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Trimming around xmas lights

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pseudosun, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    A customer put up one of those teepee xmas displays, and told me to not worry about cutting around it/inside it (because it's a teepee). I could attempt to cut inside it and around it, but it's not the most efficient teepee (extensions, hanging wires, etc.) Well, the grass grew, and she came out and pointed at it and frowned. I decided to not stop my mower, and just shrugged. Wrong move, i know. I hope i don't regret it. But i'm not interested in having those lights wrap around my trimmer or mower. Just curious how you deal with decorations, or what would you do in this situation.
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    You know, there is nothing wrong admitting we don't know what to do either.

    It isn't always that we have to fix the problem, but give them the attention they deserve as customers.
    They pay my bills, they put food on my table, guess who in my book is number one?

    Attend to the customer's needs, don't ignore them, we can play dumb so long we're standing in front of them after having put down our tools and are giving them our undivided attention, that goes a long ways towards defusing potential trouble.

    As for what I would do in terms of the weeds and the christmas lights, see that I could not tell you.
    Probably I would ask the customer what they think I should do.
    After I've put down my tools, walked on over and said Hi, how can I help you?
    Some of them, that's all they want, someone to acknowledge them.

    It would help if the concern were genuine, but fake a concern if you must.

    Don't blow them off.

    Not saying that will fix the problem everytime, but sometimes it sure does.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  3. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    In my eyes, these are things that are part of the business. Even if you have to spend more time dealing with it. I have a bunch I have to work around. I take the time to deal with it since it's only temperary and will be gone in a month or so. Heck, I'm done cutting any lawns now but the ones I spend more time at are the customers I know I'll have for years to come. I was contacted to do snow removal on two private driveways that are shared by 5 homes on one and 6 on the other. Come to find out, they are mostly doctors that only want one company on the premisses to deal with the outside property, not just for snow but lawn services of any kind. I know I have 8 of the 11 properties for lawn service next season as they signed up already. The others have either been busy doing heart transplants or spinal surgery! I feel like the Hoffman's on Gold Rush hitting the "mother load"...... <well, I hope they do anyway) :D I'm sure they would LOVE to be set up on a 12 month payment plan too. If I get them on a monthly plan, I'll be completely set for the winter months without relying on snow removal. The snow removal alone at these places are more per push then I make cutting just lawns in the summer!

    Anyway, deal with it and be friendly and smile, it will take you a long way. Me, I would have never shrugged my shoulders at a customer if they signaled me to stop or wanted to point something out in question. You deserve to lose them for acting like that. At least you'd lose the job if it were me. Hopefully it will be a lesson learned on PR with your customers.
  4. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I never posted a answer to this. First, if you take the extra time (I know, none of us like to waste time as time is money, however) to trim around it all you won't have it wrapped around the trimmer, never mind the mower. It would cut all the wires to nothing. At least with a trimmer you have a shot at trimming the grass around it without messing it up since you can run it at a lower rpm.

    How would I approach it? Most likely I'd trim as close as I could without hitting anything. Give yourself enough room if you don't have a steady hand with the trimmer. Then once I've trimmed what I could get at, I'd move all the cords,wires and whatever that can be moved around some and trim where it was laying. This is the time of year when things slow down some (at least in my area) so you should have enough time to "go the extra mile" to make the place look nice and keep the "paying" customer happy.

    Speaking of happy, Happy Holidays *newusflag*
  5. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    Well, she didn't motion me to stop. She's not a premium customer. Shrugging WAS pretty rude; i think i may have been getting back at her. She tends to be hard to collect from and ambushes me alot with last minute stuff. I don't think i would have done it with a premium customer. I can trim inside of those things for customers who tell me that if i break something, don't worry about it. There's always the chance of getting wrapped up. I'm pretty good, but not perfect. I guess my fear with this woman is agreeing to do it, and then having an accident, and then her wanting me to replace it. Funny thing is that i got paid real quick this time.
  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Mow them down. Let the lights fly. Lol
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    It'd be like "lightning bugs" on a warm summer night blinking their little hearts out. :D :laugh:
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Just feel lucky that you have the opportunity to actually mow around Christmas decorations and not have to shovel them out!
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I think a simple conversation would have been in order, which could have gone something like this. "I'd be happy to trim around the decorations, but I'm really reluctant to do so because of the possibility of catching the wires. I can trim the larger areas with no problem, but if you want me to trim close to the individual wires, I just can't be responsible for any damage. What would you like me to do?"
  10. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I understand this, doesn't make it right but I struggle with that myself, all the time.
    Today was a good day, if you know what I mean.

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