Y’all Ever Heard Of Pruning?

, , , | Working | December 17, 2020

After doing an apprenticeship as a gardener — with a very nice boss — I work in various garden companies. All of them are small family businesses where all bosses and many of the family members are terrible employers. 

My first boss after the apprenticeship is a choleric person who takes every small occasion to yell at people for minutes.

One time, the senior boss asks me to make the garden around his house look nice for his son’s soon-to-be-wedding. I do that. I clean up dead leaves, cut back dead plants, rake the earth, and so on. After the lunch break:

Senior Boss: “You killed the Lysimachia, you d*** fool! Why did you kill the Lysimachia?”

He roars some more with a red face, but those are the only coherent words in his rant I can understand. I had no idea what he is talking about. Lysimachia is the name of a large family of plants ranging from tall subshrubs to creepers, and for some reason, I think of the last variant, Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort).

A few minutes later, his wife comes to me.

Boss’s Wife: “Why did you destroy the Lysimachia?! We pay you as a trained gardener and you obviously can’t tell the difference between cultivated plants and weeds!”

I try to ask her what kind of Lysimachia they are talking about and what I have done with it, but she won’t let me have my say before walking away. 

A few minutes later:

Junior Boss: “I am f****** disappointed that you killed the Lysimachia! You should have known better! You are a trained gardener!”

Much, much later it dawned on me. It was autumn. The Lysimachia vulgaris (garden loosestrife) in their house garden had only brown, woody stems left. I thought it looked unsightly and cut the woody parts so low above the ground that they couldn’t be seen. 

The plant obviously grew back normally the next spring. 

What did they think I did with it? That I went to great lengths to dig up the large root bale to “destroy” it? Without leaving a noticeable hole in the ground?

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A Feminist On The Roof

, , , | Working | November 19, 2020

I live in an area where demossing roofs is necessary. I, a female, demoss every fall because my husband is afraid of heights. A man comes to the driveway while I’m outside.

Man: “Hello, ma’am, I’m selling my services to clean your roof.”

Me: “Oh, no, thank you.”

Man: “Ma’am, I already took a look from across the street and there is a lot of moss on your roof.”

There’s a little on the shady side but nothing bad at all.

Me: “It’s in fine shape, thank you.”

Man: “Listen. Your roof is atrocious; it really needs cleaning right away.”

He then hears my husband through an open window.

Man: “Oh, let me speak to your husband; he’ll know more about this than you.”

Me: “Nah, bye.”

And I walked back inside.

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I’ll Start Reading The Sign If You Start Reading My Face!

, , , , | Right | October 16, 2020

I work for a yard care service in my teens. We mow lawns, tend to bushes, and just do general yard work. I am sent out to a new client. When I get to the street, I find a row of houses without any visible house numbers, so I’m trying to figure out which of them is the actual address where I’m supposed to be working.

I go up and knock on the door of the house I think it is and a man answers. He barely glances at me and points toward a “No Trespassing” sign.

Man: “No soliciting!”

He then slams the door in my face. I’m a bit startled, but I move on to the next-door neighbors, who end up confirming that the original house was the one I was looking for.

Cell phones aren’t that common at this point, and I don’t have one, so I can’t just call back to ask my boss what to do. I decide to make another attempt. I have a push mower, which I haul up and place in front of the door before knocking. The same man answers and opens his mouth as if he is about to shout, and then he notices the lawnmower.

Me: “Hi! I’m with [Company]. I heard you wanted to have your lawn mowed?”

Man: “Oh. Uh, yeah.”

After that, I am able to get the details about what he wants done and things proceed smoothly.

Two weeks later, I’m back for the next service, and as I’m getting set up, I notice a set of keys laying on his driveway. I pick them up and head up to the door to turn them over. Once again, I knock and he answers, and once again, he barely glances at me and points toward the sign.

Man: “No soliciting!”

It is a practically identical repeat of our first interaction, complete with him slamming the door in my face. I’m standing there, kind of bemused and about to knock again, when the door suddenly cracks open.

Man: *Sheepish whisper* “You’re the grass cutter, aren’t you?”

Me: “Yep! I just saw these keys in your driveway and wanted to hand them over.”

His eyes got wide when he saw them and he quickly took them. From that point on, he never again slammed the door in my face when something would require me to knock on it.

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A Wise Decision

, , , , | Working | October 12, 2020

My coworker and I are going out for lunch. I’m twenty-one and she’s twenty-two. It should be noted that while I’m quite tall, I have very little figure and a baby face and am often confused for being a young teen. It doesn’t bother me; I’m used to it, and as long as people aren’t jerks about it, I find it funny.

We stop on the way to admire the work being done by some landscapers and strike up a conversation with one of them. After a few minutes:

Landscaper: “So, are you two mother and daughter?”

Coworker & Me: *Laughing* “No, not at all.”

Me: “How old do you think I am?”

Landscaper: “Well, I thought you were twelve or so, but I guess I’m wrong.”

We laugh some more about it.

Coworker: *Suddenly stops laughing* “Wait, if you thought she was twelve, how old would that make me?”

Landscaper: *Long pause* “I think I’d better get back to work. Have a good day, ladies.”

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Will Get It Done Come Rain Or Shine

, , , , , | Right | May 8, 2020

I work for a landscape design company in southern Arizona. I have a client who lives here during the winter when it is much warmer than their main home, which is Seattle. 

We are installing a landscape. It starts raining and we tell our crews to leave the site and quit for the day as the ground is becoming very muddy; plus, it is cold outside and we don’t want them to get sick.

The client calls me, speaking in an irate voice.

Client: “Why is the crew leaving? It is only 11:00 am.”

Me: “We told them to stop for the day due to the rain. Since it is cold outside, they could get sick. Also, because of the bare dirt in the yard, if it gets muddy they could make ruts in the yard, making more work for us and costing you more money to repair the damage.”

Client: “Workers where I am from work in the rain all the time.”

Me: “Well, that may be true, but when it gets above 90 degrees, are workers where you are from still working or do they quit for the day? Our crews here work many days in heat above 110 degrees.”

There is a long pause, and then he finally speaks before hanging up.

Client: “Well, they’d better finish on time.”

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