Of all the old, cheap, nit-picky customers who have nothing better to do than chat, nit pick about anything and everything and then expect you to do it for $5 less than the last old guy using a push mower!!!!!! I had this one old lady who is allergic to the grass clippings but likes to work in her flowers. Apparently the kid that was doing it was bagging and it was doing ok for her, then he moved and she called me. I suggested try mulching once and see, well that was for $25. It took alittle longer than I thought, 40 minutes the first time I did it double cutting only the front (3 extra minutes) but it's only a block from another one I do that is more profitable, so Ok that I can deal with... well... she calls me up and says it's not working I'm still sneezing. I said OK I can bag it for $30 (I can take a loss right ) she said no they charge $20 to leave it lay (discharge) and $25 to pick it up. I was thinking Ok yea the kid down the street is not the other pros. I said well $30 is it thats all I can do. She is like well then I'll be looking for someone else but thanks for coming out anyway. OK.... bye! Then another old lady (92 y.o.) has always griped about the big mower on her yard. I charged her $25 and it took 20 minutes or so and it's a corner lot with edging bi-weekly (lot of sidewalk) but still a profitable account. She has always griped about the big mower (52" w/b) and always comments on the short amount of time it took.... well apparently the guy she used to have dumped her because he was getting so many commercials that he didn't want to do res' anymore and apparently he used a 21" on her yard. Well the last time I was there I could see rain coming so I went alittle faster on the mower. Loaded it up grabbed trimmer and I'm running between obstacles as it's getting very dark and can hear thunder. Put up trimmer, grab edger and am running to do the edging and sparks flying everywhere. Ok I'm not gonna go home just because it's starting to rain then come back later.... ok so it starts raining big heavy cold drops as I'm putting the edger back on the rack and grab the blower. Clippings and dirt from edging are getting wet. Start blower strap it on and the tube comes loose and off of the 90 degree elbow by the blower housing. So I'm holding it on with my right hand and holding the tube with my left while trying to quickly blow clippings off the sidewalk while I'm getting drenched with cold water. Ok I can deal with this... she should understand alittle if it's not perfect right? Well I go to the door for my check (doesn't want monthly) and she takes like 3 minutes to write a stinking check (why don't they have it written before I come to the door?) but had asked me in on the doormat. I'm dripping wet my boots are muddy but she said thats ok. Well that was last Thursday. Today she calls me (5 days later) and says that I left grass clippings on the garage door, which I know for a fact I didn't because I didn't get close enough to it due to the layout of sidewalk, etc. and that it took her an hour to clean it off and she found a pinhole in it? I know for a fact none of that happened. She also says she wants me to trim slower (it looked just as good as if I was walking thats why I have a commercial machine that spins 9600 rpm, so I can hurry if I need to) and that she doesn't like the way the big mower cuts (looks better than a 21" and cheaper for her) gripe gripe gripe gripe!!!!!!!! She tells me she has found an older guy to do it with a push mower. OK good luck.... thanks for leaving me, what a relief!!!!! Most of my other customers are younger and more than happy with my work and prices. They understand that this isn't 1910 when you can get your yard mowed for a nickel. They also understand that I have better things to do than sit and chat (and so do they). They appreciate quality work instead of looking for or making up faults. I would love to go buy a 60" ZTR and only take on yards at least an acre and the customers no older than 50 y.o. This way they can't help but like the cut of my big mower because there is no kid with a push mower going to do it and they know it. There is not going to be many retired guys with a murry rider and a push mower on these properties either. It will keep out the riff-raff so to speak. When I start making money off of these and can dump some of the small accounts that I don't want I would sell the 52" for lack of place to put it and get a 72" ZTR. When I get past that, a 12' Toro Groundsmaster! Be doing large residential and commercials with less scrubs in it and you wouldn't have to worry about a little clump of grass here and there.... just sheer production mowing with machines lowballers and scrubs aren't as likely to own (in this area anyway)..... Yes I'm dreaming but wouldn't it be nice to grow into that as I know many of you have. You can hold back the "I told you so" comments. Yes you were right Then if that one got succesful start another crew to run a Dakota, S10 or Ranger with a 21" s/p in the back with a bagger just one guy, small truck, mower, trimmer and handheld blower. No edger just mow trim blow and go. Charge cheap with low overhead. I am over the quality work charge high stuff on these little properties. A couple months ago I thought little properties were best. Maybe they are if you find the right kinds of customers and have them close but that is no longer my style. Let the kids and old guys with 21" mowers fight over the little places while lowering prices. I'm "moving out" of that if I can. Sorry this is long, just had to get it out of my system. Feel free to express thoughts but don't expect a reply.