Working in those stuck-up middle management neighborhoods

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mbricker, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    Have you ever thought about the guy who acts like he is doing you a favor to let you do his lawn service? And thinks your work for him should be priced at your cost or below?

    Seems like a lot of those types are the college grad or MBA who gets a corporate mid-level management job with a decent salary, so at age 30 they are often doing better than their dad ever did, and better than many lco's are ever likely to do.

    And they all seem to have the idea they got where they are, solely because they are superior type specimens of humanity.

    I got news for them. Most of those guys have never created or built ANYTHING, especially the business they work for. Basically they got their positions because their parents sent them to college, and they stuck to it and got the piece of paper. Then their employer hired them on the assumption they are capable of reading and following instructions. That's all. They do not make decisions, they do not really manage, many of them do not actually supervise anyone. What they do, is sit at a desk and APPLY POLICY ACCORDING TO PRECEDENT. The policies, the precedents, and the business they work for were all created and built by better men than them, entrepreneurs LIKE US.

    That's right. WE are creators and builders of businesses, we take risks and make decisions, and we take the consequences for the bad moves. In my opinion, that makes us better men than many of them, no matter what inflated salary they get.

    BTW, some lco's in this area refer to the neighborhoods full of those people as MSDS neighborhoods. Remember the old redneck expresson for someone who is really stuck on themself? "He (or she) thinks his (her) sh!t don't stink." MSDS = "my sh!t don't stink"

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I have a friend just like you describe. The guy makes $105K a year, so he thinks he's all that. However, he spend $106K a year, so he's much worse off than I am...LOL. Anyhow, we get together a few times a month, and the conversion always turns to "When are you gonna stop pushing a mower around and hire some Mexicans?!?" I mean, he really has no concept of what I'm doing here. Like you said, this guy doesn't really do anything. He just goes in to work (whenever it suits him) and collects his fat paycheck. It's getting to the point where I don't like going out with him because he obviously has a lesser opinion of our line of work.
  3. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    People who start and grow businesses rarely cross over to the corporate world, and vice versa. It's an entirely different culture. I was getting my MBA when I looked around one of my classes and said to myself "No freakin way am I going to work with these morons" 2 classes left I said goodbye. Needless to say they weren't dumb, they are just wired differently. They are typically very motivated by position. I swear many of them will take a bullet for you if you give them a fancy title. Personally I could care less what I do for a living, just as long as it won't land me in jail and I don't go hungry.

    We all end up equal. Those worms don't care if we were MBA's or lawnboys, we all taste the same.
  4. midtnstone

    midtnstone LawnSite Member
    from mid tn
    Posts: 76

    yes i deal with them everyday cannot stand them one of the main reason i am leaving my job to do this fulltime. most dont do a thing but kiss butt and the harder we work the better they look so the more money they make make me sick to talk about it
  5. ScCo

    ScCo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    hmm...I know one of these neighborhoods ;)

    I've been lucky though, thus far in the neighborhood I'm referring to and have picked up nothing but great customers.

    Below is a picture of one of my two favorite properties that we maintain, and it is from the neighborhood I'm referring too. However these people are an older couple who are very friendly.

    It's not perfect in that it has several low spots that I will be topdressing to bring up here shortly, but it is a very nice lawn. The zoysia shows really quick how much power a mower has or lacks. Shows that my 25hp super z is reasonably underpowered when I run the bac vac.

    Anyhow, I know the type you are talking about...all to well. I'm just glad I don't have many of those type as my customers yet.

    Have a good one

  6. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 308

    You wonder though from time to time how many of them are so unhappy in their jobs and if they are ever envious of the freedom we often enjoy in this business. I'm telling you though service industries are the thing to be in for many years to come as we now see many who want to pay someone to do everything for them. The only thing that bothers me is how many of them really want their neighbors and friends to know that they have "people working for them" so to say.
  7. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    In neighborhoods like that i have found it's best to deal with the wife
  8. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    I am a 3rd generation business owner as my father and grandfather both owned their own businesses also and my father who is now near 70 as always had a saying about folks like this and doing business with them. "It sure does taste bad taking their cr_p when doing business with them but it sure does taste good putting their money in my bank account"
  9. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    Here's a couple of clues to watch for, so you will know you are in an MSDS neighborhood:

    VERY expensive homes and cars, but over time you bid several, and you are always "too high."

    Guy stops to ask you to go up the street and bid his home, you stick out your hand and introduce yourself, he ignores your hand , and doesn't tell you his name. That one I KNEW I would be "too high" on. I doubled what I actually thought it shoud be.

    I swear, if you happen to do a bid for the really big guys, the ones who actually started and built big companies, you will likely get more respect from them than you do from their managers.
  10. needa

    needa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    This is a very interesting post. You see I happen to be one of "those people" that live in a nice neighborhood, has a MBA, with a fancy title, and draws a big salary. But let me also tell you about the 5 years I was enlisted in the navy so I could earn money for school, and then proceeded to work the next 5 while going to school full time while married with 2 kids. Including 5 months of sod work, 3 years of construction, and 1 year of night help desk work talking morons through fixing their computers. Don't let the perception you have of someone overshadow the real image.

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