Customers neighbor! What is with some people?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Not a huge deal but even though I have been in this business 12 years and have been dealing with people in the fire service for 22 years I still shake my head sometimes.
    In April I picked up a 15 minute job from a lady who is in the process of selling the house. She is between here, St Louis and Alaska so she needs the lawn cut.
    I have been going there weekly since April and the yard is about 2000 sq in the front and 2000 sq in the back but the backyard has no direct access for a Z or larger WB on the property from the front or sides because of tiered gardens. The price was based on using the Z as I can knock it out quick. I would access the backyard by going down the north boarder for about 75 feet which is technically in the neighbors yard then I can turn into the property. The neighbors yard is no showcase, just lawn that is maintained by the homeowner with a lawn tractor.
    Yesterday my wife was helping and she did the front, I did the back as usual and went back to string trim. As I emerge from the back there is a guy standing with my wife talking. I thought that mayby we were going to get some more business and I went over. The guy said hi introduced himself and even shook my hand. He said he owned the house and then he asked me who gave me permission to drive my Z over the yard. I was initially a little taken back as I have been there since April. He was obviously looking to be an A-hole and after a little exchange I told him to have a nice day and then to go and abcedF himself. He walked away and I continued to insult his lineage (Lineage (anthropology), descent group that can demonstrate their common descent from an apical ancestor).

    It shouldn't be a big deal but somehow now he thinks it is. He could have asked me not to drive there or be polite but he chose the dickheadd way so I verbally berated him a little. I know it probably isn't any where near professional but ya know, I'm 45 years old and I can see his point if it is made in a respectful way. It wasn't so I will take no crap. I can see if I did damage or something but I never spin the blades until I am on the property I mow and he uses a lawn tractor to mow his so its not like I was putting ruts in a manicured lawn. On top of that I have been there since APRIL.
    I really don't like going out and having confrontations but I am not going to be talked to like some idiot over an issue that could have been easily worked out. Yes all the monday morning QB's might say I should have taken the high road and bend over and be polite. Thats where we differ and you weren't there.
    I will now ask a farmer who doesn't maintain a field on the south boarder if I can bust a path thru the weeds to access the yard from the south. If not then I will be able to get a couple of 22's in there from the side. There is only about 6 weeks left so I will suck it up because the customer has been very nice.
    Thanks for reading the long version of a short incident. I still think the lawn service is great. I just laugh when people undercharge for their work, you can't put a price on intangables that you have to deal with on some jobs.
    I'm better now, thanks for sitting thru my first session of anger management for Lawn Care Professionals.:laugh:
  2. sbvfd592

    sbvfd592 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    hmmm if i was him i might have asked that same question. if you didn't get permission get the heck off.... that's the way the world works come on. if i was you i would have asked him in april!!
  3. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,582

    you should have asked him first; however you have been there since april and he has said squat so he should have just asked you not to use his lawn to accese there lawn.

    Also asking the farmer is a good idea.
  4. IHusky

    IHusky LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    I think he's being a **** and probably hating on you because he is suffering from machine envy (you nice ZTR and he POS lawn tractor).:laugh: Its his property but he could have been more polite. Lesson learned, next time ask.
  5. LawnSharks

    LawnSharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    We've all been there...done that. Sometimes it is better just to let them have it. I've got a guy with a crappy yard that lives between two of my customers. Their lawns are show pieces, his, as I said is crap. He watches as we mow to make sure that no trimmings blow into his yard. One day the wind was blowing pretty rough and the leaves from a nearby rivver birch had fallen. Of course when we mowed, the wind picked up some of the leaves and they drifted into his yard. He waited until that night, got online, visited my site and sent me an email demanding that I rake his lawn. I simply sent sent him an email stating that I was not in charge of the wiond and if he could determine which leaves that the mower blew and which ones the Lord blew, we'd be happy to remove ours.
    He never responded via email but about a year later he stopped me and said that he was simply having a bad day and needed to vent and actually thanked me for setting him straight.
    Who knows, some folks are just looking for a fight! You did the right thing!
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,930

    I have found out over the years that many people are very territorial-- just like animals in many cases. So I always ask first and always try to follow that property line when cutting or just riding. So I don't have to be bothered by the loonies of the world. I am glad you let him have it back though:weightlifter: :usflag:
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I still haven't quite figured it out, but yeah it's somewhere between a kind of a peepee envy thing and plain common sense (as in, territories and borders).

    It gets me, too, like when I'm moving leaves into the woods and someone just has to mention that it's their woods, as if it made a darn difference, as if they were planning to grow lawn there, but, if it's theirs it has to be respected. What gets me is getting jerked around over nothing, but ultimately my biggest problem is the waste of time, I really don't care about the what and the who, I flat out don't got time for the blablabla and bs.

    So I learned a few lessons over the years...

    1) Make SURE no debris ends up in a neighbor's yard, don't park in front of their property by even a foot overlap and if you DO per chance get the slightest bit of debris over there clean it up.
    2) Stay OFF their property, if I can not do a job without having to cross into a neighbor's yard then I can't do the job. Of course customers always assure me it's no problem but I tell you any one of them gives me a lip and I'm as likely to pack up and leave and never return, don't forget to leave a bill for the work that did get done and that's if I even show up in the first place. Now the easiest way around this is to get the customer to clear things up with the neighbor for you in advance, that tends to work.
    3) Do it when they're not at home :laugh:
    > On that note, get in your truck, roll up the windows, lock your doors, and get super busy with paperwork.
    4) Feel free to ignore them 100% any other time, they don't own you or your business, however, once you cross over the magical line things can change.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I maintain my lawn and my neighbors lawn which is 2 houses down. The fellow between us is a slob and cuts his grass every 2-3 weeks (I always get stuck with poor white trash as neighbors...not a racist thing to say as I am white...its just the truth). Well I am not sure what his problem is either lazy or if his mower is broken. He has his father come over to cut on a Cub-Cadet ZTR and the guy cuts at about 1.5 inches and scalps the sons yard. He finished up the front and rear and proceeds the the side of my neighbors lawn (His left, her right) he takes a swath completely over the property line by a mowers width blowing out grass and trash right into neighbors lawn and proceeds around light post, transformer and cable box right into my neighbor/customers lawn and actually starts to mow around the single wing catch basin which separates the property (wing side of catch basin is on my neighbors property by 15 feet or more. Being the nice guy I am and wanting to keep piece I simply let it slide and feathered the swath with my trimmer so that it didn't look so bad. This persons father manages to keep all grass off sons driveway by cutting with shoot towards inside of lawn for the entire cut leaving mounds of grass that remain for weeks. sometimes I think jealousy plays a part in how neighbors react to situations as someone else said, so being mine and neighbors lawn both look very nice, he is going to make his stand out by making his look like crap.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

  10. meathead1134

    meathead1134 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    So basically your trespassing on his property you got confronted about it and now your mad because he said something to you. Somebody needs to respect other people's property I would have asked first instead of trespassing.

    PS I have has this happen to me. I picked up a 1 time cut for a 4th of July party next door to the property I was cutting. I couldn't get my WB in the yard because of the gate. So I went next door and explained my situation and the home owner granted me permission to go through his yard to the yard I needed to cut. What if there was a dog and you got bit??
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