Treating customers with compassion and kindness 

We were driving toward our next job — a large apartment complex near downtown. Crew Leader Carl was driving. “You know,” he said, “I’m sure glad the company has been educating employees lately on the importance of customer service. Too often, we forget that our jobs encompass more than just mowing lawns and pulling weeds.…… Continue reading Treating customers with compassion and kindness 

Planning a weekend barbecue

We were in the maintenance truck driving across town to our next job. As usual, I was stuck in the backseat, squeezed between Juan and Slim. Slim was puffing on a cigarette, resting a hand on his massive stomach. I had to press against Juan to make room. Juan looked over at me and grumbled,…… Continue reading Planning a weekend barbecue

Environmentally friendly landscapers 

We were working at our newest account — a brand-new home in the ritzy part of town. The house itself was three stories with a pool in the backyard and a horseshoe driveway in front. We had a big job ahead of us. The side yard was bare dirt, and the homeowner had requested that…… Continue reading Environmentally friendly landscapers 

Delivering quality customer service

I arrived at work one morning to find the shop lined with several rows of metal folding chairs. The shop superintendent, Shoemaker, was standing near the punch clock. He handed me a pamphlet as I approached him. “What’s going on?” I asked, clocking in. “We have a guest speaker today,” Shoemaker said. “The owner, Benito,…… Continue reading Delivering quality customer service

A stress-free existence 

It was a gorgeous morning, with lots of bright sunshine and not a breath of wind. We were working at an older home in an established neighborhood. Crew Leader Carl and I were in the front yard, deadheading roses. Carl paused and gazed into the distance, shielding his eyes from the sun. His sunglasses reflected…… Continue reading A stress-free existence 

Missing out on all the cool stuff

It was lunchtime, and we were parked alongside a back road under the shade of a large tree. Some of the guys were sitting on the trailer, while others were perched on the edge of the truck. A lone car drove by and disappeared. As I wolfed down my sandwich, I reached into my lunchbox…… Continue reading Missing out on all the cool stuff

Cussing up a storm 

It was late afternoon, and we were working at one of our last accounts. It had been an excruciating day. The temperature was brutal, the sun ceaselessly searing our necks and frying our brains. Everyone was exhausted and ready to go home. Crew Leader Carl had been in a miserable mood all day. I think…… Continue reading Cussing up a storm