so this crazy lady flags me down...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Appalachian landscape, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    She pulls up in the middle of the street while I'm at a customers house laying mulch. Older lady probably in her early 70's, she wants me to come cut her lawn up the street. She was just sitting in the middle of the road and holding up traffic and I gave her a business card and told her to call me. She calls and tells me on my voice mail she is moving (red flag), she will be leaving town this weekend (red flag), and she wants me to go ahead and cut the grass while she is gone and she will probably pay me (probably?) when she gets back on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday. I went and looked at the house and the yard is absolutely trash. Half is very new seed under an improperly installed erosion mat and the other half is jungle like. She told me to cut the grass and clean up the yard. We haven't discussed price, and I couldn't say 100% that she even lives at that house. I haven't seen her at the address and my only contact with her was for about 45 secs in the middle of the road through the car window and the voice mail message. I feel like I would be a fool to do the work with out first discussing price and walking the property with her to determine what needs to be done. Should I go ahead and do the work and assume she is trustworthy, or just explain to her when and if I talk to her that I don't do business that way. If I did a full clean up and mow on this property it would be at least $150-$200 and I don't think she would be expecting that. I'm thinking she has the lawn boy syndrome and wants to pay me $10. What do you guys think?
  2. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    A new customer is never trustworthy, at least a customer you have never met before. As for the work I would want the money up front if she is moving, that is automatically a part of the deal for me. Either that or I make arrangements with the real estate salesperson the customer is dealing with to get an address they are moving to.
  3. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I would call her back and tell her (or leave a message) that I would be happy to do the work for $xxx.xx and if she could leave a check for 50%, we could settle up when she is back in town and maybe discuss ongoing service until she sells her house.
  4. The C Man

    The C Man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 527

    I think your assessment of the situation is 100% spot on. No way I'd do any work for her under the current circumstances.
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,886

    I would give her a estimate in writing and get her signature in agreement before I did any work
  6. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    That is the most outrageous display of arrogance ever. I thought you were going to say she asked you for directions. That's what she would have gotten from me. Don't you realize what happened. How could you let another person degrade you like that. What was going on in her mind that let her think she had the right to beckon you to come to her, like a servant. Then she barks orders at you like a slave and actually expects it will take place. I would not have gone over to her car. I would not have given her a card. I would not return her call. I would not looked at her property. If you work for her, you must not have any self respect at all. I have said this many times before and I'll say it again. If you want to look stupid, go stand next to a stupid person. That is what you did. Here comes a stupid person down the street and stops and blocks traffic. Then here comes another stupid person walking over to talk. Then all those people stopped in traffic watch you reach in your pocket and hand her a card. They're thinking, look at these stupid people. Then they look over and read the sign on your truck. Please, if you work with this jerk, don't tell me about it. My young christian heart can't stand the abuse. It's not that you and I are stupid (or the stupid lady), It's just that some times we allow our selves look stupid. If you want to be successful, go stand next to success. If during your journey, you treat anyone like that lady treated you, success will hide from you.
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,886

    Aren't we Christians suppose to be careing, understanding, helpful and not full of pride? And not call people "stupid"?
    You sure blew that out of the water .......
  8. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    Stupid is what stupid does, and stupid says what stupid is. OK, I'll take it back. I'll just say the lady acts like a stupid person. The man should have turned the other cheek, and not the ones on his face.
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    That is your opinion. This is mine.
    I also talk to people in the middle of the street. (if it is a hazardous situation then no), personally I think he is a little overexzagerated on his blocking traffic. However none the less. I have landed some of my largest commercial accounts by simply saying hello to them and giving them a card. They see you they know what they want. Simple sale. Right place Right time.

    Now for your situation Appalachian landscape No work until contract signed period. And the fact that she is moving, money up front or no deal. I will never chase my money again if I can help it. Meaning I will go out of my way to make sure I will not get screwed.
  10. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    Dont do a thing until you have a signed contract of an agreed price. I got burned doing just what you described 3 seasons ago, and it was a mess.

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