because of his: Daughter's birthday party, friend's are over to barbeque, trying to conduct business dealings of some sort, or anything else that they can come up with that revolves around their little world.

When they ask me to come back another time I tell them "Certainly, I can come back another time. But due to the interruption in my business schedule this will cost me money and create a lot of extra work for me to rearrange my schedule. And I am just a working man trying to make a living (this is important to say). So my charge to come back later for a time that is more convenient for you is XXX $$."

You may say this sounds too simple to work.

But, unfortunately we have devolved to a society of people of just don't give a hoot about another person. But, they all value money and can understand that concept entirely.

Furthermore, by telling them that you are just a working man trying to make a living it makes them feel superior to you and that is the fuel that drives these egocentric jerks. They feel like they have won and that is all they care.

Meanwhile, you just got double or triple or quadruple paid to mow the lawn.

That always works for me.

Precision
05-12-2005, 08:41 PM
I would have been back there that eve w/aircraft paint stripper
all over the place
my thoughts exactly

Dashunde
05-12-2005, 09:20 PM
First... He was talking to you like that because your young.
CaptainAhole would probably have kept his mouth polite had be been talking an older person.

Second... He is in violation of EPA laws by painting in an unfiltered environment.

ed2hess
05-12-2005, 09:37 PM
Well, one thing I learned today is no matter how hard you try, you just can't please everybody. It's hard to decide whether to give up a fight or not, and to just roll over.
I am not sure what you learned. Obviously blowing dust at an adjacent business is risky, right!

Kelly's Landscaping
05-13-2005, 01:16 AM
Can you come back tomorrow? Sure np I live for that but I will need to be compensated for my drive time and the guys on the clock I will need $50 and Ill let you go back to paining other wise I am going to continue cutting.

Sir mowsalot
05-13-2005, 08:06 AM
Man, that would have been it for me right there. I would have finished it regardless of the outcome. Did he offer to pay you extra if you come back? The older I get the less patience I have for jerks like this. I actually got mad reading this post and it was not even me it happened to.
^5 brother, i was feeling the same exact way.