It's August of 2022. Gas is nearly four dollars a gallon and diesel roughly five. Customer service and product availability is at an all-time low.
Being in the landscaping industry, Murphy's Law (Murphy's Lawn as I like to call it) seems to be occurring rather frequently. This year alone more things have gone wrong. We recently acquired a new mower, only to have a different one break. We fixed that mower and lo and behold, the new one breaks down. And naturally, not a single simple fixing. They are just ridiculous things only a small engine mechanic can do, which of course, every business seems to be short staffed. We have to wait until the end of the season for an appointment, that is if we even get a return call back.
We have diesel trucks we prefer to use, but the cost of fuel is excruciating. In fact, our four-door truck was topped off immediately before it stalled on Highway 70. We quickly managed to tow it back to the shop, thinking it was a simple fix. However, not the case. Of course, our mobile diesel mechanic is booked two weeks out, now forcing us to use the two-door diesel only to have that one stall. Our mechanic finally makes it, but now his equipment needed to do each job fails.
In the meantime, the grass continues to grow as well as the need for immediate service. And now I have but no choice to try and tackle each dilemma myself.
In the particular instance with the mower, some work needed to be done on the engine. We called a local hardware store to see if said part was available. The cashier that answered got aggravated and hung up because we called via bluetooth while driving... We brought the complaint up to management when we got there in which we were informed this is a common complaint with her, but nothing could be done since no other help was available. May I add this common part we needed was not in stock and on backorder until Spring of 2023.
Luckily, we found a product on Amazon that was a two-day shipping item. Yet it somehow got rerouted overseas and became lost in customs. Three weeks later the item arrives and of course isn't even close to what we ordered. I mean why would it be right? I get it. It happens, but it might not be so frustrating if there was product availability or some decent customer service.
When things like this happen, it's never at a convenient time. It's always amid a client's yard, or during rush hour traffic, or when trying to beat the rain. In the wonderful world of landscaping, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.