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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was an LCO for 4 years back in the mid 90's, so I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into when I left my high paying oilfield job earlier this year to get back in. Starting from scratch - no equipment, no customers etc. Accounts have been tougher to come by than I would have previously thought. Even though the area is saturated with LCO's, there is green everywhere you look here and it grows 9 months out of the year. Somebody has to cut it, right? My in is and has been that I am a mature professional and my skin is not brown. Surely this will be an attraction to some. Certainly a departure from the norm around here. Yes it has worked some, but not to the degree I had thought a certainly. Not to offend anyone here or elsewhere, but it is a reality, and one I had opted to try and take advantage of. There are white Americans that are willing and actually love to do this type of work.

We all have different markets and different classes of clientele. Starting out, most of us will accept accounts knowing that we will shed them as the business prospers. Not meeting target labor dollars, PITA, less than desirable working conditions etc. We even extend credit with the hopes of being rewarded with payment. Seven months back into it, I see some significant changes have occurred over the past 12 years. Accounts are obviously harder to come by, customers don't seem to show any respect for the trade, and your left wondering who is going to screw you next. I had to terminate 3 residential contracts with a realtor today for nonpayment. Payment due at the beginning of the month, and here it is the 27th. Excuses.... .excuses.....BAMM - your terminated MF. This is the 4th time I've been bit this year. Just chump change until this one comes along for 1K. Courthouse here we come.

So people don't have respect for what you do anymore. You work hard to bring in the biz, and then some of them shove a baseball bat with pine tar up your dupa. It doesn't get any better than this.

I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. It makes me feel better to write about it. Get it off your chest sort of thing. So we keep plugging and pulling the weeds from between the flowers. What else can I do? I mow lawns.

:usflag:
 

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Hi Bill, I had wondered how you are doing. Sorry to hear about your challenges. If it makes you feel any better Sherrif Joe raided a L/S company here in the valley and arrested 30 some illegals. Here is the link http://http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/08/27/20080827immig-landscaping0827-ON.html

Realtors are bastards :hammerhead: always dangling that carrot of more work to come. I have only met one that didn't want something for nothing and his father started Reality Executives. Come to think of it he may not have been a Realtor himself he just owned the company :laugh:

How is the employee thing going? Is your son still running the field?
 

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BAMM you're terminated MF. HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Thats gotta be a catch phrase man. I know that was serious, but I couldn't help laughing when you said that. And, even though business may not be that great, things will always get better. I mean if business it at the worst it can be, look on the bright side, it can only get better.
 

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I feel your pain in my area I am known as the last white gardener. the illegals have cheapened this market to where I'm looking to get out after 10 good years. Its hard because I love what I do and a glut of mexis have made it that even corporate isn't paying squat. the biggest slap in my face came last week when a cust I have had for 3 years comes up to me and says "Bruce you have always been reliable and your work is good but there a couple of mexicans in the park(this is a senior mobile home park) that charge 1/2 your price I want to keep you but can you match their price. I tell her I'd like to but I cant afford to live at that rate of pay. She says you could if you ate rice and beans. I tell her I'm not going to do that and will switch trades if thats what it comes down to. She tells me well you could afford to live if you had 12 people in a house like they do. I tell her if you think they are so great why don't you switch your buis to them. She says well they dont even speak english and I'm afraid they might rob me or my house when I'm not here. I tell her well you have a choice pay me the wage I need to make a living or roll the dice on them.
 

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If you aren't brown, then you don't even have a clue on how to cut grass....................okay, now in Central Texas that is all you will see, the price is what the homeowner will pay, not what you need to have a legit business, so that is the market around here................its our own fault.............ICE needs to start enforcing the law, as well as local police departments......and start to deport as many as possible......but it won't happen.....

SO, get a dark tan, and learn some spanish!

Also, some hand painted "PACO's Mow" on your truck door might help!!

Were screwed!!!!
 

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I feel your pain, man. Not quite that bad here, but I've seen a lot of that working in Florida and in other areas of Jersey. Just keep pluggin. Like someone else said it can only get better.
 

