This is an odd year, that's for sure. Unlike any other year in the 12 years I've been in business. I say the year of the dogs because it seems like a much higher percentage of the bids I give these days (for new landscaping, hardscapes, irrigation systems) are from clients who are just totally wasting my time; Dogs in other words. We're actually up in gross sales this year by 15% by some miracle. But it sure doesn't seem like it. I haven't run all the numbers but I would bet that even though total sales are up, profit margins are lower than usual. And probably the only reason we're up is because of a few huge windfall jobs we landed. Otherwise, normal jobs are hard to come by this year. Anyway, seems like almost every bid I give these days is just a total waste of my time. Either the client wants some really odd things done and there's no way to do the job to where they could afford it AND we would make any profit. Or their budget doesn't even come close to the reality of what they want done (champagne taste, beer budget). Or they call and act like they have a large project and when I show up it's a little tiny townhouse and they just need a small $500 or $1000 job done (and again only have a $250 budget). It just seems like 80% of the bids I give this year are these total time-wasters. It's usually not that high of a percentage. Typically, maybe 20-25% of the bids I give are like that. I feel like I am running around giving bids every day just totally wasting my time. I feel like I am working 3x as hard to land jobs than I ever had to in the past. It's freakin' discouraging as heck. I guess I should feel fortunate that we are still landing jobs and staying busy and sales are higher. But it just seems like so much work to get there. Argh!!!! Anybody feelin' my pain???