lawn care as a culture

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnboy82, Aug 22, 2001.

  1. first off- i dont want anybody to get offended by what i am about to say, and also i know i am the last person who should be talking about this. however-

    we all talk about cheap customers, and scrubs, and all these other financial challenges, provided by co-workers, and customers. whacky customers too. why is it that we as LCO's attract this kind of treatment? now granted i dont know anything about being a lawyer or doctor, etc. but do they really have to worry about a scrub? or cheap customers? why is it that the green industry in general attracts so many people? its hard to put what i am thinking into so few words. but the other day i was doing some banking and i saw a station wagon with a ladder and grass gobler on the top, and a cheapo trailer on the back with a lesco mower. i saw this rig once before and i remember it as being an older guy. why is it that people who were once IBM'ers or phone company guys, you name it- they retire and go to work cutting lawns? they have a degree in whatever they have a degree in- those of us that have degrees, we have it in god knows what. why is it that we look for high school dropouts and illegal aliens to work for us? this is not a recent problem- it is a problem that has been around for many years now. when we go to work for a doctor or lawyer who goes and charges lets say $600 per hour- cheap- and we do some work and want lets say a rate of $85 per hour to trim hedges, and we are high? how come younger guys nowadays want to get into cutting grass when they are 13 or 14... 15, etc. what i am trying to say here is- why is it that when somebody wants to become a doctor they must go through many years of schooling. yet when somebody wants to open an LCO all they have to do is start talking with people. as far as equipment and liscencing etc goes both proffesions require it. i ask about the schooling. i am going for a degree in turf. so it would only seem logical for me to work on lawns. now somebody who has a degree in business management why wouldnt they go to work for a large company doing something? this is what i dont understand. also- i have noticed that the quality of people who do landscaping- a good deal are not um, how to put this nicely- couthe? we have racists, antisemites, bigots, you name it. i- as some of you know am jewish. i have had other LCO's state right in front of me knowing that i am jewish that some of their largest accounts are dirty jews. others reffer to black people as the "N" word. we all know the names used by many to reffer to hispanic people. we go after work to cheap bars and get drunk. would a doctor do that on a regular basis? how many of us eat food that you would never know what it was before it was a big lump of blue? why cant we ask for $500 per hour? why is it that we must settle for however much per hour and be surviving. when a doctor or lawyer can charge however much they want and be thriving and living in massive homes? how many of us will ever own a home like Eric does just by doing landscaping? i dont understand it? i can go on and on and on here- but i would like some answers. we talk about scrubs on here all the time- but what is it that attracts them?
  2. and one other thing- when it comes to working for the state and governement and whatever- the kind of stuff that paul does cheapest bid gets it. now when the governor of your state needs to see a doctor- do you honestly think that they go to the cheapest doctor they can possibly find?
  3. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Ah the answer to the jibberish has been found.
  4. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 496

    You sound as if you are trying to read too much into this business. All we are doing is providing a service for those that don't want to cut their own grass. It's all a matter of supply and demand. If you do a good job, then you get the better accounts eventually. In my case, I have so much work that when someone asks me if I can take on their property, I give them a high quote. Most people won't pay and look for the lowballers. Then there are those that will pay good money for a good job. There is money to be made in this industry for those that take the time to do things right. Having been in the business for over 15 years, I've seen them come and go. I don't worry about scrubs or lowballers. If someone wants to take my account then they can have it because I've got a waiting list of people that want my services and are willing to pay for them. In 15 years, I've never lost a customer to competition.

    I guess my attitude is that if I worry about the job that I am doing instead of what everyone else is doing, I am better able to do the excellent job that my customers want and pay for. As far as all the people starting up in the business, it's pretty easy to land an account. the measure of success is keeping it.

    And yes, some of your remarks are offensive. But that's your right to make them. I'm hoping that you have a better day tomorrow. The only reason I have this much time to contemplate your post is because it's raining.
  5. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Uh, what was the question?

