Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Murphy's Lawn

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.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Small Business Saturdays

Today is not just another random small business Saturday.  It is in fact the last shopping Saturday before Christmas.  So please, if you haven't yet, go out and support your local community.

We unfortunately have seen several small businesses forced to close their doors during these unnecessary times.  Although we directly do not offer retail services, we are a family owned and operated small business that depends on the community as well as we have children and pets that depend on us.  

Did you know that small businesses are the backbone of this country?  Without small businesses, places such as Amazon, Target, & Wal-Mart would not even exist.  By supporting the local small businesses in the community, the small businesses help support you in return.  You typically receive exceptional customer service as the knowledge of the staff at these places is usually through the roof!  There is nothing like walking into a local coffee shop and having the barista know you by name and even your entire order.

We do support larger corporations, but when there is any chance possible, we will continue getting our coffee and donuts locally.  We will continue to get our trucks serviced and repaired from the corner mechanic.  We will continue to get most of our hardware from local stores rather than Home Depot or Lowes.  And we will continue to get our equipment serviced locally as well.  

Please continue supporting local businesses.  You will create a win-win situation for everyone in the community.  You will get the greatest buying experience, the owners and their employees with get their livelihood, and the community gets the taxes.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Covid-19 & Customer Service

Covid-19 is being blamed for everything.  It is a reason why our children can't attend public school.  It is a reason why there were no public graduations or proms this year.  It is the reason why Ramen noodles and toilet paper are hard to come by these days and naturally why there are lines out the door with people standing six feet apart waiting to get non-essential items.  And as we notice these lines, we make a statement about how dumb one is for standing in that line.  But the truth of the matter is you probably have stood in one of those lines yourself for something non-essential. 

People say that due to this "pandemic", the customer service we receive is horrible.  I beg to differ.  Quality customer service has been non-existent for awhile now, long before this quarantine. 

Here are three different scenarios of poor customer service from major corporations I have experienced prior to Covid-19.

1.  I asked to have my tires balanced and rotated along with a plug from a well seen nail.  The company was short staffed, so my expected wait time was all day.  When my vehicle was ready for pick up, I was informed about the nail in tire, but told it wasn't needed to be plugged.  Not only was it not plugged, the tires were not rotated either.  The following morning I had a flat.  So long for that intended road trip I was planning on making.  A manager has still not gotten back to me regarding this.

2.  Shortly after the above mentioned, I detailed the inside of my car.  I took it upon myself to drive to the car wash to finish the outside.  Everything was fine until I pulled up to the vacuums.  Not one, not two, but three vacuums were a dud.  I flagged down the attendant who in his phone to inform him as the other vacuums were occupied.  He said I would have to pay for another car wash just to use a different vacuum since I utilized more vacuum time than entitled to.  Like are you fricking kidding me?

3. This one here takes the cake.  I was standing in line at Home Depot holding three big boxes of plastic lawn bags and two supplies of weedeater string, not a shopping cart in site.  I got to self checkout and only one station is functioning, which happens to freeze during my check out.  No big deal, but of course, not an attendant on duty.  So I gather up my items and haul to a different register, the only one with a live attendant.  And what do you know, the person in front of me is arguing with the cashier about an item that rang up wrong.  The cashier was rude right off the bat, so rude she cut her light off, grabbed her phone, and walked off.  If were in the customers shoes, I would have been livid.  So once again, I lugged all my stuff to now the customer service desk.  Two people were there sitting side by side talking about something not work related.  Both made eye contact with me.  One rolled his eyes, the other ignored me and walked away.  How dare I make them do their job.  At this point now I was livid. I dropped my merchandise, along with a cuss word or two and left.

Now tell me, are any of the above situations acceptable? 

I didn't think so. 

It seems everyone these days wants a job with great pay, a handout at that.  But nobody wants to do even the bare minimum.  There are plenty of corporations and small businesses out there looking to hire people that are willing to work.  If you are not working, Covid-19 related or something else, let's take this time while in quarantine to learn how to treat people so we can make a difference.  Nobody wants a retail experience like the ones mentioned above.  Good customer service makes all the difference in the world.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Cookies, Cubs, & Cousins

This past weekend, the cat got a hold of one of my beta fish.  I feel just awful.  I mean what a horrible way to go.

