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View Full Version : dumbest thing u ever did, in front of a customer


bobbygedd
03-06-2004, 05:53 PM
what's the dumbest thing u ever did in front of a customer? here's mine: when we first started out, we had a spring cleanup job, that i bid at $135. we owned one hand held blower, and some rakes. myself, and 2 others were on the property 6 hrs, and weren't nearly done, when the homeowner came out to chat. as i was walking towards him, with my hand extended to shake his, there was a claw rake laying on the ground, i didn't see it, i stepped on it(just like the cartoon) and bam, ended up on my butt with a huge lump on my forehead. he felt so sorry for me, he paid the $135, and told me go home. another time, i had a tiny mitsubishi truck, i needed 2 ton of stone for the next day, so i figured i would get one today, drop it off, then show up the next morning with the other ton. so, i get the stone, go to clients house, ask if i can unload it in the driveway, he says sure. so, i pull straight(front first) into the driveway, drop the tailgate, and proceed to shovel out the stone onto the driveway, all the while chatting with the client. when i get done, i say, "see u tommorow." get in the truck, and realize, i can't get out of the driveway......i unloaded the stone, and blocked my self in.anyone else have any beginner screw ups that were funny?

promower
03-06-2004, 06:09 PM
Blocking yourself in with stone is pretty funny, customer cant say much as he didnt notice the mistake either. I was pulling out of a gas station last year around 4:00 so it was pretty crowded and there was an LCO there mowing at the time. Went in and paid, got in my truck to leave, at this particular gas station you pull right out onto a county road highway thats pretty busy so you have to kinda step on it to get out of there. Pulled out and looked in my rear view mirror and noticed I forgot to put the gas cap back on the mower. Gas went flying everywhere I was pulled over running around traffic looking for the cap as cars and truck were screaming by me blowing thier horns all the while evreyone at the station were just staring at me. The other LCO thought it was pretty funny, I felt like a jackazz.

jajwrigh
03-06-2004, 06:27 PM
I have done that where I leave my gas caps off of my mower and all of my gas cans. Never a pleasant situation...

One time I was trimming some tall hedges with an electric hedge trimmer and I cut through my own cord. The customer came outside and asked why her hairdryer suddenly turned off. It turns out that I must have created a short or something because none of her outlets worked outside, in her bedroom, or in her garage. She had a big freezer in the garage too, full of food. I know it didn't get fixed for a week or more, so I suppose all of her food went bad! Ouch!

specialtylc
03-06-2004, 06:55 PM
Last year when I leaned over to look at the bottom of the mower and put my hand right on top of the muffler. Took about 6 weeks to heal the burn on my palm. At least it was my left hand.

GrassBustersLawn
03-06-2004, 07:21 PM
I had a worker do the same as SPECIALTYLC. He put his hand right on top of the muffler where it said HOT. Had HOT burned in reverse on his hand.

Mike

J&R
03-06-2004, 07:24 PM
I droped my pants if front of lady when 6 yellow jackets when up my pants leg.

charlies
03-06-2004, 07:32 PM
2 seasons ago, we were short-staffed. occasionally i will actually mow something when we are short on help. that year it was so bad, that i even had my wife out on a mower on this one weekend. and therein lies the story...


pulled up to customers house, unload the equipment. we were so backed up, that even though it was saturday, all our crews were working. that left little in the way of mowers for us. we were relegated to an old john deere 725 and the newer john deere 620. the reason they were available is because no one really wants to use them. you gotta love exmark, eh? anyway, we get her set up on the 725, and off she goes, making a straight line toward the back of the property. Meanwhile, poof...out of nowhere there's the customer. don't you love it when they sneak up on you? of course they don't really sneak, you just can't really hear them when equipment is running. but i digress. we are standing there chatting, and she gets to the drainage ditch that you find so often surrounding properties in neighborhoods. now she has had a number of hours on this type of equipment, but apparently not enough. she goes for it. the customer and i are about 50 yards away and watch her drive down in, level back out a little, and boom...she's stuck, perfectly. 2 wheels on one slope, two on the other. it was comical. she was mortified and i think the customer was embarrased for her. i had to tell both of them that everyone gets a mower stuck at least once or twice, it didn't help my wife's embarrasment much.