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If you aren't brown, then you don't even have a clue on how to cut grass....................okay, now in Central Texas that is all you will see, the price is what the homeowner will pay, not what you need to have a legit business, so that is the market around here................its our own fault.............ICE needs to start enforcing the law, as well as local police departments......and start to deport as many as possible......but it won't happen.....

SO, get a dark tan, and learn some spanish!

Also, some hand painted "PACO's Mow" on your truck door might help!!

Were screwed!!!!
I do have a dark tan but refuse to learn their lang as for knowing how to do the job I am usually the guy they call after the cheap mexi labor is Fd up and now they want it fixed right. I either dont understand your post or dont understand why it is my fault I dont employ them and wont hire companies that do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Bill, I had wondered how you are doing. Sorry to hear about your challenges. If it makes you feel any better Sherrif Joe raided a L/S company here in the valley and arrested 30 some illegals. Here is the link http://http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/08/27/20080827immig-landscaping0827-ON.html

Realtors are bastards :hammerhead: always dangling that carrot of more work to come. I have only met one that didn't want something for nothing and his father started Reality Executives. Come to think of it he may not have been a Realtor himself he just owned the company :laugh:

How is the employee thing going? Is your son still running the field?
Hey, what's happening? It's been awhile. Eh, I'm just blowing off some steam. Nothing worse than a guy too lazy to mow his own lawn that can't pay his bills.

I need to move into a different area of the market. But first, we must get past Bill's "fundamentals of quality". #1 son seems to struggle in this area. As a learning tool, I've asked him to write his own work procedure. Still waiting on that. Forthcoming to be sure.

So today, it's just me and him with an occasional 3rd party. Slow steady growth as opposed to the moderate/ heavy influx I was hoping for. Not that we would be able to handle it where we are at today, but it would be a nice problem to have.

Anything new on your end? Have you been able to go anywhere with what you sent me?
 

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Yes its been a great summer, Gotta love a recession if your hiring :laugh:

My supervisor has kicked ass and freed me up to do a lot of strategic work and sales. We are on the verge of adding a 3rd crew and I have guys calling me almost weekly for a job. I don't even know where they get my name.

The whole company seems to be buying into the big picture. The quality of work is pretty consistent across the board and I have sold lots of extras this summer.

Talked today about setting goals with my biz coach. That is really exciting I'm doing some # crunching and projections. Next week I will present it to the guys and if we all agree on the number I will start a thread to announce it. Nothing like a little peer pressure to motivate you.

Sorry your having a rough stretch, you just need to get into the right market. If there is one in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To whom it may concern:

I did not start this post to complain or exert my opinion about a certain group of people. Just sharing experiences on my attempts to be different. As with anything else, if given a choice, there will be those that have a preference on who they hire. It is my goal to seek these people out. There is market share for everyone.

With that said - when we pull into a gas station for fuel, the other crews look at us like we just stepped off of a space ship. :laugh:
 

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I hate to be the one to say the "R" word but I feel like the biggest racist there is toward or government for allowing all this to happen. I don't hate mexican's or any other nationality for that matter. The fact that they will break the law by just coming illegally means they will do other criminal activities and most are not as honest as some may believe. They know how to keep it low key being they're in the country illegally. Even the mexican's that are here legally are more then likely breaking the law by allowing illegals to stay at their house. Next thing ya know, there's 30 people living in a single family home. Fast easy way for the legal to pay his bills, probably MAKES money off them. Isn't there laws about home occupancy and the limits on how many people can live in a home? I mean, sure a single guy could live in a bedroom size place with a shared bathroom and kitchen and get by comfortable enough, but would it be right to have 15 people sleeping on every square inch of the floors?
 

