Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Firing the Lawn Guy

Hey all,

Man, it is December 8th. It is really close to Christmas!

I have to beg you to go out this weekend and buy your stuff. Next weekend is going to get really crazy, and if you are like me, and usually wait until the last minute, you are going to go crazy again. Now I know some of you are saying, "I am going to do most of my shopping online." Well, it is time. If you do regular shipping you are getting dangerously close to the time.

Once I ordered something online on the 15th of December and it was supposed to be delivered on the 23rd, at least that is what the salesman said. The package arrived - and I am not kidding about this - on February 10th. I called the company and they no longer existed. I called my credit card company and got my money back and waited for a couple of months before I gave it away. Don't get into online trouble this year. Do it early.

Anyway, I am in a quandary. I have this patient that is also my lawn guy. He and I have know each other since I graduated from dental school. I used to play pick-up bball at my church and he was there. I don't think he went to church, but it was a good gym. He has been a patient and our lawn guy for almost 14 years. He does a totally awesome job, but the caveat is that he is very flaky when it comes to showing up.

Now, we have traded all this time. He has four children and it was pretty good even when his wife and kids came in. It gets kind of pricey when the kids get x-rays, cleaning, exam... Sometimes it would be $200 per kid. So a couple of cleanings a year for seven people. I pay $250 per month for his services. Usually, I have to pay him at the end of the year, but not much.

Now he is divorced and his ex-wife and kids are not patients here anymore, and we are really coming out-of-pocket for his services. So now I am paying more attention.

I am also paying more attention because I have more time to pay attention. It seems that in the winter he doesn't really come. As you may know, the grass does not grow in the winter. So he must think he doesn't have anything do and there's no reason to come.

Well, first and foremost I am paying him to come here. Secondly, in the winter, other things need to be done. We have a bunch of oaks that drop their acorns by the thousands. The parking lot gets filled with them, then we drive over them and it becomes a big mess.

(the acorns and the dying grass)

We also have something that looks like a maple tree that drops about a billion leaves. All this is making our property look less than pretty.

(Double-click on the image to make it bigger, but this is the dying grass and the leaves filling up the parking lot.)

As you all know, I am not a big fan of confrontation. But I have been trying to be more of a leader around here. It is my place and if I don't do it, no one will. So I need to buck up and say something to this guy. I need to tell my employees when they are doing something I don't like. It is better for everyone, but it is still hard.

So when my lawn guy was out there the last time, I asked him if he could come every week. I told him that even if he came just to blow off the parking lot and clean the place up, I would be happy. He agreed. I haven't seen him in 15 days.

Now here I am, in a quandary. I know what I have to do. It is time to make a change. But it is 17 days before Christmas. He still has 4 children.

But in these times when the new patients are down and the volume coming through the door is down, you want to impress the ones that do dawn your door. You want them to walk up to the front door saying, "Things are really looking nice around here," or at least not say, "Man, Gammichia is really letting it go around here." And I have to be honest, that is what it is beginning to look like around my place.

He usually comes on Tuesday; it is Wednesday and I haven't seen him. I thought I was going to see him yesterday and read him the riot act. I keep thinking I am going to see him today. But nothing yet. I think I am going to have to make a phone call.

Why can't people just do things right? Why can't he take pride in his work? Why can't he want to treat my office special because we are friends? Why do I have to hound people for good service?

I have a new printer/sign guy now (remember the blog about service?). Well, I started using someone else and it is the same thing. I have to bug him to get things done. I really could go to a website and make the postcards myself faster than he could do it.

I'm so frustrated that my lawn guy has put me in this position. Maybe he just doesn't want the job. I know he lives far away, but if he doesn't want it why doesn't he just say so? Honesty, communication. - what is so hard about that?

I'll let you know how it is goes. Wish me luck.

Now for blog business. It is getting close to the end of the year, and I don't think I have many more blogs in me. I will write a couple, and I have some ghost writer reserves, but this blog is eventually going to take a vacation.

It turns out the ratings system at the end of the blog didn't work out. Some IT issue. But let that not stop you from telling me how you like the blog or what else you want me to talk about.

Talk to you on Friday.


P.S. Just found out the Urban Meyer is resigning. Why don't they just kick me when I am down? I am in so much pain, and right around Christmas time.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder that I have done absolutely zero Christmas shopping so far...

I don't know, maybe you can give your office a new persona with all that brush. Add some wildlife and you've got yourself a forest.

Anonymous said...

No vacation for the blog is my vote, if you were asking for votes. I was telling my friend the other day that I read 3-4 blogs every day and if I don't I feel somehow...incomplete. Well this is one of those blogs.

Hope it goes okay with your lawn guy.

gatordmd said...

Thank you very much....
You made my month.
Don't worry I will only be gone about 2 weeks. Drink a bunch of eggnog and when you wake up it will January and then I will back on.

Have a great Christmas


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