All Fun and Games as a self employed gardener

Well today I went to one of my new lady’s gardens.  Boy did she get me working, my back is now feeling it…

First I had to dig out a climbing rose which was in an awkward position next to a patio and pergola.  Then I had to prize out a clematis from a very large heavy pot and then replant it in the place of the rose.   Then I had to prize out the remainders of another clematis from another pot and plant that next to it, and then I almost managed to weed a whole large border for her as well.

Then towards home time she came out with £20…  I felt so embarassed having to tell her again that I charge £12 per hour and that I had done four hours as previously mentioned.

Next thing she is back out with the money (not looking too happy) and said she only wanted me for one more time.  I was very clear about everything when I first met her.  It was embarassing for me and no doubt for her in the end.

Anyway she was happy with what I had done so that was the main thing.

The other lady I am supposed to see next week can’t now make it on that day.  She mentioned two other days which weren’t any good for me.  So I rang her work number as requested only to find multiple departments in which I had to press the appropriate number.  I didn’t know which department she worked in so had to ring her home number and leave a message there instead.  I’ve heard more about this lady, she doesn’t sound at all pleasant.  I don’t think I would be at all bothered if they didn’t ring back.

All in all a strange day, but I got a fair bit done and my back is now complaining about it, got a six hour stint to do tomorrow.  At least they are a bit more gentle with me and give me cups of tea :)

In a way I am glad to only have to work one more week at that lady’s because in all honesty I wanted to gradually ease myself into work again and I have had a few odd pangs of where pain used to be and its made me feel nervous.  I’d be glad if I just did the two original ladies until I feel more confident about my back.   Here’s hoping.   I know I should feel worried about getting more work and money but at the moment all I care about is not being back where I was this time last year!

7 Responses

  1. mick1970 says:

    take it easy teen dont let them dictate money you have a price stick to it …..i think that is still cheap…like you say its not worth making it a life time problem with your injury

  2. Teen says:

    The more I think about it the more I think today I was stupid. I did things I shouldn’t have. Picked up a heavy pot for a start. I’m still working in golf club mode when I should be in working for myself mode. So used to having people looking over my shoulder and get paid peanuts. My OH is not happy with me at all for picking up that pot and digging up things hard to dig up. I went way too fast today as well, I did think it later that day. I think part of me thinks her husband gets me work and I wanted to make a good impression so he can pass it on to his friends. The other part thought I was a stupid sod who could wind up in hospital again!

  3. Allan says:

    Teen,Have a flyer printed stating the hourly rate and the jobs you are willing to do, And if any really heavy work is required , A second persons help may be required, I was self employed and I always got a contract signed before I ordered any materials.

  4. karenp says:

    Blimey Teen she certainly got her moneys worth there, some people do try it on what a cheek, good idea from Allan about a flyer too, you should always put yourself first when it comes to lifting anything heavy, i know you do feel mean but you,ll definitely will have to make it clear on just what you can do and lifting heavy pots and digging up difficult roots isn’t one of them, and as you say you don’t want to end up back in hospital :-(

  5. gonewest says:

    To me it seems you’re right to think about taking care and not ending up at square one again. You don’t want it to be worse next time. Better to earn more modestly and steadily rather than push yourself too hard for a few extra beans now, and then have to stop again later. Tricky balance to work out when you also want to make a good impression, but good luck with it all.

  6. Gently does it, Teen – money isn’t as important as health. When I give a quotation for my work, I have a standard email that explains what I do and what I don’t do. I’ve had the odd complaint about the bill but I always refer them to my original email. A flyer is the right way to go :-)

  7. Yewbarrow says:

    Don’t give up – people should appreciate your efforts and expertise and reward you properly – my two elderly neighbours both have a gardener who does the heavy work but also a very nice lady who does just weeding of the beds and they are chuffed to bits with the way she does it and pay her accordingly

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