Gene: My Best Lawn Care Customer
My Best Paying Customer
Working the lawn business day to day, I have a lot of time by myself to think. Usually I have my MP3 player on and am listening to sermons and talk shows. Other times I'm thinking about writing and random thoughts that come and go. These thoughts sometimes are profound and worthy of remembering, but they become lost mostly to my dismay.
Gene called me about a couple years ago now wanting me to come bid 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 smaller lawn, front and back. She also had an extensive garden of plants and shrubs.
I'm always honest with my customers, just easier that way, and I tried to tell her I'm no gardener. Yet, she hasn't very well understood this, 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 some very low wage for it. They expect perfection and want to give you worse than min. wage. So when I met Gene, I was taken back 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 really, but she insists it's a $30 lawn, and then she pays me at least $40 each time. Every time she pays me too I say that's too much Gene, but 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, and asking the Lord Jesus to bless her.
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Why Does Gene Pay Me So Much?
I Do My Best
As a lawn maintenance man and not a gardener, I do my best at Gene's place to be careful and not kill any more plants. That 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. Truth is I hardly know anything about plants, this may be strange to people cause 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 because the better they look and grow, the more I will make money 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 set back when she found out I put the mulch in the garden beds without pulling the grass in the beds. I have to admit, I got lazy at that location, and of course she has a knack of finding out just where I have 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. Yet, she keeps me around and calls me her gardener regardless if I'm the worst one she has ever met.
The Mysterious Wonderful Gene
Gene is about 80 years old I'm guessing, but she is young in spirit. She has fell down a few times and hurt her shoulder and hips lately, but 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 who I wouldn't believe was even alive if I hadn't seen him once. He was getting into the car one day going to the doctor. Otherwise he is locked away in a bedroom and as she rules the house. The house is cluttered and full of pictures of family. Astoundingly she claims to be the middle child of 18 siblings! Gene is a mystery woman for sure, and holds this to be a way of interacting.
She loves the Holidays, and although I don't celebrate the ones she does, I don't say anything unless she asks. She is a Christian, but when she gets ready for Halloween I can see her as a witch. Maybe it's the England thing, an ancient curse of the isle of witchery? Whatever it is, if she wasn't a Christian I'd be worried she's casting spells. Saying so, is rude of me though as she is one of the most generous people I have ever met.
Gene doesn't live in a big house in a rich neighborhood, and in fact, I believe she rents her house. Yet, she pays me much more than those rich clients do when I suffer to go up the hill and work for them. She is very mysterious in this respect, it's an 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.
Sometimes We Need to Say Thank You
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© 2014 Robbie Newport