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I hate to be the one to say the "R" word but I feel like the biggest racist there is toward or government for allowing all this to happen. I don't hate mexican's or any other nationality for that matter. The fact that they will break the law by just coming illegally means they will do other criminal activities and most are not as honest as some may believe. They know how to keep it low key being they're in the country illegally. Even the mexican's that are here legally are more then likely breaking the law by allowing illegals to stay at their house. Next thing ya know, there's 30 people living in a single family home. Fast easy way for the legal to pay his bills, probably MAKES money off them. Isn't there laws about home occupancy and the limits on how many people can live in a home? I mean, sure a single guy could live in a bedroom size place with a shared bathroom and kitchen and get by comfortable enough, but would it be right to have 15 people sleeping on every square inch of the floors?
Yes there are occupancy laws just as there are laws pretaining to illegal immigration they just are not enforced. I dont know where this PC crap came from or when Americans lost their nads. I do know America would never been Americia if this PC crap was in effect when this country was developed. OMG it might offend the Brittons if we dump their tea into the bay. OMG it might offend the the Mexicans if we defend the alamo. OMG it might offend the Indians If we steal ( trade for NO for a few trinkets) somebody tell what the hay is going on? and can we grow some nads? The fact we tolerate and in fact endorse this BS makes me sick.
 

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There has been a subtle but perceptible shift in attitudes towards many jobs out there due to immigration. It's unfair but anything seen as "immigrant-labor" is diminished in the eyes of many. Jobs and trades previously seen as mainstream and popular with citizens are now considered beneath many Americans who seem to take the position that something must be wrong with you if you do anything immigrants do. They know immigrants do it because they lack the english skills to work in an office.

In their ignorance, they also often confuse business owners who work in the field with green industry employees, assuming they make equally low pay. And hence, you must be irresponsible or mentally deficient, since you can't provide for a family or even yourself very well on $10/hour.

Until the culture stops treating work as a dirty word, expect more of the same treatment.
 

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By the same token the industry needs more contractors like Bill that operate like professionals. That dosen't just mean American workforce. Bill and I have talked and I know he has a plan and understands how to run a business. He is just ranting like he said, so the racist stuff s out the window, it is just the problem de jour there will be another tomorrow.

When the industry as a whole is operating like what we do is a low paid hobby rather than a profit driven business we will never be taken seriously. So it is up to all of us no matter how small to operate like you are a professional. Use contracts, wear safety gear, set out the cones, wear a uniform, charge and pay your taxes, know your costs and charge accordingly, get with the program lets raise the bar a little.
 

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To whom it may concern:

I did not start this post to complain or exert my opinion about a certain group of people
Sorry if I misread your post Bill, it came off differently than you meant it. Nothing wrong with venting...

If I could though, I’d like to make a point. America is changing fast. NAFTA has sent most manufacturing jobs overseas; Technical jobs are being outsourced to India and Japan. The bottom line is that Middle Class America is being quickly wiped away.

Realistically the border has been wide open for 15 years. This influx of labor equates to cheap labor for companies all across America. What this cheap labor can’t do here in the US, well we just send the whole thing to Mexico and have it built there.

There is a reason the gates have been open! Its not from politicians being lazy, its from politicians being greedy. Lobbyists pay enormous sums of money to manipulate the government so who they represent can make more money.

I wish more people would start venting about that! The immigration problem is not the disease, it is the symptom. Until Americans start griping, venting and raising Hell everywhere they can about the real problem, we can’t fix it.

The Mexicans are being exploited for their cheap labor. Americans are being exploited by our LEADERS by throwing out jobs. The American Dream is getting smaller and smaller everyday. So PLEASE DO VENT! But lets start venting at the source more, and less about what skin color someone has? This is our country, we need to exercise our RIGHT to call bull s&*% when we see it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A great part of salesmanship is the ability to listen and identify a common need. What I have heard and continue to hear is that people are unable to communicate with the workforce in many service areas. Landscaping, HVAC, Carpentry, General Repair etc. America has GIVEN away it's service industry's to immigrant workers - legal and illegal. Even if you stopped the floodgates today, it would take decades to repair the damage already done. As an individual, my best bang for the buck is to take back what I can. Possibly initiate a localized trend in the process. I don't have the dollars to compete with big business, but I can change a small piece of the pie with determination and professionalism. That is my play on an individual level.

You work your end and I'll work mine. Hopefully we meet somewhere in the middle. Good luck.
 
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