Sometimes a day can make a real bad turn for the worse and cause all types of problems. The longer you are in business, the better your chances are of having one of those days where everything goes to hell. Knowing that others go through similar situations can help you remember you are not alone with this. Here is a great example of a bad day on the job from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. See how your worst day compares to this one.
One lawn care business owner wrote “so my day starts today at 4:30, have equipment to move.
We are 95% finished with a $27,000 dollar landscape job and all we have left to do is spread 12 yards of mulch. This client has been an amazing, perfect client. We put a massive drainage system in along his driveway and made his driveway 3 feet wider. Then we put a new driveway in, crowned and rolled. Man did it look nice. Did major excavation work, we had a crew on site for almost three weeks.
I am at the site to drop off a tractor to make spreading faster. I always buy from the same place, but this time they have a new driver. As I always do, I make them get out of the truck and do a walk around to see the site first. The home owner, the driver, and a worker walked as I explained stay away from this side and when you are beside the house dump. Do not go back further as the septic field is there.
Right after that explanation, what’s he do???? Jumps in the truck and starts backing up the driveway. This is a Freightliner truck, very long and big. He starts getting close to the drain so we all yell and wave out hands, what’s he do??? Floors it and spins out 250 feet of drain in no time. Does he stop at the top by the house to dump? Nope he keeps going and buries the axles of the truck in a twenty thousand dollar septic field.
I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I could not even speak. The home owner made me get in his car and rushed me to an emergency clinic. I come to find I had a¬† severe anxiety attack. They gave me something under the tongue which calmed me down, and let me go an hour later. This has never happened in my life.
The home owner was calm, cool and collected. I was wild and I never get that upset.
I called the owner of the company as I have his private cell, and we are a pretty big client. He is two hours away for the long holiday weekend. I explain what happened and that he must come and come now. He finally agrees. I leave the truck in the septic field. I didn’t have an excavator there any longer anyhow to pull it out.
The owner arrives. Long story short, the driver had never driven the truck before. He didn’t work for them, instead he was the office managers brother and was filling in as they were short staffed.
After all that I call my lawyer and he is there within 15 min, as he lives not far from this site. We get in writing by the owner of the truck, that his company will cover all repair costs which will probably run $30,000 or more.
I am beside myself that evening as we are booked solid 7 days a week into November and now booking April of next year but I can’t leave the site until it’s fixed. It will take us a good week to fix as the driveway is a freaking mess. It looked so nice and the client said people stopped and asked who did it.
I’ve never had a panic attack before, I had no idea what the hell was going on, I honestly was so chocked up I could not even talk, scared the hell out of my son as he has seen me in some pretty interesting situations and never get that upset, I wonder if in part it was because I have been burning the candle at both ends and working 7 days a week.
The client probably saved the day for me, had he lost it I am not sure what would have happened.
Anyhow at the end of that day I took a walk, and later made a small campfire in my backyard. I think I need to just pace myself better as I get older. I don’t ever want to have to repeat that situation I found myself in.”
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