Black Water
03-06-2004, 08:02 PM
I once blew a big snot bubble out of my nose while talking to a upscale costumer. She looked at me like i had three heads. Didn't loose the acc. though.:D

proenterprises
03-06-2004, 08:19 PM
heres a really bad (or good depending on how you take it) one.

theirs this farm like property that I do. Large property, theirs a front, pool area and a back. I came in to cut early afternoon last season. I started out and went 1st pass in the front-and I see somone sleeping in a chair by the pool. I cut the mower low and rolled by so I didnt wake her.

I went and cut the back and then came back round front-I can see from the top of the hill that their is still somone sleeping so I get off and weed the garden beds first (this house has a large number of beds in the pool area that they like weeded) I decide to weed first and let her sleep a little longer.

I fill the first bucket of weeds up and walk down the hill, past the pool to dump in compost. As I walk back up, I glance over and the chick sleeping is totally naked! She must not have remembered or woken up to realize I was their and taken her clothes off.

I tiptoed up the hill-drove round back into their driveway and fired up the mower real loud. Needless to say, I think she woke up and sprinted for the house:D

She never knew what happened, thankfully.

LawnMower
03-06-2004, 08:28 PM
I peed on a customers shoe by mistake.










Well no I didnt, but cant think of anything funny right now.

burnandreturn
03-06-2004, 08:29 PM
I didn't put the blades back on the mower after I took them off too sharpen them. Unload the mower start across the lawn, get to the end of the pass make a 180 start back, realize the grass isn't cut. Jump off look under deck, quick load the mower, go put blades on and come back. Owner standing there not real sure what's going on.

JKOOPERS
03-06-2004, 08:33 PM
i was weed eating one day at an apt complex , looked over and there was a new guy cutting around the lake . so i set the trimmer down at the to of the hill still running and went to talk to him and tell him not to get too close. just as i said that there goes the trimmer tumbling down the hill still running splash right in the damn lake. pulled and out and it started right up . then i came back 35 min later to see if he was done. i get there and he is sitting on the side of the hill . i said wheres your mower and he points just the 2 grips sticking out of the lake.

nelbuts
03-06-2004, 08:37 PM
TOOK OFF MY PANTS!

I was giving an estimate to a potential client. Fireant Mounds everywhere. Well we were talking and I was not paying attention and the signal was given. See fireants get on you and once the number reaches one million they give the signal to STING! Well it was too many in my pants and off they came. I ran to the garden hose and soaked down. My nephew who worked for me at the time was laughing so hard he was on his knees. Client felt sorry for me and gave me the job. Had them for five years till the mother died.

Eric 1
03-06-2004, 08:48 PM
My truck caught on fire!!!!

I had just put headers on the night before and drove to the customers in the morning. When i get there there is smoke coming out of my hood. I thought no big deal, the paint on the new headers is cooking (they always do) well as i get the mower out and fill up when the lady comes running out saying my truck is on fire! i say no mam and explain about the headers. She says well just check and make sure. Ok fine, i pop the hood and my starter is engulfed in flames!!!:eek: :blob2:

I grabbed the hose and put it out before any major damage was done (but i did have to get a new starter and batt cable)

It turns out that i pinched the main battery cable to the starter when i installed the headers. Don't ask.

She got a free cut and a nice thanks card.

But man i felt stupid:o :blush:

Turfdude
03-06-2004, 09:33 PM
Our screen printer screwed up our former logo on our staff shirts one year. Instead of the logo w/ the lettering, they used the block letter print that is used for hats for the softball team we sponsor. So for shits & giggles, I had them reprint my wife's staff shirt so it read "Little Boob's" instead of "Little Bob's". We used to make her wear it whenever she'd help us mulch on a Saturday. Imagine our pediatrician's face when we were mulching his property. He is a little younger than myself & my wife and has a great sense of humor. It took him a good 15 minutes to stop laughing.

lawnman_scott
03-06-2004, 09:42 PM
I cant think of a good lawn care one, but I used to work for Pepsi and was taking i think 25 cases (24 bottles each) of 20 oz bottles and hit the curb wrong with my cart. It was the one and only time i did it, but the whole thing fell all over the lot, and into the road. Some guys drove by yelling and laughing. I was out in the middle of the road swearing at them and flipping them off with both hands.

