It was about 3 weeks before Mothers day, I was helping another guy cut down a tree. It was the last day we were working on it and we were cleaning up. We finished about 6:30pm.
I had gotten a message earlier from my aunt that lives about 30 minutes away saying that she couldn't get her lawn mower started and wanted the grass cut. I told her I'd come out and get it done when I finished up on the tree.
So once I was finished I jumped in my truck and flew
out there, 30 minutes, mind you. I was rushing because I was running short on daylight. I got there and started right on the yard, didn't even talk about how much.
Well, about 15 minutes into cutting I ran across a real thick area and my tensioner fell apart. The bearings in it weren't greased and went everywhere. So I spent another 10-15 minutes trying to get her push
started. Finally, it started and I finished the front yard with it.
By this time it's dark and I can't edge with my trimmer in the dark, so I load everything back up.
She asks how much she owes me, I say, "how much can you afford?" She says, "all I have is $24." Pause...
Now I know y'all don't know, but my family, most of 'em, are selfish as hell. She lives in a $200k house that she and her husband just bought last August and can't keep the grass cut.
I told her that I would charge her $75 to do it on a regular basis, then I went down to $65.
The first thing that came out her mouth was, "What happened to the family discount?"
I said, "What happened to supporting family when they are trying to do something?"
I proceeded to ask her how much her house cost. She said, "what difference does that make? It doesn't matter."
I said, "It does matter, because when I went to real estate school they taught us how to estimate the cost of home maintenance into the cost of a home. If you or your agent didn't do that then you or they did you an injustice."
I then told her that I'd charge about $120 for a yard her size, front and back, if it was anybody else. She said, "$120?!
" Mind you, I didn't do the back this time, because it was already dark.
Her husband came home in a Jaguar while I was in the middle of trying to get her push
started. We spoke, he watched for a minute and went in the house.
I just got the $24 and got the hell on. The following business day, I had to go to the lawn equipment store to get a tensioner and spring, it came up to $43. Now, I thought to myself, "I didn't even make enough to cover gas to and from her house, I broke my walk behind mower, and didn't make enough to buy the parts I need to stay in business. Stuff like this bothers me to no end.
This is what I come from
Then a few weeks later I was in her area doing an estimate for somebody else and decided to do her yard on my way back in. Nobody was home, she's a teacher. I did the front no problem, edged it up like a surgeon, then opened the door to the back yard and it's waist high. I'm 6'2" and her grass was WAIST HIGH
. So I dig in, starting w/ my trimmer. 3.5 minutes into her back yard I decided I don't have the time to do it all and run the risk of possibly breaking my walk behind again. She has a wooden privacy fence around back yard, so I'm just going to trim all the way around the inside of the fence. I spent 30 minutes doing that, it was work y'all.
After I trimmed, I loaded and left. She didn't call me, I didn't call her.
I get a call a few weeks later asking if I'll cut it her back yard. She said, "somebody already did the front, I think my husband got somebody to it. I said, "I was just out there and did the front and trimmed the back."
The first thing out of her mouth wasn't "Thank you", or "Oh really, I appreciate that", it was "why didn't you do the back yard?!
I told her, "I really didn't have the time to cut any more free grass that day." We talked some more and I basically told her $60 to cut her back yard. She tried to jew me down to $40, I wasn't going for it. I told her I'm not doing it. Haven't talked to her since.