People Are Goofy!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I've dealt with the public for most of my life, and am always reminded of what my Dad used to say, "You don't have to drink to deal with the public, but, it sure helps!"

    Case in point: Fellow calls about 3 weeks ago asking for a bid on his property. I get directions and go by. Beautiful home on 13 acres, I think it is. Yard is mowed, but a pretty poor job (he told me he had just mowed), for sale sign in the yard. I'm hoping he is buying, but figure he is selling.

    OK, so I look the place over, and there is tons of edging, etc, that really needs to be done to make it look great, which it really would, if done correctly. But, I also figure if it is a "for sale" property, he probably just wants a basic job done, until it sells. He is not home at the time.

    That evening, I give him a call, and confirm that he is, indeed, selling the home and moving to Alabama for a job there. I get to talking to him, asking what part of Alabama, etc. Turns out he is moving to Daphne, and I told him my brother had a good friend who retired there, and loves it. Guy ends up telling me his life story. Retired from the military, moved here 3 years ago, but finds himself in a position where he needs additional income, and can't find anything around here, I assume in his field, so has accepted a position in Daphne. Dropped the bottom out of the price on his house, due to the soft market (heck of a deal, less than $56 a square foot for a custom home, if you know anyone who wants to move to MO :) )

    As I figured, he just needs someone to keep the place looking decent while it is on the market, as they would be moving the first week of August. Whole yard is maybe 1 1/2 acres, but he doesn't mow part of the back, behind some horse corrals, every time. I gave him a price for the whole property (no edging, just basic mow and trim). He said how much without the back, as that is how he had been getting bids. I told him $20 off when not mowing that part.

    OK, sounds good he says, and tells me he will either have the realtor pay me, or I can just call him with the amount, and he'll mail a check. I told him whichever was easier for him, and he says he'll probably just pay me directly. Said he would call me before they leave, and let me know about when it will need the first mowing. I told him I mow a property only a mile away, so could check on it and mow as needed.

    He seemed like a really nice guy, and I enjoyed talking to him. I forgot to leave a card while there, so a couple of days ago, when I finished up the nearby property, decided to run by and introduce myself, and give him a card. I was kind of looking forward to meeting him.

    Walk to the door, ring the doorbell. "Steve" comes to the door, and I introduce myself, apologizing for my appearance, as I had just finished mowing. We chat for a minute, and I begin to realize that this guy doesn't have a clue as to who I am, and apparently thinks I have just dropped by to give him a card. He starts explaining all the nuances of the place, and I finally interrupt and tell him I talked to him on the phone a couple of weeks ago. I get a faint hint of recognition, but still no "OH, OK, I remember now!", which is what I was expecting.

    He starts telling me his reason for selling, and I tell him he told me he was moving to Daphne and my brother has a good friend, an attorney, who lives there.

    STILL, little recognition. He mentions the mowing again, and I told him what I had bid originally. He just says, "that's not bad." He then tells me that he gave the list of companies over to the realtor, and their bids, and was going to let her handle it, calling when it needed mowed, etc.

    I finally just told him it was nice to meet him, and bid him farewell.Doubt if the realtor calls me, as I have no history with them, and more than likely she has someone in the business she has used before.

    On the phone, I thought it was a done deal. In person, I don't think he ever did remember the conversation (which pushed 30 minutes). I'm still thinking perhaps I should just call hiim and tell him that when we spoke on the phone, I understood he was hiring me, and ask whether to expect a call or not, but, then I think it is only a temporary gig, and I'll never see the old boy again anyhow, unless I happen to move to Daphne. :)

    I just can't imagine how someone could totally forget a 30 minute conversation in two weeks, or not remember he told me to do the work. And, no, he isn't an old guy either, probably 40.
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Very few people in this world you can put your faith in. Countless times people will say one thing, then turn around and do something totally different.
    Things like this always happen for a reason, i'd say it's for the best. If you would have started cutting it, he probably would have ended up "forgetting" to pay you.
  3. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

  4. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    May be the exact reason he can't make the money he needs. No memory.

    There was a lady I used to mow for before she moved to another state. She would do weird things like this too. She asked how much to clean out her garage when she moved. I told her whatever the dump cost, plus she would let me have whatever things she didn't want to keep. Included a like new push mower, tv, bicycle, weed wacker, microwave and a small craftsman air compressor. I go back to pick the stuff up, and everything that we agreed I would keep is gone, save for the tv, microwave, and air compressor(only because I took it the first time I was there). Turns out she gave the mower and weed wacker to someone that could "use it", and she put the bicycle out by the mail box with a "free" sign on it. Some snot nosed kid from the neighborhood took it. I was going to ask her about our agreement, but what good would it have done at that point? The stuff was gone, and she was leaving. She did give me some decent money though.
  5. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Geez, I had another one yesterday. Called and talked to my wife and said his trimmer was in the shop, and needed someone to just come and do the trimming. Normally, I wouldn't mess with it, but it is getting dry here, and I probably will do little mowing the rest of the week, so thought "why not"?

    OK, he calls back last night, and says he didn't trim the last three times he mowed, and when he took the trimmer to the shop, they said it would be at least 2 weeks until they could look at it. Same dealer I use, so I'm sure the trimmer is some homeowner POS he bought at a mass merchandiser, which is verified by what he says later.

    Anyhow, he says he figures a good hour to trim. Of course, I'm thinking if it takes him an hour to trim, me, maybe 45 minutes with a decent machine, if I piddle around a little. Oh, by the way, he lives around 15 miles from me, and I don't have anything in that area.

    He started trying to pin me down on a price, and I finally told him I'd do it for $40, plus $10 for the trip. Not a bunch of money, but the $10 would more than cover the cost of the trip, and with little expense running the trimmer, I'd make a few extra bucks instead of sitting under the air conditioner, plus I've had a couple of these things turn into more business later.

    Guy says that is more than he was thinking of paying, so he might just go to Lowe's and buy a new trimmer, but he wasn't sure, might just wait, no, might call me back later.

    I should have asked how much he was thinking, just for the heck of it. I wonder why anyone would think another adult would drive 15 miles one way, run a trimmer for an hour in 100+ heat index temps, for less than $50? I really thought I was being very reasonable with the price. I explained to him that it wasn't so much the cost, but rather the time involved.
  6. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Maybe it's the after affects of concussive explosion. I read about that (actually seen it on tv) it's the new thing now, post stress disorder is so vietnam era.
  7. Hizoot

    Hizoot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Good grief guys...I'm 50 and am too young to have been in vietnam !

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