I have always been the kind of person that will cry over the death of a pet more so than that of a human being.  I remember the day I lost my mother, I only cried initially when I found out, but it was tears of joy, joy she was no longer suffering.  I was 35 when she passed and thankful I had her active in my growing years.  I think about her often and especially miss her on particular holidays.  But what upsets me the most regarding my mom, is she will never get to meet my wonderful husband, his kids, and her only grandson.  

I recently deleted all of my FaceBook contacts as one morning I woke up and it clicked that social media is a waste of my time.  I only keep the account to manage the Mow & Blow Lawn Service page.  Out of 100 or so friends I deleted, I personally asked to remain in contact with about three or four people.  Of those, are my cousins Tim and Renee, just all around good people.  Every holiday season, I finagle them into sending me Santa's Favorites cookies, formerly known as Jingles.  These were a childhood favorite growing up in Chicago and are not available in the South.

Saturday evening, Renee randomly popped in my head and I questioned if I ever thanked her for this years cookies.  So I sent her a quick message, but she never responded.  Not thinking twice about it, I went on to bed.  My brother called me the following morning to tell me the news.  Renee passed away suddenly the evening before.  We chatted on and off the last few weeks.  She told me about what she did for a living and why she chose that career path.  We discussed the newest manager of the Chicago Cubs, David Ross, and that neither of us care about his lack of management so long as our Cubbies win.

I believe Renee passed away from a blood clot related to that knee surgery.  Nobody was home when it happened.  We are all so shocked as she seemed to be recovering well.  

I have never really been too close with extended family, but her passing makes me sick.  It breaks my heart that such a good woman leaves behind two beautiful children and a wonderful husband.  It breaks my heart even more, that this devastation has occurred less than two weeks before Christmas.  

I stated before I always felt more remorse towards losing a pet than a human relative, but Renee's passing has really hit me hard.  My mother passed away in September of 2016.  Thankfully had my first place Cubbies to get me through that difficult time.  For the first time in 108 years, they ended up winning the World Series that year. 

I love you, Renee and am glad you witnessed our Cubbies go all the way in your lifetime. Say hello to Harry.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Customer Service

Due to recent customer service experiences, I have found inspiration to vent.  We have recently contacted at least 25 different companies throughout DeSoto and Shelby County all the way up to Jackson, Tennessee for a difficult project quote.  Of those 25 companies, only five made contact.  And of those five, I could very easily make at least one complaint about each company.  I will not name names of any, but the first company came highly recommended through a friend.  We are trying to remain patient as we are still tentatively dealing with them, even though there are several communication issues.  We received a separate quote from a company in Jackson, but the guy simply did not quote us on our requests, but what HE deemed feasible.  Another guy never showed the weekend he was scheduled and was nothing but rude when he finally made it.  He behaved in a manner that made us feel like we were a burden.  The next company took several days to return the call and also did not show up when expected.  When he did he was drunk, did nothing but bad mouth the competition, and brag about a law suit in which he was involved.  Finally, the last company that showed was entirely professional, remained in good communication for a few days, but then just ***POOF*** disappeared. 

I was beyond irritated and stressed out dealing with this.  With that being said, the purpose of this blog is to simply let you know to always read the reviews.  If a company has one star on multiple sites, there is probably a reason as to why.   Here at Mow & Blow Lawn Service, LLC we always have and will continue to strive to return every call or service request in a timely manner even if we are booked or if you happen to call the wrong company.  We do not want our clients or potential clients to experience and feel the way we did.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kentucky Weekend Getaway

