Well, it finally happened. Gave an estimate last week from some fliers i put out, lady wanted yard cleaned (no fall cleanup) and fresh pinestraw. First question, as always, is "would you like the old straw removed first or just freshen up what's already there?" she says that she is from canada and has recently moved, what would i recommend. so i tell her (having already looked at the thickness of the straw already in place) is that i would just lay more on top for weed control (she doesn't "like chemicals"). that's ok with her, she said she understands. i quote her $750.00 for 85 bales of straw and front yard cleanup (back yard is woodsy ot "naturalized" as lots of folks here call it). i deliver the straw thursday and get grass areas cleaned up, then start to spread the straw. come back saturday to finish, she proceeds to tell me that she wants the flowerbeds raked out to bare dirt before new straw is placed. i explain to her that is not what we talked about and how she is going to have a major weed problem in 4-6 weeks because there should be a thicker layer of straw put down. she tells me "i had it done last year like that and there was no problem. there's that black fabric on the ground" so now i have a bad feeling. who did it...didn't you "just move"? so ok, i want my $200.00 that she owes me and she is getting more and more belligerant so i stop arguing AND START RAKING. as i'm raking, come to find out there are 4 distinct layers of pinestraw and hardwood leaves and NO FABRIC. now i'm laughing because her flowerbeds are going to be weed beds soon. anyway, i finish up and you can see dirt underneath the straw. she walks through the yard, points out 1 or 2 nitpicking things and i tell her i'll fix them while she is writing the check. after i get the check, she asks me when i'll be doing the first mowing, so i told her that i wouldn't be. she seems surprised and asks why. i told her that first, i don't appreciate the condescending tone of voice she has been using the whole time, second, i don't want to be associated with a yard that is going to look like crap soon because she won't listen, and third, i think that she is a negative person who will not get any easier to work with over time. then i tell her to have a nice day with a big smile. sorry so long, had to vent. now i'm switching over to ms word to start drawing up a contract.