"Educated Proffessionals"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TURFLORD, Jan 17, 2006.


    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Is it me, or do the people that use this term to describe themselves, seem to be the ones that treat lco's with the most disrespect and contempt? They seem to emit a certain aura of conceit. It seems that when I work on other contractors homes such as plumbers, welders, excavators, etc. there is more understanding and respect for each other. Also it seems easier to work for people of middle average income. The American economic Caste system lives.:(
  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I know exactly what you are saying. I used to care. It is all about the money now. Most of the people that look down on me can barely make all of their payments. I just smile now! I am glad I am not caught up in their rat race. Education has little to do with success in my opinion and lot to with will.
  3. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    This happens all the time and most of the people looking down have never done a real days work so they don't understand that not "anybody" can do it. Let think what they want. Like the previous post said they are struggling to just make ends meet as well, trying to keep up with the Jones down the street. Part of what Sean has been trying to do with this site is improve the image of the LCO from the mental picture most have of LCO's.
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Perhaps you just have a chip on your shoulder and don't feel equal to everyone else? Just a thought. I never feel disrespected or held in contempt. In fact its just the opposite. I always receive a great amount of respect when I come to an appointment. But I also don't set my self up for failure by going to every person that calls for an appointment. They have to follow my guidelines before I will meet them.

    1. Receive my information packet in the mail
    2. Read it call me back for an appointment.
    3. Make sure the right people (code for decision makers) are at the meeting.

      You get what you demand, position yourself as a expert in the industry and you will get the respect you seek grasshopper. Easy for me to say I'm in Phoenix Az where we work 12 months a year and its booming and there are lots of wealthy people with disposable incomes. I have been doing this in one place for over 25 years and I have taken every class that has come along for the last 15 years and I have made a lot of mistakes and learned from them all. So, I have a lot of plant, soil, design, fertilizer, lighting, pond, injector, hardscaping, irrigation, information. This makes me so arrogant there is no way I could possibly feel disrespected... But seriously it was not always like this for me. I hired a great business coach and paid him a lot of money to teach me this stuff. Although I may be in a different market geographically, business is business, you cant walk into the best restaurant in town and sit right down without having a reservation or waiting in line.

      You have to give them a reason to respect you.
  5. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    Excellent response, AZ Gardener!

    As an 'educated professional' myself, I'm sorry to hear that you've been treated that way. As an engineer working in the oilfields, it didn't take long to learn that an attitude like that would get you nowhere. In fact, you could expect to walk home--or worse.

    When I have a contractor come to my house, I ALWAYS offer them a cold drink, restroom, etc. I figure that if I treat them well, I'll get better service.

    Since you're having trouble, you might trying to improve your image. Be on time. Try to visit with customers before you get dirty and sweaty. Say, "Yes, sir," and "Yes, ma'am." Offer suggestions. Thank them when you leave.

    I'm fortunate that I live where I do (Midland, Texas). I think people are more respectful. There are a lot of wealthy people here, and you never know who has the money and who doesn't. It's very likely that the guy in the dirtiest jeans just came in from his latest oil well and is worth millions. I would dare to say that virtually everybody is treated with respect here.

    President Bush and Laura are from here. My wife works for the retirement center where Laura's mother lives. When she comes to visit, she starts at the back of the cafeteria line and buys her $5 guest meal just like everybody else. (I don't know if you like Bush or not, and it doesn't matter. People here know them to be honest and decent folks that don't try to pull rank on anyone).
  6. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I agree. I try to treat all of the contractors that work for me as I would want to be treated. It is amazing what people will do for you if you are quick to pay and not anal about the work that is being done.
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    1. Good post but cut to the chase, Are you there for the money or respect and which one do you need the most? If you need the money, earn there respect if you don't need the money move on.
  8. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    With those "type" of customers it is all about how you present yourself. If you show up looking unprofessional and cannot speak to save your butt, well you are definately in for that type of treatment.

    If you show up looking professionally and present your self in a professional manner, then you will command just as much respect.

    Like someone said earlier, those cats are barely making ends meet and living way beyond their means most of the time.

    WHen I get calls for jobs with those people that have their head stuck up their a$$. I treat them with respect, give them a high price, act like I dont give a crap if I get their business and just smile at them....

    My slowest paying customers are the ones with the biggest houses...One of my customers just got a $50k pool with $20k enclosure and has not even sent me my $125 for December yet. I dont worry about it cause it always shows up eventually.

    I will take middle class America customers all day long. I dont discriminate though cause all the money is GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I've worked for a paycheck in an office before in the past, and now for money I get only based on the work I do. You do tend to not appreciate the work done when the check shows up no matter what you did that week.

    Some of these people have never done hard work and have no conception of how hard it is or what is involved with supplying a service. After all, they just show up at an air conditioned office, sometimes not actually doing much work, and get a nice check. They see the money you're paid and think you keep all of it. You're there 30 minutes and go away with $30, so they think you made $60/hour. That's maybe even more than they make, so they resent it. Of course you have costs and downtime and don't work on-site 100% of your workday, but being office dweebs, they don't put that together. There are also a lot of professionals who don't have any particular skills, besides language based ones (sales, communication, etc) or perhaps playing politics and ladder climbing, at which they excel. They assume a sense of superiority over "little people" as a way of protecting their insecure egos. I've read books on little funny things we do in our society to show dominance. Why do you think waiters come over at fancy restaurants and grind pepper on a salad? It's so their customers can say "I'm so great I have peons to put condiments on my food for me". For some people, treating the lawn guy like an ant achieves the same end.

    They might have mowed ONE lawn a week a few times and think it's no big deal. They don't understand what's involved with mowing more grass in a day than they have in a year.

    It also does not help that they see an often illiterate (at least in English) almost permanent underclass doing more and more of this work, and in their ignorance they see it as work that isn't worth paying much more than a minimum amount. I've heard the term "it's just Mexican work" bandied about before.

    I target middle/upper-middle income people and am most comfortable with them. People whose actual production determines their income are the easiest to deal with. Unfortunately, most self-employed blue-collar trade people tend to be the kind of guy who handles his own lawn. Single women are also better customers than married ones or men. Retired widows are ok, as long as they're not so old that they don't know what modern prices are, or they're broke and on a tight budget. They are a little intimidated by the hard work and seem to appreciate your efforts more.

    Some professional men seem to have hangups and shame issues about not being man enough to handle their "manly tasks" at home, and it tends to manifest itself through complaints about nothing. I guess they feel they have to do something to act dominant and not like the wusses they may feel they really are. My brother is an electrician and says the same thing. They will wander in on a job and search around to find some little thing to correct, just to show they're not a total clueless wuss. ("210, 220, whatever it takes")
  10. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    You sound like TurfLord but in reverse where you have disrespect and contempt for people who work in the office. Some people get a college education so they don't have to work outdoors so I doubt they ever think about guys who mow lawn.

    Sounds like you got an inferiority complex about mowing lawns.

    Nothing wrong with making a living cutting lawns if your happy doing it. :)

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