Charity case

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pseudosun, May 23, 2013.

  1. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    This woman can only afford her front yard (25) every 2 weeks. I heard her talk about depression a couple times. She won't throw away old stuff which makes it hard to clean her back area: old bird cages, broken statues, pots, iron gates, etc. I do a little bit each time, because i feel bad for her. She's about 70. The house needs alot of maintenance, and i'm starting to get the feeling that she might be working me. I'm not sure. It requires alot more attention than i can do in increments every 2 weeks. The place is starting to look bad/unkept/overgrown on sides. My pics are bad, but you may see overflowing gutters, old pots, weeds in patio furniture, and on house. Small trees growing through patio, fence falling down. How would you handle it. Do nothing, not get involved, and collect 25 for front? Do a little each time, so it doesn't get out of hand? Extend yourself, and try to go there on your time off. Part of me says that it's not my problem - The other part of me says to not get involved.





  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,631

    Its a personal choice, but I wouldn't mess with it.

    I will say its extremely hard to convince old people that they cant have the yard they had in their youth without spending a lot of money for someone to keep it up.
  3. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    If she's old and has a lot of stuff laying around maybe you could barter with her for the good stuff. I do that sometimes for things like shovels and wheel barrels
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  4. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    I think she's a hoarder. I've offered numerous times to haul stuff off, and she won't. It just sits there, broken. She gave me mre's from 2005 (hurricane katrina), and thought she was doing me a favor.
  5. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    Maybe you could talk to her and suggest that you and one or two other men could spend a day at her house to get it cleaned up. Give her a list of what you think are priorities and ask her hers. Give her a flat rate for the day, that's if you think she wants the work done.
  6. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,001

    Wait, I've got a case of MRE's from 2003. Is that a problem? :) I don't think they go bad.

    This is a tough one - you want to do the right thing, but situations like this seem to mushroom out of control. You do a little here and there for no fee, then, unfortunately, it becomes an expectation. Maybe you could partner up with a local church or other charity to have a clean up day at her place with volunteers from their organization and tell her that her "stuff" will go as a donation. That might keep you from being completely on the hook. If she's unwilling to accept that, then.............I don't know.
  7. TaylorLandscapingLLC

    TaylorLandscapingLLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I would say do what she is paying you to do. tell her that her back yard is in need and give her the price you are willing to do it for and leave it at that. When the neighbors start to complain, or the city has to get involved, tell her you are still willing to take care of it, and charge accordingly. Im not saying you should be insensitive to her problems but if you started taking extra interest in everyones problems, you would have no time for working to feed your family. Everyone has a sob story in this economy. some are legit but its still not your problem. if you feel like doing her a favor, let her know you will do it for a discount or free. other than that just do her front and on to the next account!
  8. madisonpw

    madisonpw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    How about a little bit here and there...... Make you feel better about yourself I bet, in the long run imo
  9. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    I've been doing that. I can easily see how vines would take over the world if we didn't exist. It's amazing the amount of growth after 2 weeks. The middle school kids (school across street) kicked her fenced gate and broke it, and she just left it. It's putting me in a weird position. I literally don't have the time required to fix that place. It's very sad. I do feel a little guilty just taking the 25 for the front. Maybe her neighbors should help, i don't know. I don't think i've encountered someone who just doesn't give a flip like this woman. In the front , i can't cut the low branches on the magnolia and cypress, because she wants privacy, and it's extremely hard to cut. I just don't know if i should be the answer to her problems. She was telling me how she used to clean the back in a few minutes, but the same stuff is in the same place, years later, unless i move it. She did get a new car, so she's not hurting too bad. Tough situation.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,631

    Dude Id just forget it, the person is strange, reality is some people are that way. Move on.

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