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with lawn care, but having writer's block, I am going to write about a recent weekend getaway trip I took to Bowling Green, Kentucky.  For those of you who do not know, Bowling Green is about an hour north of Nashville off I-65.  I found out about this place after stopping here with family back in 2008.  This was now my fourth trip.  I will start with the southern most hot spots and work my way north.  Off east exit 22 was our hotel, a Quality Inn, a mediocre hotel with great breakfast and the allowance of pets for an additional fee.  The day receptionist was simply wonderful.  The room was small yet clean, the beds comfortable, and the shower had a few draining issues, but I would definitely stay here again.  Head west on exit 22 (Scottsville Road) you will soon come to the Greenwood Mall which by no means is a Wolfchase Galleria, I would say a bigger, better Oak Court Mall with a rad food court.  Of course, the original intent to visit this mall was to go to Old Navy and purchase their flip-flops on dollar flip-flop day which of course I was a day off and had to pay full price.  I sucked it up and still walked out of there with a bag full of summer delight shoes anyway.  

Shortly yonder of this mall is perhaps one of the greatest cave systems I have personally seen in Kentucky called Lost River.  Along with gem mining, you can hike beyond the butterfly exhibit, zip line amongst the trees, become one with a blue hole, but most importantly experience one of the many hidden features of Kentucky, the Lost River Cave, an underground cave that you can explore upon a river.  Naturally, this place is pet friendly.  

If you get back on the highway and head north, exit 28 is where you would get off and head west to Beech Bend.  If you have children, I would highly recommend spending an entire day here.  You will find that 39 dollars will get you an all day pass to both the amusement and water park where they also provide SPF-30 sunscreen.  The amusement park itself contains one big wooden roller coast and a few small ones while the rest of the rides will remind you of ones you will see at a county fair.  There is also a petting zoo, which only consisted of goats and not the fainting ones either.  Unfortunately, being pregnant, I was limited on the stuff I could do so I spent much of the day in the lazy river. 

Exit 48 off I-65 is what you would take to go to Mammoth Cave National Park which consists of over 400 miles of caves.  Now, I personally have not been to this cave but eventually intend to.  This is one of the largest tourist attractions in the area.  

Five miles north of that exit is my favorite exit in Kentucky for a multitude of reasons.  Number one, the world's best A & W fast food restaurant exists here.  The nearest one to here is off exit 108 in White House, Tennessee but I would strongly recommend avoiding that one like the plague.  This exit, number 53, will lead you to some rad little general stores and gift shops if you head west.  After you pass these stores you will come to Kentucky Action Park.  I spent 35 dollars for an all day family pass.  This allowed the kids to ride the ski-lift countless amounts of time.  At the top of the ski-lift, they could head down the mountain in a competitive manner on what are called alpine slides or if I felt like splurging some more, zip lines.  Aside the alpine slides, there are bumper boats, bumper cars, go-carts, and mini-golf.  There are many other things to do on this strip like Dinosaur World, a wax museum, fudge factory, and a Mammoth Cave animal exhibit we have done in the past along with other things that we have not attempted yet. 

Just a few miles north you will approach Horse Cave Kentucky's Kentucky Down Under.  This is a must stop.  From the outside it appears to be rather lame, but I promise this is a great way to spend the afternoon.  This place is dog friendly as long as leashes and good behavior entail.  Basically, it is a smaller Australian dedicated zoo with good food at a fairly inexpensive price.

I cannot really tell you much more about what is north of this exit.  I personally know that in Elizabethtown, the Comfort Inn & Suites is a nice hotel to stay.  North of that is Louisville, but other than a family wedding, I have not spend much time there but plan to in the future.  Kentucky is a place I would seriously consider relocating to, but of course not until the kids are grown.  The crime is low, the education system is better, and the people seem friendlier.  Kentucky!!  Just go!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reputation To Generate Leads

It had been brought to our attention from several customers that certain lead generating sites have been using our name and good reputation to generate leads.  They use our name to lead you to believe that you the customer are going to receive an estimate from us and only us.  However, this is not the case.  By going to these sites, your information is being compromised and sent out to multiple companies that may or may not be an accredited business, have a five star rating, or the reputation we withhold.  We strongly advise you and those you refer to us, to simply give us a call directly, follow us on any social networking site, or this website alone. We cannot stress this enough that these lead generating programs are simply in it for the money.  Please refer to our very first blog entry from 2016.