ElephantNest
03-06-2004, 10:08 PM
Hmmm, let's see. Got a few minutes? lol

One time, using a tree dolly, with two handles kind of like handle bars with grips, but larger. Carting this huge tree and the customer pops around the corner to ask a question. I let the tree down slowly, but somehow it slipped forward, tossing the tree dolly back at me and one of the end of the grips hit me square in the eye, knocking me back a couple of feet onto my arse. Blood EVERYwhere, split my eye like a tomato because the grip fit perfectly around my eye socket, so it was a loud POP when it hit me. DOH!

Digging a small garden around a green house for a client, chopping away with a shovel....PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Gas line snapped in two. Gas is pouring out, hissing very loudly. By luck, the gas truck was across the street...ran over and got him and they took care of it. Embarassing.

One day I woke up in the backyard of a customer, trimmer lying next to me, running. Had a heat-stroke, just passed out right there while trimming. Extremely embarassing to be awakened by an old lady shaking you in her backyard.

Oh...there's more.



;)

STAN1366
03-06-2004, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
[Bi unloaded the stone, and blocked my self in.anyone else have any beginner screw ups that were funny? [/B]

Geez! Gotta love that one! I hope you were able to laugh at yourself for that mistake. You don't do driveway sealing, do you?

Once while talking to a customer as I was loading my truck I managed to burn my leg pretty good on a muffler on the leaf blower! :blob2: Yeow!

Jusmowin
03-06-2004, 11:19 PM
I fell through a very old bulk head at a clients yard, however the 36 metro stayed put !

DJL
03-06-2004, 11:27 PM
have a WB hydro mower w/ sulky. It was one of the first times mowing when it was cold enough to have sweats and a flannel shirt on. Well, took a 180 turn and the one handle got caught in the shirt between two buttons and clamped my hand onto the handle so one wheel was going forward one was going backward. Wasn't expecting this. Flew right off the darn thing. Look up and see customer standing on the front stoop. Made eye contact with him, asked if I was okay and after I said yes he said good and busted up laughing, I joined right in. I wish I had a camera to see me face. Any have a similar rookie mistake?

I've since adjusted my sulky to be a little farther away...

mh1314
03-06-2004, 11:53 PM
Backed over one of my 21" mowers with my z.

Pecker
03-06-2004, 11:54 PM
Occassionally, customers are known to appear out of nowhere (as somebody pointed out earlier), and I tend to concentrate on what I'm doing, so I startle easily. Plus I wear ear-plugs, so between them dampening sounds and an engine running, . . . . . .Anyhow, EVERY time someone tries to get my attention, it startles me and I jump. Fortunately, those who make a habit of it know to not get close. But last summer I though no one was home and I was in la-la land just doing my work (but concentrating on the task at hand) and the customer hollars to get my attention from about 15 feet behind me (I guess he just got home). I jumped and jerked so hard turning around to start fighting (or something, ask mother nature) that I lost my balance and fell into the fence. After I recomposed myself we had a good laugh.

ElephantNest
03-07-2004, 12:18 AM
LMAO @ ****** Excellent!

Ok, LMAO @ that guy who posted right before this one.:rolleyes:

tiedeman
03-07-2004, 12:21 AM
I can hear the 21" mower now (Cruuuuuuuuunnnnnch)

matthew horner
03-07-2004, 03:40 AM
Drove over my 21 inch with a tandem axle utility trailer. I had wheeled the mower under it to protect it from a sudden thunderstorm, and forgot about it. The axles of the trailer got caught on the mower and TURNED IT OVER. It picked the trailer up a good foot and a half, and its a HEAVY trailer.

Now this is stupid?.............I laid down on the end of one of my trailers to estimate the deck size of the mower on it (I just got it from salvage and was selling it) and forgot it was'nt tied, and it was a 31 inch tire single axle trailer. So the trailer tilts and the mower starts for me. This is one of those old jacobsen reel mowers. Very intimidating when its coming your way FAST. I jumped like a cat sprayed with a hose.

goodbeus
03-07-2004, 08:19 AM
Here's a few from me...

Finished mowing a residential lawn...had to do no.1, so I go behind the gate to a fence, close the gate behind be, so I'm kinda in a triangle covered all the way around...finished,, turned around, and lo-and-behold,l there's the home-owner...her mouth dropped and she went back inside...talk about embarrassing...that was last summer and I still do that account...

