A Funny Observation

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by steveair, Jul 26, 2000.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello,<p>I just wanted to mention a funny, or at least entertaining observation to me, that I've noticed during the last months.<p>Every job I've done in the last month this has happened, and now that I think back, it always happens.<p>Homeowners love to pick up rocks.<p>It's funny to watch. For example, I excavate for a walk and when the digging is done, there is always 'spill' over onto the lawn, etc. Sure enough, every time, the homeowner comes out to talk/watch, and then they begin to pick up rocks.<p>It's very comical actually. They will just walk around and start picking up rocks, usually the small ones, never anything much bigger than a golfball, out of the dirt. It's almost like a natural instinct I guess.<p>My favorite is they will actually start picking rocks out of piles I have sitting around the yard. Even though I know I will be machining it around and what not, I just don't have the heart to tell them that what they are doing is a complete waste of time.<p>Watched one lady pick up rocks for a hour or so. She even took the time to throw them in her waste pickup can and they were picked up the next day. What she did in a hour I could of done in about 1 min. with a rake and flat shovel.<p>Just a funny thing that caught my attention. What can you do.......it makes them feel good I guess. They don't know your gonna dump 10 yards of topsoil on top of the ground to cover it up!<p>steveair
  2. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,671

    Steve, I don't think that the Prozac study in your area is finished yet, but sounds like your working in a testing area! ;)<p>Chris
  3. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Steve, Maybe you should start placing rocks <br>in strategic areas around the yard.A bit like<br>a giant dot to dot puzzle. :)<p>Karl<br>
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I think that this behavior starts very early in life. When I would take my youngest (a pre-schooler at that time) on installations, she would walk around where we were digging and collect rocks in an empty pot. When it got too heavy for her, she'd carry it to the truck and get another empty pot and continue picking up rocks. Her alternate activity would be to stack the empty pots together by size and carry them to a truck. We'd be finishing installing the plants and realize that she had done a lot of the clean-up for us. Needless to say, she earned a 'place' on the crew and went on most installations with me. She was also the best weed-puller I had.<p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>
  5. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 268

    I watched these people at the gravel yard yesterday picking through a huge pile of riverjack, unreal!
  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Hey Todd, <br>Were you at Sisler's or LuckStone? Seems so odd to watch people, who probably make at least $100K per year, picking through rocks.
  7. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 268

    Yup you guessed it Sislers, in their brand new cherokee!
  8. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    on another note,

    now I have finished a job and the homeowner told me to leave a pile of rock I raked up and dumped near the woods after tilling and final raking beds out because he has a friend at the shore who can't get rock down there.......can't figure that one out yet.......and that he's going to come over and load them up this week.

    It's really funny what some people do.

    I guess its really the 'old timers'. What was it like 50 years ago? Did they not have things like screened topsoil and bulk stone yards?

    I swear they didn't, because all these people are still out front, spending about 3 hours at a time, screening a 5 gallon bucket of topsoil with a old homemade screed made out of expanded metal. Yet, they just signed a contract for a $15k walk to be put in, and assume that if they don't do a couple of things around the yard, I am going to wallup them for a 1/10 yard of topsoil to fix a low spot in the yard. I have more dirt blow out of the back of my truck on the way to the job usually than what they get after 3 hours of work.

    I've even been asked sometimes if I am going to screen the soil that I dig out for walks and use that around the yard for seeding. They have even offered me use of there screed! Sure! I'll spend all day to get that 1 wheel barrel of dirt, and then be able to use all those 'useful' rocks left over on another job.......

    It cracks me up, sometimes I have to hold it in and stop myself from laughing out loud.

    But, on another note, I will give them credit for effort. At least they understand what kind of work is involved, and don't drive off in their porcshe every morning and then ***** that they have to water their lawn every day for the next couple of weeks.

    I think if most people had any clue, they would be able to do a lot of work themselves. They seem to have the drive, just not the experience. People are always amazed at how fast things get done, and say "that would of took me weeks"

    Of course it would of! Your screening your own soil, using a kmart special 2 cubic foot wheelbarrel to move it around in (you know, the one with the plastic wheel), and instead of using a rake and flat shovel, insist on picking up pebbles by hand.

    Just a funny world.

  9. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Steveair,, you mentioned:

    >>I think if most people had any clue, they would be able to do a lot of work themselves. They seem to have the drive, just not the experience.<<

    I think there is also a modern cultural thing that it is impossible to do anything for yourself if there is an "expert" who does that. Not sure how to explain the idea but it's like a very well educated person who can't change a light switch because he/she is not an electrician.
  10. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Good point alan, I get what you are saying.

    My step-fater was an engineer for IBM for years, but he still can't figure out how to fold up a lawn chair.......

    This is the problem with our business though. We know how to do this stuff, and because it is considered 'dirty work', we think we should not get paid what other people get paid for what they do.

    Well, the truth is, we, the landscape contractor, are good at what we do, and should get the compensation that we deserve. Problem is, half the people who are contractors don't realize what they do IS a valuable service that others can't perform, and yes, they deserve the $ that they worked for......no offense to anyone here, but lets face it, we have all done that job where we wish we had charged more.


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