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i watched my trainee get manhandled by a client the other day??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i would not tolerate this, would you guys? ok, as you all know, i have a couple of guys i am "tutoring", for a fee. the other days lesson involved thatching, aeration, seeding, and ferts. the first stop also had a little bit of topsoil. my man also arranged to do something to the clients back porch for a fee, shouldn't take 10 minutes he said, so i said ok. so, we get there, his client comes out, i tell him go ahead, speak with the client, i'm getting started on the topsoil, we had alot to do. i'm shoveling the topsoil, and my man comes over, "hey, he wants to ask you a few questions about the seed, and fertilizer." i'm like, "uggg, ok." so i walk over, "yea, what do u want to know?" he says, "well, what kind of seed you using? you know, you can't fertilize on top of the new seed, you'll burn it out." i said, "look here flatlander, this is the kind of seed i'm using, and as far as the fert is concerned....in the eyes of the state of new jersey, i'm qualified. any other questions? no? good." i go back to shoveling. my man comes over again, "he wants you to show him the thatcher, and aerator, and explain what each one does." i said, "ask him if he wants me to show him the end of this shovel, and explain what it does." so, i show him the equipment. we do the job. then the client tells my man he doesn't want him to seal the back porch, cus he is going out, and he wants to be there to watch him, he'll have to come back tommorow. my man agrees. then, the iceing on the cake, the client doesn't have a check, he will give it to him, when he comes back tommorow, to seal the back porch. needless to say, my man got a reaming and a half on the ride to the next job. i'd say he was manhandled by the client. opinions

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    Sounds like your man got an extra credit assignment with this guy. Welcome to self-employment.
  3. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    It's amazing what a 12 pack of cheap beer and a fertile imagination can come up with, isn't it? I like the touch of adding the superb customer relation skills "yeah, wadda you want? " LOL
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    I wouldnt exactly call it manhandled, but he is definately a PITA and your tutoree should have done the sealing then ,not when the pita can watch or the pita can get kicked to the curb.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    You forgot to add 9 days of not posting and dreaming up new stories. Geez, That should at least 108 Cheap Beers if not 200.
  6. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    I would hope that your boy adds on the additional fee to re-mobilize the crew on the second day...
  7. Cigarcop

    Cigarcop LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    What no police involvement?
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yeah I mean the customer could be one of those I might've avoided in the first place BUT there ain't no reason to get all hostile and smart with the customer, either. At least not AFTER starting work - Once a job is accepted, sometimes I get a bit surly over the endless dumb questions myself but there ain't gonna be no threats with shovels until there is a problem getting paid lol.
    The questions don't appear THAT out of the ordinary, it'd be a different story if they start to talk about I should be using THEIR seed then I'm like my way or no way, but for the asking...?
    Someone wants to know what kind of seed I'm using, it's 90% germ. 0.1% weed Certified U. of Oregon fescue blend. For the STARTER fertilizer I use a 14-28-10, has a LOW nitrogen concentration to minimize burn risks and the middle number I think is Phosphate helps the new seed germ faster (whether it's phosphate or not, a high middle number helps).
    Now they wanna see the aerator, it's a Classen Ta-26 you can look at all you want, it's cool 'n s'got all the tines cauz I JUST replaced the broken ones :)

    Schitt I know I talk a lot of trash about the pitas and stuff but most of the time I'm just venting, it's a rare thing I actually go off on someone in real life... It does happen, but most the time the reason I use Lawnsite to vent is cauz I kept my mouth shut in the real world, heheh...
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    And THAT is the thing I try to figure out during estimate time OR before I head out, anytime there's anything said which indicates to me they HAVE to be there, watch out... Anytime I even THINK the customer HAS to be there, I usually don't accept the job... Same goes for any other indication they may turn into a pita, I even THINK it COULD happen, sorry it's a no-go.
    I do agree, you do the sealing when you plan on it and no other way. I've had a few try and manhandle me and sometimes I let them do it because it's the easy way (and it's my last job at that point) but I USUALLY see this schitt coming before I even start the truck that day.
    But it is also possible THIS one turned into a pita with what was going on... The customer isn't stupid and likely figured the boss-man got himself a 'trainee' and as a customer he'll be d@mned if some trainee is going to do his porch without some kind of supervision, a porch ain't cheap to fix once it's f*ck'd up and it wouldn't be the first time an Lco skru'd someone around with a f*ck'd up job which has a ways of getting around on word of mouth... See because I *NEVER* take out my anger on a customer's yard, I'd as soon not show up OR just keep on driving when it gets like that. Now the customers don't like me not showing up or whatever but at least they don't have to be SCARED that I'm going to do something MEAN to them or their yard, only time I have a problem is when the job is DONE and someone thinks they're not going to pay...
    Now for this thing of cutting the check after the porch is done, that's not at all unusual for a customer to pay for the WHOLE job but if it makes you nervous (it does me sometimes) then you need to get half upfront, half upon completion.
    Tutor THAT into your trainee please.
  10. richard coffman

    richard coffman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 341

    bobby, good to hear your still around and making us all feel better about our own lives. common sence with any customer over a certain amount of money, is allways half up and the rest when finished. sounds like your trainee needs plenty of teaching.....

    Richard coffman
    westy jordan,Utah;) ;)

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