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Sick of hearing and reading phrases like....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, May 18, 2007.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    That's right, I'm sick of hearing and reading phrases like....

    I don't want to go back to work for "the man" for ($7 - $8 - $9) and hour."

    I certainly understand that, and I can sympathize with that too for folks who don't have any better looking alternatives than that besides mowing grass. Believe me I do...

    BUT!...... (there is always a but)

    I'm tired of hearing it and reading it from folks in the green industry. The reason is because I have to worry about what that does to the mentality of the folks who allow themselves to harbor such thoughts, much less say or type them.

    I think it is a bad thing. A bad thing for them and a bad thing for the industry.

    Allowing yourself to provide room and board for such thoughts as that effects everything you do. If you don't think it does, I believe you are wrong. I think it effects your quotes, what you will accept from customers, and the list goes on.

    It's an unhealthy thought process that needs breaking... and digging up by the roots.


    And also, when you do decide to snuff this out, file this away on your way to getting big.

    Would you want your current or future employees to have this feeling about you and the job atmosphere and wages you provide them?

    Or would you rather provide them a decent atmosphere and a fair wage for this not-so-peachy work they have to perform for you every day?
  2. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Messages: 365

    Good point! I hate having to working at my factory job until the day that I will be able to leave it; but until then, it's the best thing I have going. And, I have to remind myself regularly that I used to like it before I found out what I could do in this business, and it's probably the best job I can get compared to lawn care. Should things not go so well for me, I will be doing well where I'm at!
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Next year if I need an employee, if he proves to be reliable and a good worker, he'll make WAY more than 8 or 9 bucks an hour.

    Currently I also work for "the man", and I make around 20 bucks an hour. But it's not the money to me anyhow. It's the employers' indifference towards me... Of course with a huge corporation you'll get that.

    THAT is the reason I don't want to work for the man, they pay well but are simply flippant when it comes to the ones who do the real b1tch work.

    I do agree, I don't think it should be the driving force behind having and running your own business.
  4. patterson

    patterson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Right on!! For you operators out there with a payroll, remember why you went to work for yourself in the first place.

    I used to work for a guy who kept telling me all about how badly he was treated by other turf care companies, so he struck out on his own. At one point, he told me the story of how he'd made the same hourly wage for two years and they wouldn't give him a raise way back in 1983. I mentioned that it was more than he had been paying me for the past five years. Of course, he sputtered in to his shpiel about cash flow problems.

    After eight years without a raise, I quit and went out on my own. Lots of customers quit to come with me with no coaxing, no solicitation from me. I never even told any customers I was quitting. My former boss now has a lot less customers and he's paying three guys to do what I used to do by myself.

    Long story short - all you bosses keep in mind what you hated about greedy, self-absorbed jerks you used to work for. What goes around comes around and karma will kick you where it hurts.
  5. qualitylawnlc

    qualitylawnlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I live by "Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people" Col 3:23. I work a full time job of an average 60 hours/wk and then I have my own lawn business that keeps me busy for another 20 hours/wk average. I'm thankful I'm able to do both to support my family.
  6. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    I have been doing this since I was 13 or 14 and I am now 28. Its my fathers business but pretty much mine too and will be mine all together very soon. This is the only job I have ever known my whole life.

    Well last winter my fiance thought I should get a winter job. I am good with computers so I figured maybe comp usa would be cool.

    WRONGGGGGGGGGGG. I worked 2 days and I quit right on the spot. It was the worst most disorganized mess I have ever seen. No god damn wonder comp usa is going out of business all over the country.

    Moral of the story ----- Once you go green its hard to ever go back to "working for the man"
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    You ought to add that to your signature line.

    I like it.
    It's as good as any "though for the day" I have ever read.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Right... once you have ever been in business for yourself at anything, it's hard to go back.

    But my main moral of this thread is this...

    Although MUCH may be TRUE about "working for the man"... be it wages, treatment, organization, whatever....

    It's not a healthy business practice to let any such thought process carry any weight in your business, because it can and will effect your judgement.

    It's bad for you and bad for the industry.

    Unfortunately, I have came to realize that the green industry is just absolutely saturated with such people, to the point it's stagnant.

    Many an abandoned or abused employee seeks refuge in this business.

    That fact, and this mentality combined is prevailent, and honestly, I think it is one of the major problems with the state of the industry today.

    So, I just thought I'd voice my opinion on that.
    Maybe someday this will be the focus of some Green Industry siminar many will attend.

    I haven't gotten TURF Magazine in a long long time....
    But this thread would be a good one to pick for pubilishing in that little section they have.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I've always felt, if you can't be a good employee, then you won't be a good boss.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I wish I could pay my guys 25 bucks an hour and give benefits. but if I do, I not only don't make money, I'm out of business.

    when I did this big time a few years back, I tried to pay my guys a buck more an hour than the average lawn company out there. we also ran super lawn trucks with nice graphics, and had cool uniforms, and tried to buy new equipment often.

    the result was the better people who want to mow lawns for a job tended to gravitate toward our company. when people have the choice of who to work for, they want to work for a company that makes them feel like they are at the top of thier field. professionals.

    when you treat employees like lawn bugs- old beat up truck and trailer, let them wear any sleeveless shirt to work they have laying around, old equipment that breaks down, and pay them the absolute least you can, don't be surprised when they think this job sucks.

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