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Racism or not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rixtag, May 30, 2003.

  1. rixtag

    rixtag LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lehi Ut
    Posts: 280

    A customer calls and asks if I could come by and give an estimate on some sprinkler repairs and a system start up check. I say no problem, ( She owned a building in an HOA that I have done work before) I will come over and check it out and give an estimate. She says " I'm single and I don't want any mexicans at my house, you won't send any mexicans over will you?" I am nearly out of my skin right now. I can't believe in this 21st century that race has anything to do with the job getting done. I accepted but the more I think about it the more I want to call and say No thank you!! I am wondering if any of you have run into this before and if so how did you handle it? What would you do in my situation?

    Please help calm me down :blob2: :blob2:
  2. dbear

    dbear LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 606

    Sure sounds a racist to me. Unfortunately, and really quite scary too, there are still people running around out there with these beliefs. Crazy world...

    What you should have done when she made that statement was to don your best Cheech and Chong accent and tell her to get off her ***** and join the 21st century.
  3. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    It happens. Not right, don't like it... but it's the real world, no matter what we think, do or say.

    Personally - I would walk away from the job. But, if you gotta eat you may have to swallow hard and do the job.... but I would sure price it right.

    Just my opinion.
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I've had people say that about my workers. I completely agree you should be angry. I would rather live next door to any one of my men than some of the white trash I have met. And you don't have to be broke to be white trash, I've met some wealthy ones.

    I had a client accuse my men of stealing a Craftsman chain saw from his garage, even though I was with them that day, and I know they wouldn't do that. I told him, "we wouldn't take that saw if you gave it to us"

    It made me mad that some people have this attitude.
  5. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    I dont agree either,although I do think the mexicans do need to be able to talk to your clients.I got a very laarge acount this year due to the fact of the customer told the crew last year to make the irrigation put more water on a tree that was just planted,Aparantly the guy didnt understand english and he dug the tree up.That would have made me mad also.
  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    That is not right but that is the way the world is unfortunately. I would not want to do any work for anyone like that but sometimes you have to swallow your pride and do the job to make ends meet.

  7. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    I personally dont like the term mexicans. The term is very commonly misued by a large number of individuals who actually come from other parts of South America such as Ecuador or Brazil (being the two most common) Alot of people who I know call some of the guys I work with that and act truly degrading towards them.

    I recognize the large problem of Illegal Immigrants in Connecticut. I do not support the fact that they live illegally and do not pay taxes, however, their work is usually nothing less that A+ in my personal experience both in working with them and them working for me.

    I am not nieve nor a sheltered person, I know how things work and alot of other people do not. All they know is that the only people who are landscapers, lawn cutters or anything of the sort must be high-school dropouts. What they have to learn. I see the problem alot in the wide world of clients and racists.

    All you can really do is explain to people why it is wrong to have that frame of mind and that their regards for that ethnic group is purley 110% unnacceptable and that you would rather take your bussiness elsewhere.

    ...Just what I have seen in mah 15 years...
  8. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Racism = "belief that one race is superior to others, unjust treatment of members of a particular race" DK Dictionary

    Prejudice = "preconceived unreasonable opinion, bias" DK Dictionary

    Your customer does sound prejudice towards hispanics. Usually rooted in fear and ignorance. Many, many older customers have similiar fears. They have not changed with time.

    1) Your Hispanic
    2) Hispanics will be there to do the work...

    I dont understand how this affects the dynamics of your business relationship, or why it should stop you from taking her money.
  9. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    Come-on, being that you are in Utah, this surely is NOT a new issue for you. Especially in SLC!

    Sounds like one is trying to stir the pot a little....

    Was it racism or stereotyping???
    Did you ask her WHY she didn't want Mexicans on her property?
    For many it is the language barrier and not the race issue. Since she is single it might the machismo attitude of many Latinos (that's a cultural thing, not a race thing).

    Maybe you should have said, "No. We hire only white homeless people." I'm sure she would envision the Elizabeth Smart abduction...
  10. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    It doesnt.

    But, you are 34 and I hope you realize that MOST people "profile" or carry a certain preconcieved perception of others. Be it a person or a group. Different ethnic groups have different stereotypes, for better or for worse, that is how it is. You or I may have come to know some of these stereotypes, and may have educated and enlightened ourselves, so as not to be so apt to be influenced by them. Not all people have, or even want to.

    If you beleive in God, do you turn down work from an Atheist?

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