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Gene, My Best Lawn Care Customer

Updated on January 11, 2023
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I've owned and operated a small lawn care business for over 4 years. While I'm not a gardener, I did learn how to work the business well.


My Best Paying Customer

Gene called me a couple of years ago wanting a bid on her lawn. When I met her, I realized she can't hear very well, and since then she has lost her hearing even more. The hearing aid she wears must not work very well.

I've heard those things take batteries that cost hundreds of dollars. She hired me to come and mow a small lawn in the front and back of her house. She also had an extensive garden of plants and shrubs.

I'm always honest with my customers, it’s just easier that way, and I tried to tell her I'm no gardener.

She hasn't understood this very well, even after I've killed about 6 different plants in her garden.

Each time I feel horrible and hang my head in shame. I tried to tell her I don't really know anything about plants.

See, her father was a gardener, so maybe I look like him or something. The interesting part is, she always pays me more than I ask for by about double.


The Dream Job

In this line of work, the usual customer wants you to do a miraculous job and then pay you a very low wage for it. They expect perfection and want to give you worse than min. wage.

When I met Gene, I was taken aback by her generosity, as she has routinely given me double what I would have asked for. And this has gone on now for two seasons.

Sometimes she even gives me three times the amount I would have asked for. Also, she gives me a Christmas bonus! This comes in handy as I am nearly out of work during December.

I still can't figure out why Gene is so kind to me. Sometimes I think she is senile, but she really is very alert and energetic besides being nearly deaf. I decided to write down what I wanted to say to her, but she then couldn't read my handwriting.

Gene is a dream customer for me. Her lawn is a $20 lawn, but she insists it's a $30 lawn and then pays me at least $40 each time.

Every time she pays me, I say that's too much Gene, yet she turns away and says I'm a hard worker and a good guy. I can only say thank you sincerely and walk away thanking the Lord, asking Him to bless her.

Why Does Gene Pay Me So Much?

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I Do My Best

As a lawn maintenance man rather than a gardener, I do my best at Gene's place to be careful and not kill any more plants.

The first time when I was cutting back some tangled Ivy (?) and then ended up cutting the wrong vines and killing the whole thing, well after that, I've been more careful.

I hardly know anything about plants and this may be strange to people because I'm a lawn man, but I couldn't care less about plants really.

I have learned some about lawns though, and I care about lawns for some reason. I guess the reason is the better they look and grow, the more work I’ll have and not get fired.

Gene's lawn is looking better for the most part, so I can at least say I have done some good. Over time I have completed enough projects successfully to redeem myself from the damage done.

Recently I had a setback when she found out I put the mulch in the garden beds without pulling the grass in the beds. I must admit, I got lazy at that location, and of course, she has a knack for finding out just where I messed up.

I do my best for Gene but sometimes I think it's too good to be true and now I'm going to get fired. With the amount she pays, she really deserves someone who knows more about plants anyway. Nonetheless, she keeps me around and calls me her gardener regardless of whether I'm the worst one she’s ever met.

The Mysterious and Wonderful Gene

Gene is about 80 years old, yet she is young in spirit. She has fallen down a few times and hurt her shoulder and hips lately, yet she still finds a way to get out and plant some new plants, usually where I've killed the old ones.

She has a husband whom I wouldn't believe was even alive if I hadn't seen him once. He was getting into the car one day to go to the doctor. Otherwise, he is locked away in a bedroom as she runs the homestead.

The house is cluttered and full of pictures of her family. Astonishingly, she claims to be the middle child of 18 siblings! Gene is a mystery woman for sure.

She loves the holidays, and although I don't celebrate the ones she does, I don't say anything unless she asks.

Gene doesn't live in a big house in a rich neighborhood; in fact, I believe she rents her house on the blue-collar side of town. Still, she pays me much more than rich clients do when I suffer to go up the hill and work for them.

She is very mysterious in this respect, it's a pleasant oddity that deserves note. Still, I dare not figure it out, as the job continues to provide for me and my family.

All I can say is God bless her and thank you Lord Jesus for all good things, including my best lawn care client Gene.

© 2014 Robbie Newport


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