A Letter from Your Landscaper

Before I delve into my letter, I must give a disclaiming acknowledgement: Jan and teams Nora/Randy and  Pamela/Steve. I am sure you know that none of you have ever been guilty of this!

To the rest of the readers:  The past 2 weeks have been particularly brutal with temperatures exceeding 110.  I have many awesome and wonderful clients, however, I also have those that are not so wonderful.  This is a letter to the aggregation of the latter and spans a time much more than the last 2 weeks of unholy heat.

Hey, it’s my Blog and I can do what I want!


Dear Client:

Thank you so much for coming out today to tell me how hot it was.  I questioned the weather reports, but your confirmation that it was indeed hot made it real for me.  I also appreciate your critique of what I was wearing.  I understand, having done my job for several years,  that I couldn’t possibly know what attire is best suited to the local environs.  Additionally, thank you so much for the repeated statements that I should drink lots.  That particular advice did so much for me as it had never occurred to me that drinking plenty of fluids while doing manual labor in the extreme heat would be beneficial.

I really appreciate you taking the 45 minutes to discuss this matter early this morning and I felt really bad as the beads of sweat appeared on your upper lip and brow.  I am glad you were able to return to the comfort of air conditioning before you suffered any other physical effects.

For my part, I kept reminding myself of your statements, and they really stuck because I got to work 45 minutes later.    Because today only you came out, I really can’t be sure if it got hotter as the day went on. But on other days, I can always rest assured at least 2 other clients will review the exact same topics you covered this morning, only they will do so from their thresholds or from an open window where they are protected by the air conditioning.  Just know, I do very much appreciate your extra efforts of leaving your house to counsel me early this morning

Because you have been so generous in your advice on how careful I should be in the heat, I think it only fair to give you apologies for my wrong doings:

1.  I am sorry that after we installed double the amount of plants you already had, I attempted to increase your maintenance rate.  Fortunately, you were there to remind me that while the number of plants significantly increased, the property lines didn’t change, therefore despite the increased work load on my part, your rate should remain the same.

2.  I am sorry that the plants on your property rated as “very messy” in all the local plant guides drop debris in your yard.  I apologize for being so lazy that I will not superglue all leaves, seeds and flowers to the plants so that they don’t cause the unsightly mess that appears on your property between maintenances.

3.  In connection with #2, and applying to those plants located right on the edge of your pool, I am sorry that I can not control the stream of air that is the blower in such a way as to avoid getting a single leaf in your pool.

4.  I am sorry that since your house sits vacant several months out of the year, and is located in a relatively low density area, that wild animals move on to your property.  Those same animals, rude as they are, eat your plants and shred your waterlines.  I have begged my husband to allow me to take care of you in a more satisfactory fashion, but he strongly objects to my sitting on your property every night with a flashlight to shoo away the offending creatures.

5.  I am sorry that I selfishly object to lowering your rates so that you can better manage your expenses at your vacation home in this down economy.  The proper thing to do would be to better accommodate you even if it is at the expense of losing my one home that I live in all the time.

6.  I am sorry that I object to your demands that I do favors for friends and family.  I really should understand that since you pay me to take care of your property, I should show my gratitude by doing free work for anyone you desire.

7.  I am sorry that I sometimes put my personal/family life ahead of your personal problems when I tell you I must get back to work and can no longer act as your sympathetic ear.  The proper action would be to listen to you until you are finished.  Working longer on your maintenance day in order to accommodate you should be my cheerful priority.

8.  I am sorry I attempted to charge you for dog waste removal.  I didn’t understand that you, your spouse and your children didn’t have time to pick up after your dog(s) since the last maintenance, but that you intended to, unfortunately, the regularly scheduled maintenance came up before you got a chance.  I completely understand that “intending to” should qualify as “did” and therefore no charges should apply.  The fact that you “intended to” the last 5 scheduled maintenances shouldn’t matter because all that “intending” was a lot of effort on the part of your entire family.

9.  I am sorry that I attempted to charge you for when you asked me to go check something at the house when you were out of town.  I should have understood the severe inconvenience it would have caused had you called any of your local friends or family to do the same.   I never have anything better to do with my time, so of course I was the logical choice to handle your issue.

and finally

10.  I am sorry for my lack of horticultural skills:   I am unable to prevent plants from going dormant in winter or dying back in frost.  I can not get summer bloomers to flower when you are here in winter.  I can not keep your plants alive in the hot dry summers with little to no water and as a result, you have to pay high water bills. I have complained to the University from which I got my degree and to the entities from which I received all of my certifications, but when I tell them they are frauds and that the lessons taught to me do not satisfy your needs, they look at me with confusion.  They irrationally believe you should understand that when dealing with living organisms, there are certain things we can’t change.  They are very uncooperative when I tell them that basic horticultural logic and climactic influences are most inconvenient to you.  I promise you that I will look far and wide for a way to make your landscape perform to your exacting specifications.

There are many more deficiencies on my part that I should apologize for, but it occurred to me that I am not sitting in a dormant state awaiting your call to jump for one thing or another.  Therefore I must conclude this letter without completing all of the owed apologies so that I may go sit in a corner, with my phone at the ready, and wait.

Very truly yours,

Your Landscaper


3 thoughts on “A Letter from Your Landscaper

  1. I came across your add on Craigslist looking to exchange services for vet bills – being an animal lover myself and having 10 pets I can relate to the expense and figured why not. I changed my mind after reading your “letter from your landscaper. I would never ever want to be one of those clients that you poke fun at in your blog.

  2. Wow! When I read the post I thought it was hysterical, but far reaching. The comment by Stacy stells me you may have under reached. My sympathies to you for having so many people believe you are less than human. And to Stacy – at least the blogger kept it annonymous, you my dear made it personal. I fear for anyone that ever has to work for you.

  3. if i am following, CDL needed to vent what appears to be some frustration. she did so on her blog. none of the offending people were mentioned by name. the first comment complains that CDL uses her own blog to vent frustration and implies that business is lost because of it.

    i don’t believe any business was lost or if it was it was from a person who probably recognized herself in the dehumanizing examples given in the letter. whatever the case it was highly inappropriate to attack CDL on her blog and shows the lack of class on the part of the commenter.

    personally i don’t understand why the comment has not been deleted

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