Big profit here? If so, be nice. Be nice any way. Just ask what she expects them to look like when you finish, then do what she wants. If she stands there while you work and this bothers you, ask her not to. If she's just hard to get along with, just tell her she'll need to find someone else. I just did this a year ago with my second client ever. What a relief! I can put up with some guff, but...
Have her instruct you only 1 time,pay careful attention to her since they are her property,thank her for giving such detailed instructions,and tell her that you will do the same everytime from now on,and that it wont be necessary for her to tell you everytime.If she doesnt get the hint,be prepared to either drop her or charge her an additional charge for time lost due to her slowing you while working.
I agree with the other posts. If you are miserable every time that you work there, get rid of the customer. I got rid of a couple of lawns that I hated, and boy I'm glad! Send he a nice letter that says you will not be able to provide lawn service to her any more. P.S.-How often do you trim her hedges?
LOL, I did bushes Friday for a longtime customer, her elderly ex-husband was visiting for the week from SC, hovered over my shoulder for the first ten minutes, then I shut down the trimmer, without saying a word, and headed for the truck. When he asked what was wrong, I told him in a calm but stern voice, "Im going for a coffee, when I return in five minutes if you're still out here Im driving right by and coming back in two weeks to finish up." When I returned his car was gone and I finished the job with no interruptions.
i would early on that:
1.my insurance requires me to clear area when work is being done.
2.it's a little hard to trim safley and with by standers, safty hazard.
3.my insurance,my insurance my insurance
I don't think they would argue after all when you get car work done in a shop(that your not freinds with)they don't allow you in the bay unless it's to show you something.
Tell her your trimmer has a tendance to go hay wire and you can't control it and you wouldn't want her to get injured maybe even lose fingers or have her eye put out,you still haven't got over the last customer this happened to. She won't watch for long.
Not only are those shrubs the lady's property, she may have had a bad experience with the last guy who tried to trim them. Listen to her. If she is asking for reasonable type of trimming, assure her that you understand and just do it. Since some types shrubs are usually hand-pruned while others accept shearing, be sure you pay attention to what you are trimming. And if you're not sure which is correct, go learn. If you can show this lady that you do an excellent job, she will probably leave you alone and brag about you to her friends. If you have specific questions about which shrubs to hand prune, please ask on the landscape forum.