dress up/good and bad

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Toy2, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    OK folks,

    Here it goes, get a call from some senior citizen today to check his yard out and give him an estimate, I put the Dockers and a polo, had out. Leave the trailer when I do an estimates.

    I get there and look around, he said his regular guy got deported or something and said that that guy had done all fours houses in his block.

    I tell him $40.00 bucks and will set him up on a schedule at $35.00,he said do it this afternoon, he also said he would let his neighbors know about me.

    I get home and change clothes, jeans and nice t-shirt, hook the trailer and head back, I pull up and their is another Lawn guy in front of this guys house, I think WTF and park, I head over to the old dude and he says, I called those guys before calling your company so I told them to beat it.....you got here when you said you would.

    He then tells me my boss said we would pull out some old boards that he was using as boarders and trash them.....what boss, I am the only guy in this company??? I did not want to piss him off by making him look like a dumb#$@.so I told him OK, if my boss said to do it I will.

    I pull the boards as I pick up some trash and start mowing.

    I get ready to leave and he asks how much, I was going to tack on another $10.00 for the boards and saw that he only had about $5grand in his checking, he had a hard time with his checkbook and had me write the basic check info, bad eyes he claimed, I felt bad and said $35.00 sir, we will see you next week....my question is: would you guys have tacked on any extra charge?

    I guess nice clothes could confuse seniors, so the Dockers did work.
  2. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    No but in the perfect world he lied to you slap it back to him.
  3. GGlandscaping

    GGlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I would have told him that you don't have a boss, it's just you.
    and told him that you'd have no problem removing the boards.
    and done it free.
    THAT would have made him look like an ass, but made you look professional about it.
  4. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    And you gain what by making your customer look like an ass???

    I would leave the impression of having a boss, that way when you don't want to do the add on on work, you can blame it on the boss, or "call" your boss and tell the guy it will be XX amount extra. I used to have a bunch of rental properties, best thing I ever did was start telling new tenants I was the manager. Stopped a lot of the bs excuses about rent, and the complaining about increases. Some of them actually felt sorry for me having such an ass for a boss.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    I never want my customers to know I'm the owner/ boss I let them think its always one of the other guys and it works out well. He has to listen to the crap and deal with any problems etc and I just keep working. They usually never have any idea i'm the owner unless a problem arises that the other guy can't handle. Love it when they say there gonna call the boss and my phone rings when I'm standing there listening to whats going on. The look on there faces is usually worth far more than the actual job :D :D :D :D

  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Your question is a tough one. Several thoughts...

    I despise lying. And nothing pisses me off more than being lied to. So if I got the impression he was lying to me about "your boss said to take these boards....." then I might have just stopped working for him right there and then. Lying is a matter of character and character rarely changes. I wouldn't want to work for someone like that.

    On the other hand, he sounds very old and a little confused. I may give him the benefit of the doubt and assume maybe he got me confused with someone else. I've had stuff like that happen before where people are just so old that they get all their conversations mixed up and can't remember who said what to them. So if I thought this was possible, I might ignore the lying thing.

    Next thought I have is it depends on how desperate for business you are. For the first 2 or 3 years I was in business, I probably would have taken this guy as a customer. I would take just about anyone - even if it meant doing extra crap for free. I knew it wasn't a good practice, but I was desperate for cash. And I'd take it however I could get it.

    Finally, there is an issue of charity. I've often done extra work for little or no money for elderly people just out of charity. I see the position they are in and I see they can't afford it. I know half the time it's their own fault for not planning their finances accordingly earlier in life. But hey, none of us is perfect. I know my God is merciful with me even when I don't deserve it and so I try to be charitable to others, even if they may not deserve it. I just do it because they need it and I am able. So I might even ignore the lying thing and have mercy on an old man and help him out just out of charity - and not say anything about him lying or me not having a boss - just because I might want to help the old guy out.

    But if this customer were 40 years old and fully capable, my response would be much different.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i'll bet jim had it correct. i would think that the guy had cinfused yiu with ine of the other companies.

    i think you handled it well.
  8. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    Just think.... now you have to keep a change of nice clothes in the truck, just in case you ever 'piss' him off and he asks to talk to your boss again. You can quick 'superman' change in the truck, jump out and say "How may I help you sir?" :cool2:
  9. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    Thanks folks for the quick response, this guy was pushing 85, so yes I felt sorry for him, kept thinking I might be him someday.....crappy SS check every month, house and yard that are to big to handle, but paid for...alone..

    So I guess I can remind God that i did do something nice while I was down here, or there....Thanks again. :)
  10. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I wish I ONLY had $5000 in my checking account :)

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