quotes

I think I mentioned in passing that Charlie quit cut back her hours at the veterinary clinic to focus on the landscaping company. She reduced her hours and gave stupid bitch boss a month notice to find someone else. Then, it seemed the minute she stepped away from the hell hole it the landscape clients started to flood in.

A few weeks back one of our clients made a recommendation of us on the neighborhood website and emails and calls flooded in even more. Last week, we had consultations every evening except Thursday because we were so tired we needed a night off from it. I handle contacting the clients, estimating the jobs and emailing the quotes and taking payments and Charlie does the heavy lifting of doing the maintenance work. Some days she has jobs lined up and doesn’t finish until after lunch. The large cleanup jobs we do together on Saturdays. We both enjoy doing it and I know Charlie likes being away from that bitch in charge of her own schedule.

And, it makes for good blog material.

So, last week this lady contacted me wanting a bunch of shit stuff done – cleanup, bed prep and enlargement, a landscape plan and, hell, let’s talk about making a bed in the front and trimming up all this other shit. I mean, she was all over the place. Potential customers like this tend to make me suspicious because they don’t have a clear focus of what they want and I think they just want to pick our brains and then not hire us.

She went on to say this was going to be a birthday gift for her WIFE and she wanted it to be a surprise but knew it couldn’t be because how would she explain why we were there doing work and so, yes, she had to tell her and get her involved in the consult…..

Uh-Oh.

I reluctantly set up a consultation and told Charlie she needed to come with me. We had two other people lined up before her/them. So, we went to the two appointments before them when I called – let’s call her Jane – when I called JANE to tell her we were on our way over she quickly explained that she was on the way to [college] to pick up her wife and that they needed another 45 minutes before they were home. I told her to text me when she was close and hung up.

What’s going on?

They need more time because she’s going to pick up her academic wife who probably has a stick up her @ss that, no, I will not give an estimate for removing and wont’ be there until after 6.

[The reason I say academic like that is because I’ve done my time dating academics and 90% of the time they think they are better and smarter than everyone else. But, not ALL academics are like that -just the ones I’ve had limited sex with.]

Let’s go get a beer at pizza joint.

Should we really have beer on our breath meeting clients?

These are lesbians they’ll probably be drinking when we get there.

So, at pizza place I got a call from JANE that they were on their way and would be there in fifteen minutes. I told her we’re on our way, hung up and took my time on finishing my beer.

We pulled up and I already started assessing the place. Of course with Georgia everything grows like a jungle and I saw shrubs on both sides of the house that were overgrown and the lawn seriously needing cutting. Out came Jane sticking her hand out and introducing herself and then introducing Janet (I always change names on the blog but their names are similar in real life which makes it even more uncanny).

Janet was exactly what I summed up previously. She wore pinstriped pants with a white button down shirt un-tucked like she just came out of giving a three hour antitrust law lecture and was ready for a gin and tonic and why was she standing in this hot yard talking to these lesbians about her fucking beds when she really wanted a Cartier Tank watch for her birthday and not some rototilling……..

Jane went on like a runaway horse carriage of WHAT ALL they wanted in the front and then we walked to the back and even more information was poured out on bed prep, fertilizer, landscape plan, landscape plants –

That was when Janet interjected on being particular on the plants she wanted in her beds. Another alarm sounded off in my brain. Usually, when people say this they still don’t know exactly what it is they want and can never give examples, either, but any suggestion that is made is shot down. In short, they’re never happy with anything. All they know is the buzzwords like organic, compost, sustainable, natural, etc. which means to me – pulling weeds, spreading manure, bugs, sweating and stinky…..

Once we were done and back in the car Charlie asked, So, what do you think?

I think I’m going to price it very high……how much do Cartier watches cost?

Huh?

Because that’s what I think JANET really wants for her birthday not some “bed preparation”. Holding up both hands and wiggling my fingers like quotes.

Lol, I hear ya but if they take us up on it that’s all on you “Miss Landscape Architect”. Fingers like quotes.

So, I sent out their quote and haven’t heard back. I know they’re on vacation and there’s a slim chance they come back and take us up on it.

Knowing my luck, they will.

 

 

why dogs are women’s best friend

Last Saturday I went down to Petco and volunteered with the local shelter for their pet adoption clinic. They have it every Saturday from 10 – 2pm. I got there early and met two other volunteers before the van pulled up with Chris who was the staff person heading up the clinic. We all said Hi and proceeded to unpack the van along with getting out 4 of our cutie dogs who were adoption-ready.

