• Online Events For Landscapers!
    With GIE+EXPO cancelled, virtual education and product launches are filling up the fall. Check out dates for Caterpillar, Exmark, NALP, and more. Click here to learn more.

I got fired! Not my fault!


LawnSite Member
My first job doing someones lawn and it ended bad because of a dimwitted customer.

I get a call from a guy that has a lawn which dosen't look too good and asks if I can do a job repairing it for him.
I say sure, no problem, done this a million times.

So I go over there, bring my equipment and his wife is there to show me the lawn and what they want it to look like, showing some magazine pictures of what looks like an almost golf course green.

I take a few 'before pics', before work commences.

I read somewhere its good to start by trimming the grass as short as possible and then aerating it so that the grass will grow back stronger and to fertilize and after-sow a few seeds here and there to get it just right.

So I tell her my plan and what needs to be done and she accepts and goes back inside.

I start by the above procedure and after that, get underway by aerating the lawn. Then a few 'after pics' to document the progress.

But now, get this, just about 5 mins after I'm done aerating, the guy comes home, parks his car and quickly calls his wife and approaches me, asking what the hell I've done here!

I tell him to chill, that I've already explained to his wife how to get a good golf course grass gowing and the procedure involved.
He has the nerve to tell me that its all wrong, that I didn't use an aerator but a cultivator and that I've completely ruined and chunked his lawn to bits.

I tell him that if hes so clever he could do this himself, instead of hiring a professional and reassure him that is it what needs to be done, that the grass will grow back stronger and it'll be flatter than before.

His wife was just standing there with gaping jaw and red as a turnip, as if she forgot to take her medication or something. So much for telling him that we've talked this through before work commenced and taking my side of the matter.

After a few moments of silence and I can clearly see their anger, I decide to further reassure them that this is the best thing to do as it also kills many of the harmful bugs in the lawn, like the ghastly earthworms that do no good whatsoever.

At this, his wife flings out a stream of insults and I get angry too and tell the husband to keep her on a leash if he can't control his animal.
He gets all menacy and I decide the best thing to do is quickly pack my things and just take off, WITHOUT payment!

I think the problem is they're having maritial problems and they needed to vent it out on me.

Have any of you also encountered some non-paying jobs because of stupid customers that can't tell the difference between lawn and concrete?

Attached are pics of before, during and after the aeration.





LawnSite Senior Member
down under
I got to hand it to you this is funny stuff, i wonder how many dimwitts you will hook on your line haha :rolleyes: :laugh:


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
Yeah,...Keep phishin', buddy. I guess some people have a little too much time on their hands. Kind of ironic for this time of year...:rolleyes:


LawnSite Gold Member
coastal NC
i think you referred to the wrong person as a dimwitt.


LawnSite Senior Member
down under
ooppss i think i misunderstood you Yardpro, you are addressing the poster ?


LawnSite Fanatic
i think you referred to the wrong person as a dimwitt.
Fact is you told the guy you've done this a million times, yet then off you go to read up on it...
This isn't jibing and I think that might've been part of the problem.

Because, I don't have any pics of my aerations, but it's never looked quite like that! :laugh:
Most of my aerations, well you can see it but for the most part it still looks like what their lawn was before...
Are you sure you rented an aerator?
Because that yellow machine looks like a rear-tine tiller to me, I could be wrong, but ...

The other part of it is, no customer ever controls HOW the work is to be done. You got this part right after the fact, but once they came outside and you guys started discussing things, that's when it already went too far... What came after the aeration is predictable, I would've ran before that but I don't always see it coming either...

Don't feel too bad, I have a similar situation where I'm not all that willing to bend over and take it like a man, even if I should, see this thread:

I mean, I am thinking the best solution is time, and in that time chew it over in small pieces so you can let it go, that's what I'm doing, I'm not over it yet but one day I'll take care of my customer's problem, thou it'll likely be the end of it, too.

sux, such is life


LawnSite Senior Member
what did you do to their lawn? I dont know about your area, but around here you would have been sued for doing that to a lawn w/o written documentation of what you were going to do. I would have NEVER made a lawn look like that unless it was a complete tear out and re sod.