couple customers? hate one, like the other?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fga, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    sorry, this alittle long..
    i did an estimate for some plantings this morning, at an account i've had for 6 years now. Its a middle aged couple with some teenagers. I got it through my dad, the lady is one of his co workers. she is as nice as they come. Foir years, i would only see the husband maybe once a season, for a minute, and in that minute he would say something to insult me or piss me off. If anyone knows me, it takes something to get me angry, this guy just pushes the right buttons. Anyway, i went to their house twice this week, once to go ove the job with the lady, went great . smooth as usaul. went another time to actually do a leaf clean up, lawn, etc. The guy then calls me up last night, and requests that i go over this morning, on sunday so "you can go over it with me. my wife doesn't have the background that you and i have.." this guy knows ****. he totally undermined everything his wife wanted to do, saying he wants it dne this way. repeatedly knocked his wife. then demanded that she copme out while we there this morning, despite the facvt she was late for an appointment as it was. He made her stand out there while he told her what he was changing, everything. And with this guy, the way he talks, he's one of those guys that takes a half hour to say what anyone else can say in 3 sentnces, litteraly. i spent half the estimate walk through this morning staring off into space. His wife asked me a question while he was talking, and i gave her a quick easy reply... and this jerk off jumps down BOTH of our throats! "can i please finishg without having to shoosh you, the both of you." I was like " whoa, John, watch .." he cuts me off and apologizes to me, puts his arm on my shoulder and says, "no, not you, her." I'm thinking what a POS this guy is talking to his wife like this. she honestly looked scared of him, and used tohim speaking liket his to her. But i'm not going to let him speak to me like this, and he knew it when i stepped back and stopped him.
    my question is.. what would you have done, or would do in this case. You don't want to drop him right there, cuz his wife then gets embarrased and has to suffer because he's an a hole. I really felt bad for her, buyt wanted to punch this guy in the mouth for speaking to us like this, especially her. Its hard to type the words of the moment, but the looks on their faces, man. i just left it at that, because they were late, and i did't want to be any reason she was even later. the guy would just not shut up. talking about trees, and bushes, and anything he coeld cram into this chance to actually speak with another person. you see, all the neighbors hate him. they walk the dog on his lawn, put bushes next his propert so they don't have to see him. I understand why. How would you have gone about this, and from now on dealing with these people. keep in mind, the lady is great, really smart,pays me on time. i don't want to lose her as a customer.

    I actually got the impression he threatens to hit her... if he doesn't already.
  2. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Not really much you can do in this situation, you can tell him that you don't appreciate his tone that he took with you, might get you an apology but it won't change him. If you mention ANYTHING to him about his treatment of his wife she will probably get a beating. If you can handle the work, be pleasant to her, but not overly attentive, you don't want her to get the wrong idea because of the sympathy you are feeling for her situation. But you are not going to change this guy no matter what you do.
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Adam, there really is not much you can do about her situation. It's up to her.

    As for whether you want to keep them as clients...I'd be a little torn. If they pay on time and for the most part are easy to deal with, maybe you should keep them. I suspect she likes the dealing she has with you. If you dump them, she has to find someone else. My guess is that she'd rather you kept them as clients.

    I'm not saying you should feel like you're a social worker, just that while you can't change her situation, it doesn't hurt to be a presence in such situations, so long as you don't get directly involved.

    The abused spouse thing is really horrible to watch. The problem is that there's nothing even the law can do unless someone calls the police. That's just how it is.
  4. cutnedge

    cutnedge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    For the most part,I assume this guy is actually the bread-winner for the family.Theoretically,then, he is the one paying you for your service. The wife is just handing out the check. You know, makes you wonder what this woman sees in this a$$hole. Maybe feels trapped,who knows.

    As you know,in our industry we are dealing with the public. There are definately some customers that I like more than others, but I will not allow myself to show the good ones a better quality of service than the PITA's. Oh, theres been times when my a$$ was just smokin' on that Hustler because of a less than desirable customer, but at the time I needed their account. Still do. I can't afford to drop services everytime I get a case of the reds. This isn't to say I have'nt voiced my opinion when the situation warranted,because I have and do.

    You know the situation your business is in. Can you afford to dump the a$$hole? If not look at the bright side: you only have to deal with this guy once a year.The rest is smooth hustlin'----er----sailing. :cool2:
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Not a whole helluva lot you can do Adam other than keep your relationship with them strictly business.
  6. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    I would drop them mainly because of his crappy attitude and let him know about it! There are too many other jobs out there and life is too short to have to tolerate jackasses like that guy.

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