Lack of Respect for Industry?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by txirrigation, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 977

    I often get the "I am better than you" attitudes from clients and also feel as though people look down upon the irrigation industry. I also get customers that go with my company because they like to use the "small guy." Then the epic engineer that thinks he is better than all of us and proposes his own desgin, and we all know how that turns out.

    I do not know the industry stats but most of the companies around that are big enough for me to take notice are run by well educated guys. I do not know where the "small guy" vibe comes from, maybe it is because I personally do the bids, but we install 175-250 systems a year.

    In a way I guess I am happy that people do not know how big of an industry this is, and if run properly you can make a good chunk of change.

    The horrible attitude I get from people that believe they are well educated and MUCH smarter than I/We are (DELL employees) is amazing. They think that sitting behind a desk makes them better than all of us, and of course smarter. Well I manage the books, 12-20 emplyees, 4 trucks and equip, work 65-80 hrs a week, and do it well enough to make people think I am still the "small guy." Also if my company fails, SO DO I, which no employee in any industry will ever understand.

    One time I did get a tad bit of justice. I filed a lien on a guy who was being a royal PITA because he wanted to wait and see if he grass turned green in all areas before he paid his balance. When he found out about the lien he personally brought the check to my house, not office, and got to see what kind of lifestyle this ditch digger lead. When I answered the door, all he said was, "THIS IS YOUR HOUSE?" with amazement on his face.

    Anyone else get this? What have you done?
  2. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    I don't usually get the people that think they are smarter than me. I have had customers that thought they were better than me because they are super rich and are just plain a$$holes. I find that a lot of rich people are really stupid when it comes to common sense type stuff. I have this customer who is the head of a large magazine company and she asked me how the trees in the woods behind her house grew with no irrigation. Money doesnt buy sense.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    90 % of my customers are IT workers. All educated all making good money. Some struggle on how to turn a ball valve off.
  4. Buck_wheat

    Buck_wheat LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 585

    The USA has become a nation of yuppie MBA's geeks, illiterates, illegals or drug addicts. None of them could find their a$$ in the dark with a flashlight and two hands. My wife and I love to read the paper and catch all of the grammatical errors from this bunch of white collar vageniuses and try and make sense of what they are talking about. A white shirt makes them superior until $hit breaks and then they got to call the blue collar guy.

    I run a property maintenance business, I don't do installations and probably could never come close to learning or even understanding all of the accumulated knowledge of the participants on this forum. But when stuff breaks, 99% of the time we can fix it. So when Muffie's tampons stuffs up the toilet after she drop a log on it, they call me to herd the turd and get the water moving again. Smells like $hit to her and Binky but it smells like money to me.

    I love when stuff breaks... I don't care about their attitudes, just the check. All of my business is from referral's because of the quality, customer service and price; and we do some fancy communities too, where the HOA refers us to the HO's because they are happy with us.

    As soon as a guy shows up in a brand new truck with a shirt and tie on, they are going to pay too much for inferior service from people who don't give a damn. Let them, they've got my magnetic card on their fridge, eventually they'll call.
  5. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Let's face it, we work in the dirt. Our clients work in the A/C wearing a tie with their own personal office and many times with a personal assistant. We are paid for our labor and they are paid for their brains. Until we are on the same level as them, they will not think of us as equals.

    On the other hand, we can name the price for our skills. 2 BMW's in the driveway = 20% price bump.
  6. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 977

    My Dad always told me that it takes a genious to serve, and an idiot to be served. He was a CPA, so he recieved more respect from his customers but still had to deal with chit.
  7. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,956


    Today I dealt with what I just found out either a billionaire or extremely high millionaire . He had lots of questions on his sprinklers. He was nice though
    Not like the lady first job of the day. She changed things around with out telling us and then freaked why her plants aren't getting water and I told her we would have to come back , of course I didn't know the extent of the job when I arrived... So I said we can come back either at the end of my day or in a couple days from now... " Bla bla bla! I got 5 rentals for you and 10 nieghbors for you!! I'm taking them allllll away if you don't fix this now!!!""

    Messages: 1,343

    Keep smiling, serving, and charging accordingly. Go to the bank, deposit your checks and take splice in re fact that whether or not a customer thinks they are better than you they had to call you for help because they are not intellegent enough to fix the problem.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    You are confusing the lack of respect for you by these office types rather than a lack of respect in general for the industry.
    Personally I couldn't give twoshitsless what people think of me as long as their checks don't bounce.
    Unless the client is even more aggravating than my ex-wife, and so far it has been only one patel to achieve this lofty designation, I completely ignore their stubbing and know-it-all attitude until it comes time to compile the estimate.
    Then I add on a "pita" factor - some pay and some don't.
    I have had only one client ask me what I thought of him - so I replied. Told him if he was in the middle of the street I wouldn't hit my brakes to stop since I didn't want to wake up my dog in the backseat. I see him occasionally when the wife calls for irrigation service and she looks at him strangely when he always starts off with "woke up your dog lately?"
  10. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,326

    I've taken "splice" but I didn't inhale.

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