Ahh...the wisdom of a nine year old... Two weeks ago a guy calls me to regularly mow a 1/2 acre lot he has just purchased in a very nice area. He wants it mowed soon and is going on vacation for 2 weeks the next day. He also says he needs a one-time service for his residence. I tell him my price and he agrees. I specifically ask, since he is going to be gone for that long, and it had been raining all the previous week, if he wanted the lot and his residence cut twice while he was gone. He says no, he wants to see the quality of my work before he truly commits to service. He ends the conversation with "I hope I can trust you". Red flags go up in my mind and I reply "I certainly hope to earn your trust". The next day (Sat.) I get to his lot and about 1/3 of the way through we get rain and lightning, so I pack up. Sunday also has thunderstorms all day (with lightning, of course) as well as Monday morning. I get out late monday afternoong/evening and finish his lot and then go do his residence. While I am finishing his lot, the guy who owns the empty lot next door scalps his lot to the ground with a garden tractor. I cut his lot at 3.5 inches. Rain continues off and on for the next couple of days. I got a call from him last Thursday. He was irritated. "Did you mow my lot ???" I answered yes, I had, and that I had to do it over two days due to the rain and lightning. He said that the grass (weeds, actually) were longer than when he left. I try to explain that the ground had been saturated and it had been about 1.5 weeks. He tells me that my explanation is rediculous and to send the bill (which I already had). Then he asks "Did you mow my residence, at least ???" I say yes, at the same height that I mowed your lot. (At this point I am trying to keep my cool and be professional...and am succeeding). I decide to go look at his lot but can't get over there until Saturday. I have my twin daughters with me running errands. I arrive at the lot and there he is with some other guy trying to get a brand new Husqvarna lawn tractor started. I introduce myself (we had not met face to face). His tone is not quite as gruff, but still sharp with his replies. He says "See ? Look how long it is." I told him that it was the same length as the house 2 doors down after I cut it. I also told him that his neighbor scalped his lot and it was almost as long. He says "Well, your check will be in the mail Moday morining". I ask about his residence and he replies (sharply) "I take care of my house myself". I say that I realize that, but was asking was he pleased with the job I had done there. He says "Oh....ya, it was fine. Your check will be in the mail Monday". I asked if I could possibly help with starting the tractor. He says no, that he and his friend can handle it. So I walk back to the truck. I am glad that I am rid of this individual as I do not believe that I could ever please him. Lessons learned...1) never do a prop sight unseen (ie. walk the property with the customer and explain exactly what you plan to do and give them the opportunity to ask questions and get their input. 2) stick to my guns about every week service or no service. As I get in the truck my daughter asks me "Daddy, did you get fired just because the grass grew ???" I say "essentially, sweetie, yes, that is pretty much it." The wisdom of a 9 year old is priceless.