Most of the job was to walk the animals every hour or so, pet and keep them calm and talk to potential adoption clients. It was a pretty easy job. All of the dogs but 1 you could pet through their kennels and even take them out for people to pet and visit with them. There was one dog there Chris said to let her walk and sit next to that he wasn’t really up for adoption and was very timid. She had been working with him for several months, he’s had a hard life so far and was very timid and only really trusted her. So, we placed several signs in front and on top of Brody’s cage saying DON’T PUT HANDS THROUGH BARS. Most times Brody just sat calmly in his kennel not barking or doing anything.

Well, people are just like kids. You tell them not to do something and next thing you know someone’s got their face down in Brody’s cage talking to him and he’s barking and growling. I could understand where he was coming from, too. Some human puts their stupid face in mine I’m going to say, Back off, Buster! I even had to stop one child from putting her hands in there right after telling both the parents that this one was the only one that couldn’t be petted.

People can be so stupid, really. We had four other dogs that were sweet as could be that people did visit with and talk to but every hour or so someone stupid would come up to Brody and get him barking. One lady even said he didn’t deserve to be there and should be put down.

Now, let’s step back. Most of these animals have been in the shelter for at least 2-6 months. Some even longer. Even bringing them out for adoption is a break for them. They get a change of scenery, fresh air, get walked every hour – even Brody – and it’s just a good change for them. Brody may have been beaten in his last life or chained up and severely neglected. People are working with him instead of just giving up and putting him down.

Like every volunteer opportunity it comes with educating morons people about the process, why it’s important and how to take steps not to be stupid in the future to keep meeting the goals of the organization. At least that’s what I kept telling myself – especially, when this crackhead homeless woman eyeing our donation bucket on top of Brodys kennel came up and was taunting him. That was the last straw for me, really – I felt she was just causing a distraction so she could grab the money and run off. I stepped between her and the kennel and told her to move on off and stop antagonizing the dog. She left and Chris came up and said that I handled it well.

I tried to think back on doing the 3-day walk if I ever ran into crazy people that didn’t understand the organization or why we were there. Although, the difference with that organization and this one was the former was all about raising money. You couldn’t raise enough money – ever. This one is all about people adopting, volunteering their time, taking a pet home for a day just to get them out of the shelter and they’re running free adoptions for dogs over 25 pounds and cats this month so they’re certainly not money-driven although money is always accepted. So, there are some differences. I just don’t remember wanting to throw someone off a building feeling like this when I walked the 3-day – maybe it was just because I was so tired walking 20 miles a day.

After the event was over (and, no dogs went home with anyone but one got some paperwork filled out on her so I have my fingers crossed she’ll get adopted) I went home and let my own dogs out and told them how lucky they were to veg on the couch all day watching soccer. Then, I had to meet a landscape client who was just around the corner.

When I went there I realized she lived in this kind of run-down condo complex. I wondered why she needed landscape maintenance until I pulled up at her front door. It was very run down and there was this disheveled woman who came out. She looked so familiar, too, but I couldn’t place her. It was obvious why she needed someone because the small patch in front was all weeds and poison ivy. We talked and she just needed someone to mow it down and clean it up. The next door neighbor had his front lawn all torn up and it looked sod-ready, however, he had artificial turf rolled up at the curb like he was going to lay it on top of the dirt. (Yeah, talk about TACKY!) I asked her if he was laying that and she said, Yes.

He could lay sod on top of what he’s prepped easily.

She just shrugged her shoulders. The whole time I was thinking I was going to price her high because I didn’t want the job when he came out and picked up a few sticks that were in the parking lot and said, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t throw your sticks into the parking lot.

I wanted to say, Dude! You’re laying astro turf onto dirt and you’re complaining about a few sticks??

I went around back to see what the client had there and like the front it was full of weeds. I told her I would email her a quote this week and as we were walking around the front someone pulled up and stopped. It was the guy’s girlfriend/partner/wife/skank whatever. The lady said, Oh, I’m sorry you’re in her space.

I waved and shouted, I’m moving, I’m moving! And turned to the lady shook her hand and said nice meeting you and ran to the truck.

Too late the lady had already torn off in her car in a heat when there were spaces on either side of me that she could have parked temporarily. I got in the truck and thought, What the f*ck is wrong with people?