I used to work my uncle when I first started, he was 45 at the time...he did the mowing with a 24" big-wheel mower and it wasn't self-propelled...I did the edging, trimming, and blowing and told him he better be done mowing when I finish blowing, I was a real hardcase back then...didn't matter how big the yard was, there we're times where he'd be running behind that mower to finish when I did...anyway, this one day, it was hot..I mean HOT!!...normally, the heat doesn't get to me, even at 100 because I know how to pace and take care of myself...well, this day I was even like "man, it's a hot one today."...was in the back yard trimming, when my uncle comes around the corner with 2 huge jars of ice water...now my uncle would drink a pepsi between every job and that doesn't work on hot days:rolleyes: ...so I ask him where'd he get those from...he says," well, i was cutting in the front and I stopped to get my breath, and I started swaying around...next thing I know, the home-owner is spraying me in the face with the water hose to revive me"...I started laughing, but he was embarrassed...apparently he passed out and I guess the home-owner was watching the whole time...I joked with him all that week about, told not to swim in the grass anymore....:p

ProMo
03-07-2004, 08:41 AM
I was trimming a hedge behind a fence and my shorts got stuck on a piece of wire on top of it was stuck there for about 20 minutes then ripped the whole backside of my shorts off. also got my hair caught in a tree seemed like an hour.

o-so-n-so
03-07-2004, 09:01 AM
When I started out in the business I hauled my toro riding mower in the back of my truck. Had two 2"X10"X5' boards as ramps. I was at a customers house unloading..sitting on mower backing off the truck...the boards slipped and off I came. I ended up on my back and the mower on its side. No injuries to me. The mower only suffered minor damage as it lost a head light cover.

After I finished, I went to collect and my customer ask my if I was OK. Didn't think anyone saw that one. Still a customer today.

The most recent mishap happened last year. Was on my W/B cuttin up, went to make a 180 and my hand slipped off the controls. Around and around I went...the harder I tried the worst it got until I finally just let go. Mower stopped about 1' from a garage door. All with an audience. I still have bad dreams over that one.....

MP350
03-07-2004, 09:13 AM
I was trimming a customers hedge and cut the hose bib off the wall, nice jet of shooting water hit me. Good thing I live in Fl. and it was a hot day.

DiscoveryLawn
03-07-2004, 10:12 AM
I met some of my guys on a job and was upset to find that they wernt using a w/b on a particular area that I don't want the ztr's. So I hop out of my truck and head for the 48" w/b to fire it up and show these guys how its done. Well, apparently someone had disconnected the safety shut-off and the mower was in 5th gear as I pulled the cord. This thing took off like a go cart before I knew what the he!! was going on. I catch up to it just before it slams into my truck but I could only get my hand on one handle to squeeze the brake. It then starts spinning in circles as I am flinging on the back of this thing running in circles trying to catch-up to the other handle to grab the brake. I was afraid to let go of the brake because there was a vehicle in every direction. I finally just dove for the other handle hoping not to miss. I finally got my hand on the brake and got her stopped just as the mower slammed into the side of my trailer. I look around and one of my guys is giggling so hard he actually laid down on the ground holding his stomache. The other guy came over to make sure I was OK but was laughing the whole time. I guess it was probably funny to see "the boss" being flung around like a rag doll but I was pretty pi$$ed at the time. Later I was able to laugh about the thought of how funny it must have looked but I was still upset about how dangerous that was.

Navig8r
03-07-2004, 10:19 AM
Before I was in this biz for myself...............
I was on a lawn with a WB we'd been havin problems with.... Looooonnggg day... already been to the dealer 3x... deck drive belt keeps jumpin............ it happens again, and I shut down the machine right there mid-stripe...............
Fix the belt, and fire it back up....... starts on 1st pull....... in forward, with one handle locked (OPC's tied down... dont ask!)
Well this thing musta whirled around 3 or 4 times with me chasin it, before I caught the drive handle and pulled it back to neutral.
I turn around (really pi$$ed off at this point) and there's my boss. He had stopped by to see how the machine was runnin....... later he told me that he saw the look on my face and figured laughing at me woulda been a bad idea just then.

