PDA

View Full Version : Did i do the right thing?


Ray_Lawns
12-06-2012, 04:32 PM
I have a customer that is beside a lawn my friend does. The neighbor approached me today wanting a quote saying she us happy with the service but she is not pleased with the fact that the guy that does it seems to always be drinking beer when he comes. I told her yes I would give her a bid but that I really didn't care to take business away from my friend since her yard is always immaculate when he gets done. She agreed and said its just the fact that he drinks so much. The conversation rocked on and I eventually told her that maybe the best thing would be to ask him to not be drinking when he comes and to let him continue her service since she is pleased with it. I can understand his deal I struggle with alcoholism myself and there are days I want to drink from when I get up but I seen no sense in taking a customer from him when I know how hard he fights to beat his problem and feed his family at the same time. I know there will be varying opinions but where do you draw the line between helping a friend and keeping your own family fed?
Posted via Mobile Device

Puttinggreens
12-06-2012, 05:17 PM
There are many things wrong with this picture.

However, a friendship is more important than gaining a new customer. Politely pass on this one.

Ray_Lawns
12-06-2012, 05:23 PM
I agree there is a hell of a lot wrong. I have tried to talk to him and let him know that the drinking will end up wrecking all he has worked to build and I get nowhere.
Posted via Mobile Device

JCLawn and more
12-06-2012, 05:24 PM
I would do the same and take the oprotunity to talk to your friend about it. It might make him see things in a different light. I would not even mention the customer who said it, but tell him the one you talked to noticed. There a business I buy used tires from and you can tell the guy always seems drunk/hung over. It does not bother me so much but it does effect his performance and effectiveness of running his business and could be a real turn off.
Posted via Mobile Device

Patriot Services
12-06-2012, 05:26 PM
Not even a hardcore alcoholic would last long in FL heat drinking beer. He could at least be discreet about it.
Posted via Mobile Device

StihlBR600
12-06-2012, 11:22 PM
Maybe you should have stole his lawn to show him that he will start losing his business. To be drinking beer at a job site is just rediculous. How does he drive to each lawn? Its people like this that will not stay in business and will go nowhere. I do not feel sorry for him

JimLewis
12-07-2012, 01:20 AM
Well, there are a few issues going on here. I would have told you to take the account for several reasons:

First, you're worried about stealing an account from one of your friends. And honestly, you shouldn't be. There's absolutely no reason to feel guilty about that unless you were the one who encouraged the customer to switch services. But if they came to you, saying they're unhappy for any reason - there's no reason to feel guilty about servicing that customer. If I have a customer that is unhappy with my service and they canceled with our company and hired one of my friends (I have a lot of friends who are competitors as well) I wouldn't feel mad at him at all. I would look at it like we must have done something wrong and learn from it. Either the customer I had was a little too picky (which happens) or our service was lacking. If our service was lacking, I should try to learn from that and improve our services going forward. And I should be happy that my friend got the work. Honestly, I'd rather he pick up the work than some mow-blow-go schmuck that I don't even know and is undercutting everyone. So he shouldn't be upset with you if you end up with one of his old customers either. If he's not mature enough to look at it that way, then you need to get more mature friends.

Second, business is business. I lose large jobs to my friends who own competing companies all the time. Sometimes we're both bidding on a big install job. Just 12 months ago I lost a $38,000 job to a really good friend of mine. It sucked. That would have been a great job for us to have in the winter. But even though I was bummed we didn't get that job, I was happy for my friend and glad that it at least went to him. Business is business. I can lose a job to him on Wednesday and still have him and his family over for dinner on Saturday. We should all be mature enough to keep business separate from friendships. If you're not trying you hardest to win every job, you're doing yourself, your family, and your employees a disservice. You should always be passionate about getting more business.

Third, that lady is eventually going to go somewhere else anyway. It is only a matter of time. Better you than someone else.

Fourth, if he is actually drinking in plain sight....where she can see....on her property - he DESERVES to lose that account. Alcoholism or not. That's just flat out totally unprofessional. If it's really that bad for him that he cannot even wait until the work day is over to get lit then he has much bigger problems. Worrying about losing an account is really the least of his concerns. And nobody's doing him a favor by teaching him that it's okay to do that.

Ray_Lawns
12-07-2012, 11:44 PM
Jim, your comments have hit home and went a long way with me. I called and met with my friend tonight and layed it all out to him explaining that I would no longer turn down work from his customers. As far as the second post I am lost, I am actually Ray Landscape Services and I actually just grabbed the name for here on a whim. Thanks for your input guys, I appreaciate it.

MOturkey
12-08-2012, 11:02 AM
I was prepared to write a short reply, until I read Jim's post. My first instinct is to say I would never knowingly take business from a friend, but Jim, as usual, makes some very valid points. It is likely the lady is going to switch no matter what, and if you don't take the job, obviously, someone else will.

