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Little old lady story....#1000

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scott Campbell, May 25, 2001.

  1. Scott Campbell

    Scott Campbell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Hello Lawnsite,

    I know that this story has been done many, many times before. But, I just had to relay it. This happened to me this past week:

    This is a residential job in a very nice neighborhood, homes 300k and up. I got this client after her previous LCO didn't hold up to her desires. (he could only cut in the early mornings, and left her lawn clumpy) Got the job, and things have been going pretty well. I could tell that she was one of the very particular kind from my first two trips.

    Anyway, I am there cutting this week and she comes out. I shut down and she asks me if I would have time to help her with some new plants that she bought. She had a couple of plants that she wanted holes for next to the house, said that the ground was just too hard for her dig into. This lady is somewhat elderly, so I figured she was probably having difficulty. She just wanted holes so I said that I should have time once I finished.

    Finsihed up, went up to find her so that she could show me the locations. We went out and she showed me and I dug the holes. The plants were gallon size no big deal. After that we were walking around the house, I thought looking at the lawn and flower beds, when she brought me to another plant. Again, same size no big deal. Dug the hole and we headed back to the shed where she needed help with pulling some stacked stakes apart. I did this as well. Finally we got all done that she needed and went inside to get payment. I waited outside, like I usually do, and thought to myself "okay, this is your chance to show me how much you appreciate the job I have been doing for you". I didn't discuss any extra charge to do these things, and she didn't ask. I wanted to see what she would come back with.

    She came out handed me my normal cut amount and said, "Oh, by the way I gave you an extra dollar for each hole. Thank you."

    I couldn't believe it. Three whole dollars for helping her out. I wanted to say, "gee thanks Mrs. Cleaver, I will see you next week when I bring my reel mower on the back of my scooter."

    I don't want to seem like an ass, but I have to tell you I was insulted. :mad: It also determined how much extra work would be done for this client from now on.

    Just had to get it off my chest, sorry so long. The little old lady saga continues......
  2. How many man hours of work was the extra work?
  3. Grassman

    Grassman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    You have to be up front with people about any extras at the beginning of the service. Some people will use you silly if you let them. Russ
  4. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    Actually since you didn't tell her how much it cost, she was more than generous.
  5. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    10 minutes at $45.00 per hour is approximately $8.00.

    I would tell her that these small jobs need to be pre-arranged ahead of time.

    I have had the exact same thing happen to me. The lady always had something extra for me to do after that first time, She did however pay better.

    Good luck, she needs a little training.
  6. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    Do you think that maybe she is sorta stuck in a time warp and figuring things on 1950's prices and thinks $1 per hole is good?

    I don't know, just a thought.

  7. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Good Call ;)

    Yeah, the $3 is kind of an insult, I would rather do it for free.

    You knew this woman was particular when you picked up the job. Price customers like this a little higher when you know what your dealing with.
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    5 minutes...$3 cash...no tax (I assume)= Good hourly rate.

    Be glad she gave you something, I've done the same and have not seen a penny. I hope the favor is returned when I'm old and gray.

  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    I hope too someone will help me out when I get older and I am unable to do stuff for myself. But I think the major insult here was this lady is living in a neighborhood where the homes are on average 300K, and she can only give 3 bucks? Maybe she couldn't afford more?
    Well if she can't afford a few bucks more then maybe she should sell her house and live somewhere more affordable.

    3 bucks no matter how you break it down is pennies in todays world.

    We had this doctor customer who wasn't one of my favorite people. He had built a cat condo where he had a bunch of these cats living in there. He had heat in there and air conditioning. But the whole area around that cat house stunk SO bad. It was disgusting!
    Well one day, he comes over to Matt and asks him if he could dig a hole so he could bury one of his cats. Matt did it for him, but we didn't ask or get any extra money.

    With us, we find that people with a lot of money aren't as free and generous with their money, than as the average person that lives in an average neighborhood.

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