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Tips (Gratuities) , Drink of water

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by WalkGood, May 7, 2007.

  1. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,910

    I shouldn't be surprised but sometimes I am still surprised by people.

    Few customers tip me, most do not. I do not expect it. It has always been a surprise when they do. Some offer a drink of water. Many do not. One lady gave me a chicken cutlet sandwhich! And all I was there for was the Spring startup.

    Some customers follow you around while they hold their cold drink and it's 90+ degrees and humid. Not even an offer of some water.

    Got a tip the other day, $20. On a Spring startup with one rotary head and one mist head replacement. The bill was less than $100. Modest neighborhood, retired folks too.

    Another job, $million-plu$ house, boatslip in the backyard on the water. Three hours of 12 zone startup and a ton of line breaks & head damage (they did not do fall blowout). Not even an offer for a drink of water.

    Growing up, if we had someone working at the house my parents gave them food and drinks. I'm, the same way. Whatever happenned to courtesy? How hard is it to offer a drink of water?

    How is it in your area?
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I get offered sometimes, but rarely take anybody up on it. I have a problem with taking food/drinks from customers. If I don't have water, the hose spigot works just fine. I had one lady ask me twice if I wanted a sandwich last week while at her home. I told her no both times. She later came out with one and set it on the truck saying if you want it, here it is, if not throw it out. I ate it just to be nice. Lousy sandwich, don't even know what kind of meat it was. And I absolutely HATE mayo, which it had. But some people always want to offer something and it hurts their feelings.

    I have one customer that always gives Tom and I frozen cinnamon cranberry rolls that she makes herself. I try to go in the morning, then put them on the dash to thaw out. Nice snack later in the day!!!

    Occasionally I get a cash tip. Tom got one the other day, but they just added it to the check. Maybe I'll forget to pay him the cash.......... j/k
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We had one guy who would always give us a beer during blow outs.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,686

    I'll trade all the water, sandwiches, and even the beer, if they can refrain from following me around.
  5. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    I really don't mind having them on site, at least I can show them the problem, quote it and go from there, rather than play the "which head was not rotating, can you put it on for me please? and, also when you're wrapping up, "Oh, i was also wondering if you could add 2 heads over there please."

    I'd rather walk around with the customer all day.

  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,686

    Hey, if they pay me by the hour, I'll drink beer and play pinochle.
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    I arrived at one job for an estimate last month and she had freshly baked lemon-blueberry scones and dark roast coffee for me. Made getting up early on a rainy Saturday worthwhile.

    Cutomers often ask me if I'd like water. Some have told me to hlep myself to their outdoor or garage fridge.. I'll always opt for water or Gatorade over the beer when I'm working, but some days it is a temptation.
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    For some reason a friend and I were talking about Wonder Bread the other day. I mentioned to him that I used to use it to stop up leaky pipes for sweating or gluing. I didn't carry it on the truck much though, so I'd have to knock on the door and ask if they had any white bread or hot dog buns.

    A couple of times they asked me if I'd like them to make me a sandwich. "No thanks", I'd say. "I'm not hungry. The only thing this stuff is good for is stopping up pipes."

    Whole wheat just doesn't wad up as well.
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I never accept alcohol when I am working, I will sometimes tell them I'll have one with them when I am done. I have clients who expect me to sit on the porch and have a glass of wine, maybe some cheese and crackers with them when I am finished for the day, they don't care how dirty or muddy or sweaty I am. If I say no they get all disappointed looking. I have had probably at least 80% of my clients offer me food or drink when I am there.
    I carry my own water and food, so I don't always accept but it's nice to be treated like that regardless.
  10. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    I'm with you on this boots. Drives me nuts. Sometimes I'll accidentally/intentionally hit my remote button and get them wet. I have all sorts of ways I make them feel like they are in the way and slowing me down without being rude. What I really hate is when they bring out one of their tools like a hand trowel or root snippers and want me to use it. I do take them up on water. One customer I've had for years makes cc cookies. Best tip I ever got was 100.00. One rule I'm really strict about is we DO NOT use the customers facilities.

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