Clients say the darnest things…(or funny sayings on the job)

Bendroctanus

Well-Known Member
Location
Springfield
Not sure this is the right place for this thread but here goes!

I’ve been in the industry awhile now and one thing I’ve come to love about tree work are the stories that come on the job from either clients, onlookers, funny employers or silly employees. My old crew was never short of any of that and it really brought joy to my life, particularly in the face of rough jobs and the throes of life. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, and maybe there’s already a thread for this, but I thought we could all share.

The story that comes to mind today is one that an old logger from Idaho told us on an old tree crew of his. They were pruning some trees across from an elementary where all the kids were lined up at the fence yelling to them, “Tree killaarrrrrs!” One of the groundies walked up to one of the kids and said,
Groundie: “Hey kid!”
Ignorant kid: *looks with surprise*
Groundie: “Your dad is stupid!” *walks away leaving kid confused*
Logger man: “Gee, why’d you tell him that?”
Goundie: “Well he had him didn’t he?!”

Sillyness, but brings levity to tense situations. More to come! Hopefully from more than just me.
 

Njdelaney

Well-Known Member
Location
Detroit
This is more of a clients DO the darndest things story but here goes. My Dad was a landscaper and also did a fair bit of ornamental pruning. We came back from lunch to finish up a job and I noticed two boys around 12 or so had climbed a Spruce tree overlooking our work area and were hiding and throwing cones down at us. Rather than tell them I knew they were there, I walked over to the truck and grabbed a saw, then said to my Dad loudly "So this one here is coming down?" as I walked towards the tree they were hiding in. As soon as that saw pulled over they revealed their position loudly and emphatically and scrambled down real fast hahahaha
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA

Jann Carpenter

1 review
3 years ago
trouble getting a visit to site, when did contact he had no time available on his schedule. wasted a lot of my time”

my first google review. Dude called me the day after I was treated for a open fracture, and I told him I was a few weeks out and why. He called back 4 days later insisting on a quote, I showed on time to find a fresh spar someone else worked, I suggested he call the person who started the job. He started to get nasty, so I then gave him a name of someone else who lived in the same neighborhood. Then he really laid into me yelling that how unprofessional it was to refuse to do a job, and that “you sure fucked up, buddy. I own 50 properties and you won’t be working on any of them.” and other threatening language such as “I will ruin your business”. Two weeks later he left a review... now I know why the other guy bailed out!
 

27RMT0N

Well-Known Member
Location
WA
Your business: Officially ruined!

Edit: But the point here is that just like customers can pick whichever contractor they want to do a job, us contractors can also pick our customers.
 
Last edited:

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
Your business: Officially ruined!

Edit: But the point here is that just like customers can pick whichever contractor they want to do a job, us contractors can also pick our customers.
I like the latter... I’ve never bought into “the customer is always right”. I keep getting the vibe that ‘well your are a arborist and this is what arborists do...” from clients thinking we are all the same and that there isn’t sub specialties within our very diverse industry. “Oh, you don’t inject chemicals that can save my blue spruce that I the asphalt guy paved over half the root system?” “I thought there must be some kind of injection!, all the new growth is browning and falling off the tree.” “From what I said on the phone can’t you just tell me if I killed my beloved tree?”

Ahh, today...
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA

Jann Carpenter

1 review
3 years ago
trouble getting a visit to site, when did contact he had no time available on his schedule. wasted a lot of my time”

my first google review. Dude called me the day after I was treated for a open fracture, and I told him I was a few weeks out and why. He called back 4 days later insisting on a quote, I showed on time to find a fresh spar someone else worked, I suggested he call the person who started the job. He started to get nasty, so I then gave him a name of someone else who lived in the same neighborhood. Then he really laid into me yelling that how unprofessional it was to refuse to do a job, and that “you sure fucked up, buddy. I own 50 properties and you won’t be working on any of them.” and other threatening language such as “I will ruin your business”. Two weeks later he left a review... now I know why the other guy bailed out!
I should add that I was limping around his yard wearing one open toe sandal with a bandage on my foot
 

Stumpsprouts

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
I should add that I was limping around his yard wearing one open toe sandal with a bandage on my foot
What a tool!

the only negative google review I was given was a client who decided to blast the company I worked for on Facebook, google, etc. we were supposed to give her a 12’ high bubble on her driveway, it ended up being more like 18’. We chipped a rotten old pile of garbage for free. Her poodle bit me in the walkthrough. She never paid for the work and still felt she deserved to hurt our business. Plus, she was a PR professional and I’m sure knows just what power that kind of thing holds.
 

Bendroctanus

Well-Known Member
Location
Springfield
I should add that I was limping around his yard wearing one open toe sandal with a bandage on my foot
Some people, I tell ya.
At my old job, we working for this older lady taking out some semi nasty black locusts and various other pruning and removal items. We felt we were kickin butt, getting stuff done pretty efficiently. She would ask us for extra little stuff like, “can you get that little tree there,” or something of that sort, and make sure to stand real close and hold your arm while she asked. About lunch time, we’re sitting having our lunch and she asked if we could take her bags of leaves and haul them in the back of one of our trucks. My foreman essentially and reluctantly said to leave them by the truck and we’ll get them later. She proceeds to put them back there herself developing a limp she didn’t have before and acting like she’s really struggling while she’s doing it. She later told our boss that we were the most evil men she’s ever dealt with and the most evil crew she’s ever seen because we watched her throw her leaves in the back of our truck while we were sitting eating our 30 min lunch. Mind you, foreman said put them over there, we’ll throw them in. He knew she was trying to kill us for all our worth so he was being firm but nice. Boss knew she was full of it and explained to her that we weren’t a lawn crew and we had our priorities. She ended up never paying him and driving off when he went to collect the check.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
While walking around a property with a client I'd stop and write up the work for each tree. Name/location/work. The client let me know in passing that they had other estimates. After writing up 4-5 trees with names....white oak...Crimson King Maple...etc. the client says: You really know the names of everything. I was a big taken aback and said: Wouldn't you expect me to since I'm the arborist. Client: I guess so. Me: What did the others write up? Client: They just wrote 'tree'...Me:Well I hope that you look real hard at that when it's time to decide who does the work.

I got the job.
 

Bendroctanus

Well-Known Member
Location
Springfield
While walking around a property with a client I'd stop and write up the work for each tree. Name/location/work. The client let me know in passing that they had other estimates. After writing up 4-5 trees with names....white oak...Crimson King Maple...etc. the client says: You really know the names of everything. I was a big taken aback and said: Wouldn't you expect me to since I'm the arborist. Client: I guess so. Me: What did the others write up? Client: They just wrote 'tree'...Me:Well I hope that you look real hard at that when it's time to decide who does the work.

I got the job.
Win!!!
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
While walking around a property with a client I'd stop and write up the work for each tree. Name/location/work. The client let me know in passing that they had other estimates. After writing up 4-5 trees with names....white oak...Crimson King Maple...etc. the client says: You really know the names of everything. I was a big taken aback and said: Wouldn't you expect me to since I'm the arborist. Client: I guess so. Me: What did the others write up? Client: They just wrote 'tree'...Me:Well I hope that you look real hard at that when it's time to decide who does the work.

I got the job.
"My kid could could identify a tree as a tree at 3 y.o."
 

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