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Charity case

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

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    Well, first of all, let me say I admire you for being concerned. That says a lot about you as a person. Second of all, as you get older, you will realize there are people you simply cannot help. From my quick read of your posts, I'm guessing your customer is one of those.

    Secondly, let me point out that the Great Depression started in 1929, lasting until, I think, the mid-1930's. So, unless this lady is close to 90, it is unlikely she personally remembers anything about it. Now, I'm certain she heard many stories growing up from her parents and others, which may have set the stage for some of her eccentricities, but there are hoarders in their 20's, so I'm not sure you can consider that a factor.

    People are, well, just different. We have a neighbor two doors down from us whose yard is filled with junk cars. A lady and her son live there, with him being probably 50 years old. He is in good health, and physically fit. He mows the yard about 4 or 5 times a year, normally doesn't trim. A large oak tree on the property fell probably 3 or 4 years ago. The limbs have been removed, the trunk is still laying there. Several years ago, I was looking for a used boat, and heard he had one he didn't use. I asked him about it, and he told me it was in the garage, but there was so much stuff piled in there, it wasn't worth it to him to clean it out so he could sell it.

    What I'm trying to say is that people like your client live that way because they choose to do so, not because they have to. Don't let yourself get sucked in. Just my opinion. Good luck.
  2. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 746

    There's always an abundance of good used boats in your neck of the woods!
  3. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    heh, heh, she was talking about the mental problem of "depression", not 1930:laugh:
  4. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    Did depressed lady's yard today. Summary: she can't pay for back yard, and doesn't seem to care. It's starting to look bad back there. What disappointed me was the tadpoles in the pool. The side is slick, and i don't know how they'll get out. I bent over some debris (large weed) into the pool; Hopefully they can climb out on the weed. The first pic is a large gate laying on a bird cage that she doesn't want to throw away. She just leaves it like that for one year and counting. I ran my mower and weedeater around the pool, and picked up a pile of leaves. I can't stand it. I can't do it all. The homeowner needs to find initiative to take care of their place.







  5. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    That is a sad situation indeed. I think you should report her to Code enforcement & move on. You cannot change people who do not want to change.
  6. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    This is why I mow lawn.
    When someone like that calls me to mow their lawn, I simply state I don't see no lawn, that there is no lawn for me to mow.

    Granted some want other services.

    I don't know what to tell you to do but I can tell you that I would be sure to mention to her that if she is serious about the change she wants to see in her yard, that $100 a month would be my minimum. Take it from there, that will likely be the end of it but then again you never know, either way I'd stop working there for $25 a pop, now $100 a month you can do something, at least every 3-4 months you could probably haul away a trailer load of debris, junk, and garbage?

    Unfortunately both the pool and the fence are major projects that are going to run into the thousands, each.
    Granted one could just tear the fence down and get rid of it, that would be the cheapest way out of that.

    I also wouldn't report her to code enforcement myself, but I wouldn't service that yard for no $25 either.

    The Great Depression lasted a total of 10 years and World War II started on its heels but this is a different type of depression.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  7. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Freaky. That is eerily similar to one I just dropped a few weeks ago.
    Same deal - $25 to mow the front and the rest of the property - the part that the public can't see - looks just like that - there's even a dilapidated, in-ground pool, although it is empty.

    It was in a "bad" section, bordering a really bad section of town. The people there have no money to pay for pretty much anything, so things just sit and decay.

    I was tired of working for nothing and risking my equipment being stolen and having to pick up trash every single time before I mowed.

    I think my two years of charity work were enough. I felt terrible having to cancel service and she looked like she was losing her best friend when I broke the news, but I simply could not continue to wear myself out and risk damage, and potential theft to my equipment for $50 a month.
  8. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    herler, that's the back. I don't get paid for that - i just do a little bit each time because she's old. I cut the front (not pictured) for 25. There IS a yard out front. She will not let me haul it; i've asked. I told her that all of the obstacles makes it 10 times harder to clean. It's like talking to a wall. She'll probably get reported by a neighbor.
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    I see that now! When I read your post the first time, I guess I mentally put a "the" in front of the word. :hammerhead:
  10. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    Haven't ditched her yet, but talked (on phone) with her yesterday. I was pretty fed up, and couldn't hold my tongue. She said she wants to get it cleaned up once and for all, and started rambling, "i'm gonna do this and that", and she brought up depression again. Something made me remember that show "Hoarders." When it's done for them all at once, and they aren't involved, they don't take responsibility, and the problem will continue. I told her that i'll spend a few extra minutes each trip and do what i can in increments. She didn't seem thrilled about that. I'm actually getting paid for it now, but i will only do a little at a time. Not interested in knocking myself out, and watching her go back to her ways; plus i don't have large blocks of time. She said she's getting a new fence, we'll see. I want to see something from her. I told her that when i see that someone doesn't care, i don't care either. I also told her that it's a busy year, and i'm concentrating on premium accounts. She always brings up the time when her daughter told her off. She says it doesn't feel like a home. Anyway, she was naming off all the things she wanted done all at once, and i just doubt that she will sustain this attitude. I think she's jacked up, because i acted disgusted, but I just think she'll fall back in the same pattern. I came out okay, because i'm only doing a little at a time, and getting a few extra $. The rest is up to her.

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