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I finally fired my gardener

5 September 2005

I got a note in the mail last week stating that due to fuel price increases, my gardener is raising his rates from $32/hr to $35/hr, and the decision that I’ve been putting off for months and months finally came to the fore. Basically, WTF?! I talked to my neighbors across the street and they have a service that provides basically the same service I have been getting for about 1/3 the price. I’m tired of leaking cash out of my rectum like a goddamned sieve, and it’s time to start plugging the holes… Okay, that’s a bad metaphor.
So Friday (I think that was like, uh, one day after I called and cancelled the service), I am working from home and the phone is freakin’ ringing off the hook. 3 or 4 rings, but no one leaves a message. Then they ring right back, again no message, and this goes on long enough to seriously piss me off and ensure I’m NEVER going to answer a goddamned call without screening. Julie picks up the phone later in the day because she hasn’t been assaulted by the mad ringer, and it turns out to be my gardener’s wife, looking to collect. I’m fairly certain it was her calling all day long after a bit of analysis, because she’s just that kind of spastic wench looking to close accounts, and being super aggressive about it. Now, I have had my gardener for like 6 years and I have never failed to pay an amount. I got hit with several large bills recently which also contributed to me canceling the service, and so I’m a few hundred in the arrears at least, but I will get them their money when I’m good and ready, but now I’m less ready than I might have been before. Anyhow, Julie says I’m not home, and that we’re leaving for the weekend, and hangs up on the spazz, who wants to talk to me RIGHT AWAY. Well, in about an hour, the phone starts doing the same ring-hang-up-ring bullshit, and the woman has officially pissed me off. Good fucking riddance I quit their service.
Here’s the complicating factor. Last fall I traded part of the labor costs on my driveway for doing a website for my gardener. It’s roughly $1500, and I’ve done very little on the project. Partly because we had a baby and partly because I don’t want to do web sites anymore and partly because I’m just not fucking inspired to do this site for a guy who is less than attentive to my needs and totally overcharges me. So, now I’m left with a dilemma. Do I do the job (half-assed, whatever) and fulfill my end of the bargain, or do I just write him a check and tell him to find another web designer? I’ve already scanned his pictures, but I just can’t seem to put it together on the site. I know if I just spent like 5 hours on the project, it’d be done, and I’d have fulfilled my end of the bargain. Blech. Bleargh. Pffft.
In the meanwhile, the grass is getting longer, and the leaves are building up. I need to take a trip over to sears and get myself a mower and a blower. And… I need to hire a new freakin’ gardener like immediately. Time to call those numbers on the papers tied to the little bags of rocks they throw on my driveway. Because face it — I just am not going to do it myself.

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