Sean Adams
03-07-2004, 10:51 AM
I have 3 decent stories....some dealing with customers....

1. I had just turned 21. All those who have reached this milestone know that sometimes you go a little overboard when having a good time. Now I was told this many times (but I still don't believe it)....I was at a friend's house for a 4th of July party....it was extremely hot outside....my friend lived next door to one of my clients. As the day rolled on the temperature did not really drop....between the Captain Morgan and the 100 degree weather I must have decided to take a rest on the lawn....I was told when they woke me up I stated loudly and proudly....

"I lay in this lawn, now I must mow this lawn."

I guess it took me awhile to realize that they were on the Wednesday schedule.

2. One of my employees, about 5 years ago, was working on an install job with me and 4 others. We were eating lunch in the front yard under a tree. The client came out with some water. My employee was a fitness buff and he had a bit of a harmless temper. He declined the water and decided to get his gatorade from the truck. He stood up, took 4 steps and stepped on a rake....smacked him square in the face! We all, client included, started laughing hysterically....but my employee didn't find it as amusing as we did. He flipped out! He yelled every obscenity in the book and ran over to us threatening us to "Shut the #@*& UP!" The customer didn't know what to do, but we kept laughing....

3. I have always been concerned and aware of the appearance of my business - vehicles, employees, etc.... especially when I first started. If someone showed up in a dirty shirt or unshaven I sent them home. Anyway....about 10 years ago we were tearing out a huge row of shrubs for my best customer. Then we were going to plant about 40 hemlock trees. The job was a little bigger than we were used to, so I had a local guy with a skid steer help us out. To give you an idea....he was the exact opposite of me...he didn't care too much what he looked like. Anyway, we're doing our thing and he hops off the skid steer and starts doing some work with the digging bar....my client's wife walks out, motions to me to come over....I walk up to her and she says....

"Sean, you guys are doing a great job. But I wanted to ask a favor. My friends and I are on the sunporch having a get-together and we wanted to know if you could get your guy to face the other way when working." and she pointed to him....

I looked to my left and the guy who was helping us was bent over tugging on roots in the ground. When I looked closer I realized that this moron had a huge tear in the back of his jeans....and decided to skip the underwear that day.....

TURF DOCTOR
03-07-2004, 01:22 PM
Pissing in my enclosed trailer got caught redhanded.

tiedeman
03-07-2004, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Turf Docter
Pissing in my enclosed trailer got caught redhanded.

LOL, had that happen to me outside. It was at larger property, approx 5 acres and I had to go bad. We were out in the woods, so I thought what the heck. The homeowner then drives up in his driveway. I was like a deer in headlights, I couldn't move. We ended up joking around about it, but I was embarrassed.

alpine692003
03-07-2004, 01:46 PM
Well my 1st 2 new mowing accounts, I had 2 female's.

my 1st female mowing called me from the newspaper ad saying can you come over and mow my grass. I was like sure, since I only had 1 mowing account that day anywyas and I picked that one up as well.

We get there, mow the grass and it happens so that she is renting upstairs.

These people come to take a look at the house and while those people were there, she comes up to me and them that if you see girls walking around here, dont mind them.. I have 5 girls working for me.. I was like DAMN and I almost ran my 21" mower through the neighbour's fence!

I wish we can trade some services :)

GreenMachine102
03-07-2004, 03:01 PM
I have a 12' trailer, one with the 4' tall gate in back that is divided into two gates, but has a bar that you can put in the middle of the two gates, so that you can put it down as one unit (heavy too!) So I unlatch one side, and went to the other side, forgetting one side was already unlatch, i let go and the gate comes crashing down, made a huge noise!!! Got everyones attention a mile away!



Also, doing a landscape job last year in August, I had left the trailer there while I slipped to get something , i came back, and later when I went to put my tiller back on the trailer, forgetting it was not hooked up to my truck, the whole front of the trailer raised up in the air about 5 foot, and then slammed backed down, spilling fertilizer that I had on it everywhere!

Anyone ever done that before?:o

dkeisala
03-07-2004, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by GreenMachine102
Also, doing a landscape job last year in August, I had left the trailer there while I slipped to get something , i came back, and later when I went to put my tiller back on the trailer, forgetting it was not hooked up to my truck, the whole front of the trailer raised up in the air about 5 foot, and then slammed backed down, spilling fertilizer that I had on it everywhere!