Also, from a personal perspective, my older brother was an alcoholic. He was 12 years older than I, so I actually never realized a lot of what was happening until I grew older, but I look back now and see so many things wrong with his life. He completed college, although it took him 5 years to do so. He taught in high schools for 10 or so years, and although from all indications, a very talented teacher, he never stayed anywhere more than 2 years. He was a very likeable person, and I am guessing now that because of his talent and likeability, administrators would give him a good recommendation, rather than blackballing him so he would not be able to get another job in another district.

At 27, he had a horrible accident, driving drunk, which broke his neck and very nearly killed him. He spent 6 weeks in the hospital in Wichita and was partially paralyzed after the accident. My folks were very supportive, paying what insurance didn't cover, and bringing him home for several months after he got out of the hospital. He continued to teach, and drink, after the accident for several more years. A couple of years before he died, he told me about having multiple other accidents which he managed to cover up. In one, he totalled his car, but wasn't injured (fortunately, these were all single-vehicle accidents), and one of his students actually came along and found him. Several of the students and their parents cleaned up the scene, removing all traces of alcohol, and took him home, allowing him to sober up before notifiying authorities. When the police investigated, he told them he went to sleep. When he left a town after teaching at a town, he generally would owe every merchant in town. My folks would go around and pay the bills for him. I recall when he was still in college, my Dad had to make a trip to Emporia and bail him out of jail after he got in a bar fight.

Eventually, he quit drinking and became a nationally certified substance abuse counselor, but he had to hit rock bottom and lose everything before he did so. So many with substance abuse problems have at least one "enabler" which makes it easier to remain on the path to destruction. My brother had many. I look back now, as an older adult, and wonder what his life could have been like, if everyone had decided to make him responsible for his own actions? My folks, my Mother in particular, thought they were helping my brother, but actually made it much easier for him to remain a drunk. Because he was a good teacher, and had a great personality, school administrators would allow him to go to another district and get employment, rather than make him accountable for his alcoholism.

Your friend needs a wake up call, and I hope he receives one.

Patriot Services
12-08-2012, 01:22 PM
And when he finds out you now have the account you will have an angry drunk friend beating on your door at 3am.
Posted via Mobile Device

JimLewis
12-08-2012, 02:22 PM
And when he finds out you now have the account you will have an angry drunk friend beating on your door at 3am.
Posted via Mobile Device

That's okay. They're easy to push over when they're like that!

:laugh:

orangemower
12-09-2012, 09:01 AM
That's okay. They're easy to push over when they're like that!

:laugh:

Now that's about as funny as it gets. The mental picture had me rolling. :laugh:
I have some friends that are complete alcoholics. They drink whiskey straight to the point it doesn't do any good. Now they are into growing grapes to make wine! Let me tell you. The stuff they make will knock you out quick. The one guy was so drunk, he was standing up and just fell over and did a face plant without even trying to stop the fall. He landed on the gravel parking lot. The other friend (drunk too) was pulling gravel out of his forehead! It's a real comedy show when I stop by. :laugh:

Florida Gardener
12-09-2012, 10:00 AM
Now that's about as funny as it gets. The mental picture had me rolling. :laugh:
I have some friends that are complete alcoholics. They drink whiskey straight to the point it doesn't do any good. Now they are into growing grapes to make wine! Let me tell you. The stuff they make will knock you out quick. The one guy was so drunk, he was standing up and just fell over and did a face plant without even trying to stop the fall. He landed on the gravel parking lot. The other friend (drunk too) was pulling gravel out of his forehead! It's a real comedy show when I stop by. :laugh:
Wow, instead of laughing at them, have you ever tried to steer them to an AA meeting or offer help??
Posted via Mobile Device

pseudosun
12-10-2012, 12:11 AM
It's tragic (alcoholism). My brother has been sober for 12 years, but when he was drinking, there was absolutely nothing i could tell him. It was like talking to a wall. My dad was an alcoholic. They manipulate. I guess my experiences with alcoholics caused me to have a very low tolerance of it. I think telling him that you weren't going to turn down work from his customers was a good move. It would make me mad to see another service doing the yard, when i could have easily had the $ for myself. Your friend needs to have his "a-ha" moment and decide to quit on his own. They seem to be defiant when people try to help. I've been on that merry go round for years with various family members. Take that yard, and do your friend a favor and tell him that he needs to get his act together now. That's what a friend should do.

orangemower
12-10-2012, 09:04 AM
Wow, instead of laughing at them, have you ever tried to steer them to an AA meeting or offer help??
Posted via Mobile Device

Believe it or not, I have many times. That's the last thing they want to hear. They KNOW they are drunks/alcoholics and actually seem proud to be that way. One smokes cigars. I tell him at least once every time I stop by (2-3 times a week) that he's like the walking dead, he just doesn't know it. I tell him time and time again that he should stop smoking. He says he knows he's going to die from the smoking and drinking. I'm tired of telling them. Anymore it's like a comedy show for me. Before you judge them, they get up at 5am and go to work each day and live a comfortable life. They just like to drink a lot. Besides, at least they stay on the farm. Better then going out to a bar and driving drunk.