I was thinking about this incident today (while mowing) that happened late last summer. I thought I would post the situation. The more I thank about this, the angrier I get. I will try to make it as short as possible... An ex-employee had worked for me part time for about a year or longer. He was in his teens and overall was a decent employee. He was a pastor's son, home schooled, and was able to help me out even during the school year (well it started out that way anyway). One day he asked me if he could borrow my old lawn mower to cut the softball field at the church because they needed to use the field for some church wide event that Sunday. This mower was not my nice Z, but rather a Crapsman 42" that I used for a couple of accounts that I would not put my Z in because of rocks and junk (they were still profitable none the less). Well, against my better judgment I said he could borrow it. Well, the day he was using it, he calls me....And to make a long story short, it turns out when he had checked the oil, he didn't tighten the dip stick down. So guess what, oil was everywhere, and eventually the engine locked up. I feel like anyone with any common sense would have noticed the problem before the thing locked up, but that is a different story. He and his father said that they would replace it for me. The boy was really upset, and I told him not to worry himself sick about it. I told them I would check into the matter, as I would not be buying a new crapsman. But I would try to find a used one. So the boy continues to work for me for a few more weeks. During that time I found a good used crapsman, almost like the one I had, and only paid $300. Now, being the nice guy that I am, I never actually asked him to pay me the money back. He never voluntered it again. I told him I had bought another mower, and left it at that. So anyway, after pulling a couple of other crazy stunts, and suddenly deciding he was going out of town every other week, I really started getting mad at the boy and he only worked for me a couple of months after the mower incident. Now before I ask you what you would have done in this situation their are a few facts you really need to know that may just influence your decision.... 1) There was (and still is) a member of the church that is a LCO and gets paid good money to cut this property. 2) It has been said that people in the church are dissapointed in his work and I would probably get the contract when he quit (which he was supposed to be leaving the country...so I thought it was a sure thing.) I didn't want to rock that boat too much. 3) The boy was cutting the field in the first place because the LCO was not doing his job. The church hates to say anything to the guy bacsue he is sooooo involved in the church and they don't want to run him off. 4) Later I found out the other LCO actually paid the boy some money since it was the LCO's responsibility in the first place. I think it was only like between $20-30. 5) The mower he used was not new but I had just put like $150 in repairs a couple of months before this happened. So, it was in great running condition. In summary, this kid borrows my mower to cut his church property that someone else gets paid to cut. He ruins my mower doing the work that this sorry LCO was supposed to do and ends up getting paid a little for the work. I hate to rock the boat too much becasue I feel I have a 90% chance of getting this account that would be near $1000 per month. Well the other LCO is still here and still servicing the property. Looks like I am S.O.L. any way you look at it.....I get a little angrier every time I think about this.....What would you have done?