Anyone ever done that before?:o No, but my father died from complications after damaging his spleen loading a CAT onto a trailer. Same thing happened, thought the trailer was hooked up but it wasn't. He was catapulted off the dozer and landed 50' away onto the pavement.

I know my little story takes away from the nature of this thread but just a reminder that you can never be too careful!

turfguy
03-07-2004, 04:38 PM
Hot looking neighbor chick at customers house comes out to talk to the " lawn guy " before he packs up and leaves. So I go over and give her a quote and walk back to the truck she follows me back and says "ok when can you start?" and as I pick up the heavy steel ramp on the back of my trailer.......PHFOOOOOOT................well I guess tacobell for lunch was a bad Idea....she looks at me and says "whoa you must be glad to be working outdoors"..........I did get the job.....

BOTURF
03-07-2004, 08:05 PM
everyone does stupid stuff and if they dont they are lying lol i havent laughed this hard in a long time , thanks bobby for starting the thread

hole in one lco
03-07-2004, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by GreenMachine102
I have a 12' trailer, one with the 4' tall gate in back that is divided into two gates, but has a bar that you can put in the middle of the two gates, so that you can put it down as one unit (heavy too!) So I unlatch one side, and went to the other side, forgetting one side was already unlatch, i let go and the gate comes crashing down, made a huge noise!!! Got everyones attention a mile away!



Also, doing a landscape job last year in August, I had left the trailer there while I slipped to get something , i came back, and later when I went to put my tiller back on the trailer, forgetting it was not hooked up to my truck, the whole front of the trailer raised up in the air about 5 foot, and then slammed backed down, spilling fertilizer that I had on it everywhere!

Anyone ever done that before?:o

iv dun both quite a few times

lawn jockey
03-07-2004, 10:02 PM
Well this didnt happen to me but I watched it happen and I hope whoever it was dont get mad. Well I have a full time job as a plumber so one day we were going for lunch we rolled up to the corner by the new mall in town its hube on a 4 lane divided road. So as we pull up to the corner heres a local lawn guy stopped in the middle trying to cross the other 2 lanes ( he was on a 60" walkbehind) He jamming to his peltors when all of a sudden his hand slipped off the handle and the rodeo was on....out in the street he came doing donuts chasing behind the mower it had to be the funniest thing I have seen in along time. everyone had to be 30 people stopped there were laughing so hard. I had tears in my eyes. After i was done laughing I did feel for the guy, He had a big audience

Eric 1
03-07-2004, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by GreenMachine102
I have a 12' trailer, one with the 4' tall gate in back that is divided into two gates, but has a bar that you can put in the middle of the two gates, so that you can put it down as one unit (heavy too!) So I unlatch one side, and went to the other side, forgetting one side was already unlatch, i let go and the gate comes crashing down, made a huge noise!!! Got everyones attention a mile away!



Also, doing a landscape job last year in August, I had left the trailer there while I slipped to get something , i came back, and later when I went to put my tiller back on the trailer, forgetting it was not hooked up to my truck, the whole front of the trailer raised up in the air about 5 foot, and then slammed backed down, spilling fertilizer that I had on it everywhere!

Anyone ever done that before?:o

No, i am VERY careful about the trailer hitch. Because one day me adn mu cousin were pulling a 16ft car hauler with his restored mint cond. 69 chevy truck.....well, he forgot to latch the tongue and we hit a rail road and of it comes!!!! it comes up beside the truck doing about 45 mph, and in the other lain a 2004 4x4 dodge is coming. so he cuts into the trailer to keep it from hitting the Dodge and he swerves around us. But because we were going ever so slightly up hill when the trailer stopped it started to roll back-wards at a newer Buick. I am like OH CRAP and we both jump out and grab the trailer trying to stop it, but it is to heavy. Well the dude in the dodge sees the problem and stops and helps. We got it hooked back on, and no joke just as we are pulling away here comes the sheriff!

The damage was bad. it nicked both wheels ($150 each) cut a nice slice in the door and crunched the front quarter panel. About $1000 in parts. He was... well i wont say!

So i always check the hitch