Many years ago (1981), my mother and I took a trip to visit my sister in Tucson, AZ. My uncle and his family also came out in their Winnabago and we had a great time traveling across the country. We stopped in New Mexico and visited some awesome caverns. We went on a guided tour with a large group and came upon a large room that had awesome acoustics. There was dead silence until a lady turned to me and began speaking loudly about what she encountered the night before. She told me, "I was laying in bed last night almost asleep and Teddy pushed the door open and snuck into my room. He jumped on top of me and began licking my face. He scratched me really hard too. He had his paws all over me and was insisting that I give him some attention. I kept trying to ignore him, but he just wouldn't leave me alone. So I grabbed him and told him that he could stay if we could just cuddle and go to sleep. But Teddy wanted to play. He sure was the blackest and meanest boy I ever met, but I was able to throw him out and lock my bedroom door." The crowd was stunned and just stared at this lady. The park ranger told that lady to be quiet since her comments were deemed inappropriate. The rest of the tour was kind of uncomfortable for me. Like Paul Harvey always says, And now for the rest of the story. This "lady" was my mother. She was talking about my sister's cat. His name was Teddy. He was a big black tomcat. That whole event made me realize how perception from others can be so wrong sometimes. So here we are in the green industry and perceptions are often wrong as well. There are more than a handfull of people that only think of us as lawn monkeys. They compare us to their 12 year old son that mows the neighbor's lawn as well as their own. I also know of several people that call themselves an LCO, but they have no insurance and no knowledge of the complexity of this very fine industry. They tend to drag down our pricing and put a stain on what we are trying to accomplish. They will always be around, but it is up to all of us to change these perceptions. I have found myself struggling to change some of these misconceptions and it is frustrating sometimes. I'm not 12 yrs. old and I don't live in my momma's basement and use her lawnmower to get beer money either. I would love to hear how some of you old pros have been able to change the perception that many people have about our chosen career.