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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The Richer They Are, The Cheaper They Become

, , , | Right | March 2, 2020

(A friend of mine is a gardener and has some rich clients. One day, a current client tells him he should go and see a new potential client as he’s looking for a new one. My friend goes there and they agree on only a monthly mowing of his very large lawn at a fixed price of €200 per month. The first time my friend does his job, it takes him about an hour because he uses a professional mower. He sends the client the bill. A few days later, he gets a phone call from the new client.)

New Client: “I got your bill and I’m not paying it.”

Friend: “May I ask why you’re not paying? Didn’t I do a good job?”

New Client: “No, you did an outstanding job. I just feel that I shouldn’t have to pay you €200 for an hour of work.”

Friend: “I’m sorry? That’s what we agreed on. I have it here on the contract.”

New Client: “It always took my previous gardener eight hours to mow the lawn, so I thought €200 was a fair price. But I’m not paying you €200 for just one hour of work.”

Friend: “So, if I understand you correctly, you would have been happy if I’d mowed the lawn and waited seven hours outside your house doing nothing, so that you can tell your friends that you pay your gardener €25 per hour?”

New Client: “Well, eh, yes. I never paid any of my workers that much per hour, so I already was uncomfortable with €25 per hour, but I couldn’t find anyone who was cheaper.”

Friend: “Well, sir, you can tell your friend now that you had a gardener that did an outstanding job for €200, but you thought you didn’t have to pay him.”

New Client: “What do you mean?”

Friend: “I’m not coming to you anymore and I expect payment within the next five days or I’ll go to court and make you pay. I will also tell Mr. [Current Client] about this so he knows how his friend treats people who work for him. “

(My friend told this story to the current client, who was really angry about it. He paid my friend the €200 and immediately called the non-paying customer to tell him that he just paid the gardener’s bill and that he wanted his money back or he would “casually mention this story to the people on the golf club.” Not all people that are rich are jerks, but when they are they are really massive jerks.)


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Your Garden-Variety Idiot

, , , , , | Right | August 31, 2018

Me: “[Gardening Service]. Can I help you?”

Older Lady: “Yes, some sheep have got into my garden. I need you to come and get them out.”

Me: “Well, really you would need to call the farmer. Do you know where they came from?”

Older Lady: “No, but they’re in my garden. You’re a gardener. Fix it!”

(I popped round and shooed them out for her, but seriously, if they got into her car, would she call a mechanic?)


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Their Understanding Is Clipped

| Working | April 19, 2017

(We have a new hire this season. While he’s a nice person, he lacks common sense and basically has to be retrained on everything every day. We’re on site and running underground conduit for our lines. He’s been known to not pay attention or follow directions, we’re all trying to get on him about it.)

Me: “So [Foreman] said to use clips for this, right?”

New Hire: *instantly* “No, no, no, we’re not using them.”

Me: *already fully aware of the answer because I heard him say it* “Hey, [Foreman], you said to clip this right?”

Foreman: “Yep!”

New Hire: “Oh, oh, yeah I guess he did say that.”

(This is constant with him… We’re hoping he doesn’t last much longer.)

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Shining A Light On Your Deception

, | Working | September 10, 2016

(We have a new hire this season. While he’s a nice guy, he lacks common sense and basically has to be retrained on everything every day. He’s also known to be less than truthful to coworkers and clients. On this particular day, we’re performing spring maintenance on one of our systems.)

New Hire: “So I checked everything in the back and everything works.”

Me: “The lights over the BBQ were all good too?”

New Hire: “Yeah I saw them all on.”

(At this point, the client has asked me to take a look at a receptacle that is near the BBQ, but completely unrelated to our system.)

Me: *sticking voltmeter into outlet* “It doesn’t have power, but it could be on the same breaker as your pool equipment. I’d say once that’s up and running for the season, check it again. If it still isn’t working we can take a deeper look.”

New Hire: *has zero idea what I’m talking about* “Oh, there’s no power there? That would be why those lights didn’t come on.”

Me: “You said you checked everything and it all worked…”

New Hire: “Well, yeah, but these ones aren’t working now because you said there isn’t power in that outlet.”

Me: “That outlet has nothing to do with our system. Did the lights work or not?”

New Hire: “Well, since you said that wasn’t working I wanted to make it sound like the lights weren’t either because there was no power.”

Me: “You still didn’t answer me. Were the lights on or not? You either lied to me or the client and neither one is acceptable.”

New Hire: “Dude why are we even talking about this?”

(He couldn’t understand why I was upset about him being dishonest. I checked the lights myself, something I planned to do regardless. Lo and behold, they worked just fine.)

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