    I blame caffeine, and the generation X for most of this.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    My cryptic thoughts

    It's a blue collar "sport".

    Attracts social misfits that can't work well and socialize with others.

    Poorly educated.

    Lack of thought processes.

    When you look at some posts, the guys are working alone, and are insecure about relating to a customer.

    Complains about getting money tied up doing a job. Ask for a check. Seems simple to me.

    Complains about picking stuff up in order to mow. Tell the customer to have the lawn clean on a certain day.

    Contracts. Ooooh, scary word. Would rather work verbally with no rules to safe guard either party.

    Would rather ask other uninformed people on a website than seek professional info from a product or material manufacturer, supplier, county extension service or university website.

    Too lazy and don't understand the relevance of size and time so they don't measure and don't keep track of time.

    Are small business addicts who think volume cures everything if their not making enough money.

    They are in a state of denial and brag about their hourly or job earnings either not understanding or misrepresenting both. $40/$50 an hour cutting grass. Yeh maybe for on the job time. How about drive time, equipment maint. time, book keeping time. I don't think so. Put all the hours together and what are they grossing per hour?

    See my recent post in Irrigation about pricing sevice work.

    Look how few questions there are under business issues. They are like ostriches.

    And if you moonlight, why not maximize your earnings?

    And there is a lot more I could vent on.
  7. skipwatson

    skipwatson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    Well, LB, you're all over the place--from scrubs to racists. But as far as "scrubs" go, you'll find them in every trade and profession. Yep, there are even attorneys who are scrubs. Just look at the personal injury commercials on TV. What are those guys but scrubs and ambulance-chasers. What do you suppose the "traditional" atty says and thinks about them?

    I've been a real estate broker for 16 years. There's a saying in that industry, if you can't do anything else, you can always sell real estate. It takes less money, less education, less intelligence, and virtually no equipment, to become a real estate agent than it does to become a lawncare professional. And the irony is that real estate agents are selling most people's largest investment: their home.

    I think in every business everywhere you'll find scrubs and racists and bigots and stupid people and smart people and good people. Know why? 'Cuz we're just people. And most of us are simply trying to do the best we can.

    Whew! Did I just lose it or what? :eek:
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Is this not considered profanity by the Amish??? :laugh:
  9. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    The answer to most of your questions is - Because it's so easy. All you need to start a lawn care company is a lawn mower - which most people already have. If you really want to be fancy, you get a Homelite weed trimmer. Now, if all I needed to be a surgeon was a scalpel....
  10. i dont know what to say :alien: yes we are providing a service to people who cannot do it themselves. however- does not a doctor do that very same thing? and really a doctor works on people- treats them when they are ill- when they have an injury- and just for your regular maintenance- your shots, checkups, etc. as an LCO- do we not operate on a lawn every week (cutting) do we not vaccinate the lawn against problems (fert / pest) do we not rectify problems that occur (fung / aerate / etc.) i really hate to think that all i am doing is providing a service. why does a doctor become a doctor- not to provide a service- but to help people and save lives. i could be picking up garbage, or shoveling manure, or god only knows what else and still be providing a service. i dont wanna be in a proffession where the people are like you say- uneducated, and social misfits. and that is the way we are looked at overall by the public. if you put a doctor or lawyer or banker together with a landscaper. who do you honestly think will get more respect- if they both act the same- and they both dress the same. i am not talking personally- i am talking about as a proffesional. anybody can go put on a suit and look good- but i dont know- i just think that is unfair that some of us go and get the degree in what we do- landscape contracting / turfgrass management / horticulture / arboriculture / and then there are the bulk of the businesses who have a degree in business management, or civil engineering, or teaching, or whatever your case may be. then there are those who just dont have any degree at all. its like landscaping is a last resort- everybody does it. because its easy you say? because its easy? lets see how long it takes you to get to know all you would ever have to know about landscaping? it would take a long- long time. this is also why stone pisses me off saying that he can go in 4 weeks and learn more about just turf than i will in 2 years, at a well known and respected institution.

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