July 28, 2011 at 5:33 am #161701
See it? Right there that’s tough love on demand. Who wouldn’t want to sit and chat a bit with this mixed bunch?
Maria I can’t knock you for being hungry for more formal and academic kinds of discussions. That’s cool. But I (and I would imagine a lot of other people) look at this site as “info-tainment.”. See sometimes I get as much knowledge from the various rants on Land8 as I do from the more technical conversations. The real flavor is in the randomness in the flow of information.
Most Landscape Architects and Designers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are very interesting people with incredible stories to tell and I think the best of them are right here. The beauty of it is I can visit with these guys/gals anywhere I can get a signal.
Oh well, if you get bored with the stiff crowd, you’re always more than welcome to come back and sit and have a cup of coffee with us.July 28, 2011 at 5:49 am #161700
Stay with us in LA world. This thing has to end eventually. Mean while keep knocking on doors. Best Chrystal.July 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm #161699
My husband graduated in 2008 and I in 2009…we have been dealing with this for years. Stick around…this is a good place to learn how people are finding ways to keep their foot in the door. I am always advising people to try their hand at design/build…as I think you can make more then working at a nursery. 🙂July 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm #161698
On a side note…how do you deal with clients like that. Oy vay…we had a guy that was upset some replacement plants had finished blooming before the existing ones…due to the difference in weather here and the nursery. Sheesh. Just have to get thicker skin I guess!July 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm #161697
How has it been going Thomas? Jobs? Business?July 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm #161696
Heather I think I was awarded the contract by the higher power to be the H.O.A’s community landscape consultant so that I could learn some serious life lessons.
The rhody story is just the tip of the iceberg. Just to give you a little background, this is a 55 and over community of around 300 or so individually owned units. I have a group of six or seven that have given me the blues since day one. I learned that bullies will always be bullies. You wouldn’t believe how some of these grown-ups behave. When I first started dealing with these people I let them run me ragged meeting with them and answering stupid questions via email. I’m entering my 3rd year with them and I’m handling the insanity a lot better.
It took me a season to learn:
- It’s landscape. In spite of what some clients think, no ones going to die.
- I’m not going to make all of the homeowners happy.
- I can not be the mediator between the unreasonable members of the landscape committee.
- I can’t be responsible for the shoddy work of the lame contractors they hire, especially when they go against my recommendations.
- To communicate via email as much as possible so that you have a record of critical discussions.
- To bill all consultations, meetings and communication by the hour.
- And most importantly, to know when to respectfully push back. Sometimes you have to stand-up to the bully. Overbearing clients can affect your bottom line as well as your health.
Remember you’re the trained professional. Half of these people go to the nursery and buy five or six different colored annuals in 4” pots in the spring and think they’re master gardeners.
When I deal with them now it’s all business. I connect with only a few of the really nice homeowners; everyone else gets the polite android game face. I find it hard to believe that there could be so many mean and nasty people clustered in one place. This place is landscape architecture entrepreneur boot-camp.July 29, 2011 at 11:15 am #161695mark fosterParticipant
To add to Craigs: never promise to make someone else happy. Tell them what service/product they will receive–period. Don’t be afraid to (politely) fire a client.
Years ago, I suggested to a couple that they might want to consider a marriage counselor instead of a landscape architect.
And Craig–hang in there….Retired homeowners associations are the worst.July 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm #161694Trace OneParticipant
No, Academic Planning bodies are the worst, they are actually worse than Planning Boards or Commissions of small towns..July 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm #161693
That is awesome Mark. Jon said he had some potential clients that he never heard from again…they were literally fighting in front of him about what they wanted. AWKWARD.July 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm #161692
Thanks for the advice. Yes, we are still in the, “please love us” stage.July 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm #161691
You are absolutely right. If a client is so obnoxious that they cost me money and keep me stressed out, I’ll cut them loose.
Thanks for the encouragement Mark. No worries, I’ve just about burned off all my bad Karma credits dealing with these people.July 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm #161690Jason T. RadiceParticipant
As bad as historical preservation offices?July 30, 2011 at 11:21 am #161689mark fosterParticipant
Trace and Jason–lol Maybe we should compile a list of “toxic client types”?!
I will start, Toxic clients are ones who have:
1. have too much time on their hands
2. are involved in power struggles
3. are trying to impress a boss…..
4. are so totally geeked out on one aspect they lose perspective
Anyone, please add……July 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm #161688Leslie B WagleParticipant
For everyone looking for work, these links are not exactly “uplifting” but they might be helpful in a recession-coping kinda way….I mean by that, I got intrigued reading them earlier this week for thoughts on how to avoid some time wasters and how to not feel so alone if you are getting poor responses (examples from other fields).
Crystal, retiring is like graduating in a way, also….with loss of contacts (if not exactly “support”). I even have found it somewhat challenging to fit somewhere as a VOLUNTEER very productively, after several attempts and disappointments. People don’t do their side of the bargain nor respect the volunteer’s time well at all compared to what I naively thought they might, so I have about decided I might as well concentrate on the adjunct part time teaching I managed to get at one community college, and explore how to expand on that. It is a modest role but I can pass on what I know and seems like a good fit.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.