I was angry and wanted to cry. I think the day had gotten to me. I drove home and let the dogs out again and sat down and cracked a beer and wrote up that lady’s quote – cheap. I wasn’t going to take that job until that neighbor was such a d*ckhead to her. Now I’m p*ssed. F-him I’m gonna make that place look so good and he can go f*ck himself with his rolled up astro turf.

The next day, Charlie and I just took it easy. We were meeting Link and gf Nana for Link’s sister, Sue Ellen’s bday brunch. I prayed they were going to be the only one’s there but I was wrong. Of course both Mike and Dino were there with their wives. Mike unfortunately sat next to me. I was hoping nothing about the bachelor party was going to come up and it didn’t however, when Nana asked me about my new job Mike started in on why it was such a bad company (Mike retired from the company before it got bought out by fortune 500 company) and that I shouldn’t invest in company stock and he hoped it worked out, etc. I added that we were #10 of profit making on the list of Fortune 500 companies but he wasn’t deterred.  I think Nana was sorry she asked because the whole conversation became about Mike (as always). I ignored Mike and actually turned sideways in my seat putting my back to him the rest of the meal only focusing on Charlie, Link, Nana and Sue Ellen. Dino and Martha were there but Dino was constantly out smoking with Mike’s wife, Celia every ten minutes I didn’t talk to him that much. All I can say is that it was a good thing we met them the next day and not the day before because there probably would have been drinks in Mike’s face spilt and me storming out of the restaurant.

I’m tired of grumpy friends these days, too. There’s one I ask to do things with and get ignored or they’re snippy with me over text. Other’s we met up with and they’re grouchy and then there’s Mike. I don’t’ care to see Mike and his wife for a long time now (in fact, usually when we know they’re going to be there we pass). I wouldn’t mind seeing Link and Nana for a couple’s thing because they are always in a good mood. Although, Charlie and I have been working so much these days that it’s hard to have any energy to chase them down put towards making plans and doing them. We were so tired last week we skipped Weezer and Panic at the Disco. I gave the tickets to a young guy in my class, instead. (He was happy, too, and I was so glad they didn’t go to waste). Charlie’s going to Florida this weekend to see her boys and after I make that client’s yard from above look good I’m flopping the rest of the weekend with the dogs who are certainly never grouchy when I’m around. Maybe there will even be some pizza crusts in their future and we have plenty of soccer to watch.

rich

Hey, ya’ll just checking in to let you know we’re all OK here. Yes, I know we’re in Atlanta or – should I say HOTlanta – but you never know. I’m taking a break from all the madness of posts on FB and the news. There’s really only so much I can take.

I’ve been in training classes for work since the first of last week. While I’d much rather be here in training than at my old job there are parts of it that are very boring. My mind feels like mush to be honest. I can’t wait to know what the heck I’m doing, you know? I say this and Charlie reminds me that I said the same thing at my old job then they dumped a bunch of work on me and I was completely overwhelmed. Can we just go for a happy-medium?

Speaking of old job. My training is right across the street from my old building. So, I’ve been running in to all kinds of peeps I used to work with. While I never told anyone except my pal, Tony, where I was going when I quit (because it was none of their biz) I’m making no secret that I’m an engineer for [a large fortune 500 company] now. Yesterday, my co-worker and I were walking during lunch as we try to do to get in our steps and I ran right in to two people I used to work for. One, Clarence, used to be in my group and was a senior PM who I had to meet with once a month when I was there for him to check my work. It was super annoying because we all felt like we were being treated like children and the teacher was checking our work. This was something our manager Richard made us do. The other person was Clarisse who is an assistant office manager now and I used to report to her for those super annoying bicycle path projects that I was running. (They were super annoying because the sponsor on the projects never came to meetings, answered calls or emails and constantly missed deliverable deadlines) Those two are bosom buddies – in fact, Clarence took Clarisse’s old position right before I left.

So, I ran into them on the sidewalk and said Hi. I have no problem NOW saying hi because their stupid @sses don’t own me anymore. They asked what I was doing and I said I was down here training with Fortune 500 the whole month and that I’d been running into a lot of people at the old job. In fact, I’d just had lunch with Tony the day before and was having lunch with Cathy and Sherlyn on Thursday kind of intimating that, Yeah, I’ll never eat with you jokers because you’re on the side of evil.

