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Had to get this off my chest

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BobbyKnight, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. BobbyKnight

    BobbyKnight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    As a part-timer in the mowing business, I'm trying to increase the number of jobs I have. I teach full-time, so last couple of years I have had anywhere from 7-10 jobs. This year I thought I would double, so the first place I approached is my school. I am very good friends with the baseball coach, so I told him I would like to help him out and make the baseball field look better than ever. As of right now, they have a tractor that uses a large finishing mower to do the outfield. Every spring piles of grass lay on the field. After talking it over with the baseball coach, he said if administration would go for it, he would like to have it mowed every 5 or 6 days. Basically, I said I would do it 6 times/month. I thought: good friends with the coach and have been a teacher in the school for 12 years, I don't want to really make any money off this job, but maybe get some jobs from those who come to the games and see my work. So, I told our athletic director $25/mowing...how rediculously low is that!? I figured since the coach was going to help, I could do this. I told the a.d. he could, if interested, pay me at the end of the season...two months (April and May). There would probably be 12 mowings. I threw in the first two for free, so actually 14 mowings. His response was a typical school administrator political one: "I just don't think it is doable. I don't want to step on our custodians toes who gets paid hourly to do stuff like this. I'll think about it. Maybe when the custodian gets behind you can come in and do it." Can you believe that...$300 is not doable from our athletic department! Like I said, I just had to get that off my chest.
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Don't take this wrong, but what you proposed is a direct conflict of interest. The administrator was correct in turning your offer down - even if it was reasonable. The custodians could have filed a complaint with the school over this. If they have a union there could have been all kinds of fur flying. The school board may have wanted to know why this was not put out to bid, etc.The administrator had the foresight to see this and made a decision to avoid the conflict. Think of it this way - let's say someone came to the administrator and said "I'll tell you what. I'll teach BobbyKnight's class for you for the next two months for $25/ week. In fact, I'll even teach the first week for free". How would you feel then?
  3. BobbyKnight

    BobbyKnight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Very true, he probably did have the foresight to see some things I did not. I was just thinking about the fact, which I didn't mention in my earlier post, that our principal was complaining the other day that our custodian who is responsible for upkeep outside is always too busy and doesn't get to somethings when he should. I guess I was just trying to be a nice guy for our school and the baseball coach. It just gets kind of disappointing to see how our grounds look on a regular basis. Not much is put into making our place look top notch as far as the outside is concerned. As for the teaching of my class thing, as long as they pay me and I get a few weeks off, that would be great. HA! Just kidding. But, you are probably right, there are probably numerous things that go into something as small as this that could pose problems.
  4. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    In past jobs, I was in management and was involved with unions and govt' contracts. You would not believe how many time mole hills would become mountains. Have you considered donating your time in exchange for, perhaps, an advertisement board in the outfield, or talking to the principal and arranging a couple of paid days off. May be worth a shot....
  5. BobbyKnight

    BobbyKnight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    During my conversation with our athletic director, he said the exact same thing. He said maybe we could have a sign put up on the outfield fence for some free advertising. That is definitely an option. Sounds like you have some experience with this type of thing. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not trying to get rich off my school, but it would be nice if I could gain a few more jobs based off my work I do for the school. Maybe I could even suggest putting it in our yearbook and programs for football and basketball games. If you have any more suggestions Greenmechanic, send them my way. Thanks.
  6. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Sounds like you are on the right track now. Let us know how it works out. Good luck!
  7. wrestlingcoach

    wrestlingcoach LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    I tried talking to my school about doing the maintenance around all the campuses. But the CPA of our district said that we are employees of the district and would have to pay regular hourly wages: $6.76

    They have some temp service- daily different people to mow our entire school system w/ one full time maintenance guy..- horrible job, an edger "what's that!"

    At our baseball fields our coaches have to do all the work.
  8. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Grassmechanic hit a home run with his comment. (Excuse the pun!) When I lived in GA, there was a local baseball complex that had 3 fields. I donated my time and money into getting these fields looking good. I did a turf program, mowed weekly, and even dragged the infields once per week. I did it for fun, and of course it was a way to make a donation to the non-profit organization that ran it. They in turn gave me a billboard in the outfield with free advertisement, but I declined. Now, where I live, it is the Boys Club that maintains the fields....... they are NASTY! I thought about trying the same thing, but this time use the opportunity for advertising. However, I just don't have that much spare time. It's all I can do to cut my own lawn! But I am working on my wife to do that for me. Yeah right!
    Good luck Bobbyknight!

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