Holiday Tips? Not for Landscapers!!!

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by bluediamond, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. bluediamond

    bluediamond LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Hi Guys-
    My husband posts on here sometimes- now it's my turn :blob4:
    My Mother gave me an article today that she ripped out of Newsday (our local paper) the week before Christmas. It's a list of people you should tip around the Holidays. Guess who didn't make it on the list....landscapers!!! I'm pretty annoyed about this! We have 85 customers and my husband got tips from....2 this year! That's right- only 2 customers! Articles like this only encourage people not to tip. My hubby is out there busting his butt all day long- doing great, quality work and doing plenty of "extras" for people- just because he's a good guy. He frequently shuffles his whole schedule to accomodate a customer that "just can't wait". He works in 95+ degrees. He comes home drenched, filthy and exhausted- as I know the rest of you do too. I'm not knocking the other professions- I know everyone works hard- but landscapers work a lot harder than other people on that list like "au pairs/nannys" and water bottle delivery guys and hairdressers! I'm sorry if I'm all riled up- but I am! A tip is a way of showing appreciation for the hard work someone has done for you. We have 2 appreciative customers? That's garbage. He deserves a ton of praise for the hard work he does and a few extra bucks wouldn't hurt either!
    Here's what I'm doing and I encourage the rest of you to do the same. I'm writing to all of my local town papers and telling them to include landscapers on their holiday tip list. It's time people stopped looking down on the people in our industry and thinking we're stupid- and that the only reason why we landscape and cut lawns- is because we're not skilled enough to do anything else. I've seen way too many "rich snobs" talk down to my husband not realizing he went to college and is a very smart man! There is a bad image projected onto landscapers- and articles like this don't help at all. I encourage you to write to your local papers tell them landscapers deserve tips for the holidays and praise throughout the year! Don't let your hard work be devalued! You guys are awesome!!!!! Thanks for letting me vent :waving:
  2. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Not really sure how to respond to this. This is just my opinion.

    I am not working for tips. If I am not making enough money with my crew(s) with my existing rates, I raise them. In the past I have been embarassed when customers have given me tips. Do you give a tip to the owner of the newspaper that gets delivered to your door? Why not? No, you give a tip to the delivery person. Same for the mailman, do you send a tip to the Postmaster General? No, you give a tip to the local mail delivery person. If you are actually running a business, you are no longer "the lawnboy". You are the business owner poviding a service or product. In general, it is employees who get tips from customers, not the owners themselves.

    Again, just my opinion.
  3. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    This season I received "tips" from four customers during the holidays.It totaled $175 with the biggest one being $100.Yea it is great when they remember you during the holidays.The local paper here had an article as well last year and Landscapers and Snow plowers were on the list...kind of shocked me.
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I saw that article, too, Bluediamond...I don't get many tips anymore as I'm not with my men everyday, but my clients are pretty good about tipping my crew. Not a lot of money, but a $10 or $20 tip goes a long way. I have to agree with you, the public's perception of us isn't great. I always try to be professional and be polite, but there a ton of guys out there doing just the opposite. It amazes me that our association (NSLGA) has over 1500 members, and I see the same 20-30 faces at the meetings.
  5. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    I dont expect tips but it is nice when you get them. I got two cards, a 25 dollar check ,and a 25 dollar gift card this Xmas. I was pleased
  6. bluediamond

    bluediamond LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    If you would like to go by that reasoning- then I'll tell you that none of our workers got a single tip from anyone (except their bonuses from us), my hairdresser is her own boss- and she gets tips, my mothers house cleaner is her own boss and she gets tips, the nanny next door is her own free agent- she gets tips from all of her parents, etc... It is not always just employees that get tips- it is definitely the owner sometimes! We keep our prices reasonable throughout the year and we're making enough money- you're missing the point. It's about making someone feel appreciated. The point is he didn't receive a single holiday card- although he wrote out over 100- not a cookie- not a message on the machine thanking him for a great year. And the other point is that the editor of Newsday apparently thinks that landscapers don't deserve tips- while other people in the service industry do. Dont tell me you don't think it's nice to get some appreciation! I'm sure if you felt embarrased enough you could have not accepted those tips.
    He didn't complain about any of this. I, as his wife who loves him and knows that praise goes a long way am complaining for him. It would be nice to see landscapers get some appreciation for a change.
  7. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    I know its a nice jester sending out holiday cards(I used to do it every year) but stop sending them.People probably expect that card from you now.Let them know you look at them as a customer first and a friend second.

    My mother got an envelope with her newspaper the week before Christmas with the delivery guys return address on it,all she had to do was put a check in it and a stamp.That takes balls if you ask me............:nono:
  8. bluediamond

    bluediamond LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    That's great! It's nice to feel appreciated- isn't it? That's the kind of thing you'll remember on a 100 degree day when you hit a pile a dog you-know-what with the string trimmer. :)
    I'm glad your paper listed landscapers & snowplowers! I already wrote a letter to one of our smaller papers. Hopefully the message gets out there.
  9. bluediamond

    bluediamond LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Our crew got nothing! (except for their holiday bonuses from us). They are great workers and great guys! I want to see people appreciate them more too.
    All it takes is one bad/rude landscaper to ruin the image of all landscapers. It's already runied- I think- but it doesn't stop me from trying to break the mould!
    I've been out with the crew too - helping my husband and working my butt off. When the customer saw me cleaned up at a party- she told my husband "now she looks like someone I could be friends with". Oh- Now? Unbelieveable! People are so ready to look down their noses. :nono:
    I've been looking into NSLGA. PM me me and tell me if it's been a good move for you. Thanks!
  10. Coreyb

    Coreyb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    we charge for our services, enough said. i do not work for tips. do you tip your plumber or your doctor? if you are expecting tips, then raise your prices. I'm sick of hearing people talk about tips! if you want tips, be a waiter

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