So, right after that when I got upstairs to my computer in the training center I emailed Tony and said I’d ran into them. Later, I got a text from him saying Clarence couldn’t wait to run over and tell Richard he’d ran into me at lunch and tell him that I worked for Fortune 500 now. I texted Tony back and said, What did Richard say to that?

He said, So she just went up the street and asked for a job?

That’s so rich. Y’all know what I went through to get this job and plus, I make SO much more money now and my boss is NICE unlike that d*ckhead. At first I was enraged then I thought, HA! My leaving must have got to him for him to spout off like that. In fact, I bet money he’s jealous that I’m with F500 now.

Plus, he’s losing yet another person on the team the end of this week. That makes three of us who have left the last three months. It’s because no one wants to work for him. I made sure I told the other assistant office head on my exit interview about his management style and why moral was so low. I called him out but in a professional way. But, it doesn’t matter I just know that I got to him now and he deserves everything he gets because he brought it on himself. I wonder if I’m going to bump into him while I’m down here and I’ll say, Yeah, I just came down the street and asked for a job. HAHA!

Charlie has been running the landscape business full time now and we’ve had clients coming out of the wazoo lately. One of our existing clients put a recommendation for us on the neighborhood message board and my phone has been ringing off the hook. We have three consults tonight and another three on Friday. I’m telling you – if we build it they will come and they’re coming.

So, that’s what we’ve been up to. Last week we went to see the Doobie Brothers and Journey at an outside venue. I got out of class early, went home and picked Charlie up and we flew down there to get a good spot on the lawn. We barely made it in time, too. We had other friends showing up who were stuck in traffic for an hour trying to get in. I mean, it’s Journey, y’all – you knew there were going to be about a million people trying to get in there. This week is Weezer and Panic at the Disco. Part of me wants to go and another part doesn’t – we’ll just have to see what the weather is going to be like because rain will be a deal breaker.
 

 

 

 

spring chex mix

I hope everyone had a great weekend holiday or not. Charlie and I did. It started off Friday seeing friends Shutter and Rooster play with their new band. They sound great and we had [mostly] a good time except for the fact that I was informed by Dino that I needed to get with Mike STAT to help organize his titty bachelor party.

imagesYCA7DZ8H

I’m getting roped into riding in a limo with the boys to go to strip clubs while Charlie is going with the girls to take some burlesque class. We’re all to meet up later at the Claremont Lounge. At least hope Creed and Link will go along so I won’t be alone to carry Mike and Dino out of the bar.

Saturday, Charlie and I bought a new car. We really needed another source of reliable transportation. We spent all day down at the car dealer and finally ended up with the car that we’d chosen online prior to riding down there. By the time we got home all I wanted to do was park it in the carport, crack a beer and stare at it. Its’ been so long since I owned a car that was any resemblance to new.

image1

We got three new landscaping clients. Its three ladies that all live next to each other in the neighborhood. I have a feeling we’re going to have to be very delicate with these clients as I can imagine if one of them is unhappy they all are. The pros – they all live in the same vicinity in the neighborhood. The cons is what I stated above. We need to make them happy at all costs because they also know everyone in the neighborhood [and, you can just imagine how often they talk over the fence.]

'This looks like a really hot piece of gossip, Edna!'

Charlies’ blood pressure has already gone down not working for the rageaholic bi-polar veterinary full time and doing more of the landscape work. I’m starting my engineering classes for my job next week and it can’t come soon enough. These will run the whole month of June and by the time I’m finished we’ll hopefully have moved out of our old building into a new one closer to the house and I’ll have my own territory. I’m also looking forward to this because right now we have contractors in the building sitting with us. I got stuck in a cube right next to this pig guy that brings his family drama into the office and leaves remnants of his TV dinners in his cubicle. Not to mention you can’t have a conversation with anyone without him rolling his chair out of his cube and joining in to the conversation. Hopefully, this is my last week sitting next to him because they are supposed to be moving out next week.

We have a lot of things to look forward to this summer and I’m grateful. We managed to get the AC installed just in time for the 90 degree weather. Most weekends we’ve done landscaping on Saturday and take Sunday off to relax. This Saturday I’m starting a job (one of the ladies from above) while Charlie goes to handler class so she can train Sadie to be a therapy dog.

30C67E9B-1A23-49C0-88E3-B0FB432DA34D(is this the face of a therapy dog?)

We wanted to make Bailey a therapy dog but she barks at wheelchairs, anyone that looks freaky-deaky and orange traffic cones so we just let it go. She is resigned to be a watch dog.

bailey