Heat and Patience

It’s hot…very hot.  We’re all a little less patient in the heat and we don’t have time for shenanigans.  Whether we’re rushing to the store or waiting for our yard to get done, things can get frustrating in an instant when we’re hot and tired.  Times sure have changed.  We now live in an era of instant gratification and when you add heat into that mix it’s a recipe for disaster.

552b7de4b9054bbb7a640603e44d2f30--cowboy-western-western-artRecently I’ve had the pleasure of watching a lot of Cowboys ushering in and out of Prescott (AKA, home of the World’s Oldest Rodeo).  I noticed how happy they all were and how kind and considerate they were to one another.  Some looked exhausted, but they still took time to be considerate to one another.  They didn’t seem rushed and they took the time to stop, shake another mans hand, and talk for a moment.  From all appearances, these Cowboys were patiently and kindly moving through life.  Like us, they have issues and problems, but they still remembered to stop and be kind to others.  It was beautiful to watch.

A reality check came quick for me as my phone started alerting me to emails.  Employees started calling with questions and issues they needed assistance with.  All of which is ok, that’s just a part of business and life.  This did make me realize though that understanding others needs, including employees, is essential to our operation.

These past few weeks have been incredibly hard on our crews and it’s not letting up anytime soon.   The heat has been excessive and the challenges in the yards have trying.  The heat is taking a toll on everyone’s yards.  If the service is only being performed every 8 weeks, the yard appears stressed because it’s been awhile since we’ve been there to adjust irrigation and check watering systems.

The Foremen and crew members are suffering from heat exhaustion.  They’ve actually d5bb758f7378e79fef38b21dae02f80cbecome physically ill on some days.  They desperately seek water to put on their heads to cool down when they’re dizzy and sick.  If they’ve used your water without permission, I apologize.  I did receive a complaint about this and I can assure you it was not with malicious intent that they have done this.  I’m sure it was just desperation during extreme heat.

While having your yard maintained, if you notice that we’ve missed trimming something, there’s debris left somewhere, or any other issue you think needs attentionPLEASE let us fix it!  Shoot me an email – this is the ABSOLUTE best way to get in touch with us.  I’ll have the guys back the very next day to get it fixed.  Just know that if something was missed, it was not intentional.  Sometimes we get tunnel vision in the heat and we can miss something.  Regardless, we’ll always make it right.

We realize that not all issues can be resolved with one email or one visit, sometimes troubleshooting can take a bit to resolve.  However, patience is key.  Whether it’s employees, customers, family, friends, or strangers, we need to take the time to show patience and understanding with each others needs.  We’ll do our absolute best to help out when there’s an issue, we just need a chance to do it.  Write to us, having and email is the best way for us to follow up and make sure nothing is forgotten.

For all those out there who have shown us patience, we truly appreciate it!  Your kindness has not gone unnoticed.  Your kind emails and commendations when a job is well done are greatly appreciated.  The crews need to hear this, as do we.  If I could I’d reach out and shake your hand right now – thanking your for taking the time to work with us.  We appreciate your patience when things aren’t perfect, we always want to know when we can make things better.  Thank you for giving us that chance!

 

Food For Thought…

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Ever write a review about a company without stopping to give them the benefit of the doubt in the situation?  I have, and I wish I hadn’t.  Everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE – has tough times.  No one is immune to difficulties in their personal and business life.

Before chastising any business publicly, ask yourself, “Did they hurt me in a way I will not recover from?”  “Is the damage permanent and irreparable?”  “Is the public in danger if I do not warn them?”

No?  Then stop, cool off, and decide if you can simply move on.  There is probably a lot more to the story than you may realize but unless they are your close personal friend, you won’t know what’s happening in their life or with their business.

Good advice from TheProvince.com says, “Often, when someone thinks about writing a negative review it’s because they had a bad experience and are very upset. This can cause you to writ

e something really nasty that you regret. The best thing to do is wait a day and revisit your decision to write a review.

RELAX

“If this is malice, if you’re angry, walk away from your keyboard now,” Festinger said. “Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200. Walk away because you can’t write a review.”

 

Jan Zeschky, beer and food writer for The Province, said his approach when writing reviews is to be balanced.

“The overall tone of a review can be negative, but it should also offer at least a couple of balancing positives. If there are few or absolutely no positives, I try to give some constructive suggestions on how something could be improved.”

If the experience was truly awful, Zeschky suggests discussing the situation with the vendor or venue before posting anything online.

“It’s likely something has gone wrong with the product or experience you’re reviewing that isn’t representative of what the company offers 99.9 per cent of the time,” he said.

So, that’s today’s food for thought. Be kind.  Be understanding.  Give people the benefit of the doubt.  That kind of good karma will always come back to you!

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Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

It’s hot… and getting hotter.  If you are not at your home right now in Festival Ranch, be sure you have a house sitter or friend make sure the irrigation clock is on and working. Homes that have irrigation clocks on the WEST side of the house are more susceptible to failure due to the direct afternoon sunlight.

Regardless of where it’s located, the heat takes a huge toll on your irrigation clock. Since we’re only at the house once every 4 – 8 weeks, it’s imperative that you have someone checking on your irrigation in between services!

I saw a post I had written on Facebook from a year ago, it said, “Today was so dang HOT. It was not a day to be working outside and yet I did. I’m BEAT. To all those who do this on a regular basis…you should make what guys in the NFL or NBA make and they should make what day laborers make – that seems much more fair.”  

Next Week’s Forecast:

Monday – 118       Tuesday – 117      Wednesday – 114    Thursday – 114     Friday – 114

Our crews bust their butts out there in this heat, day in and day out.  I salute you my friends!  None of us can do this work in the heat without passing out or getting very sick. So, here’s a special thank you to our crews – Chris, Bryan, Dylan, Anakin, Colby, and Liz.  You 6 people make it happen and we truly appreciate your hard work!! Forecast

 

 

 

Tree Trimming…Monsoons are coming!

Are your trees starting to encroach on your roof or your neighbors yard?  Need to get the trees trimmed before the official start of the monsoon season?  Get on the schedule NOW!  We’re already filling up the schedule and want to give everyotopping_alt_beforene an opportunity to get their trees trimmed before breakage and damage occurs.

The monsoon season begins on June 15 and ends on September 30, but the storms peak between mid-July and mid-August. On average, about half of Arizona receives about half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon.

Use the link below, our website, or email us directly at FestivalLandscaping@live.com to receive a free quote.  You can even email me photos of your trees and I’ll get you a quote that same day!

Remember – we only serve homeowners in the Festival Ranch community in Buckeye, Arizona.  Thanks!

Email me at

Where’s Waldo? … AKA Josh

Waldo is there, you know it because you can eventually find him.  So, the question has now become, “Where’s Josh?”  So, this story could have easily gone under “Rumor Has It…” but we figured we post the story straight from the source.

Last year our immediate family was met with many medical challenges including several surgeries.  When November came around it was time to renew our health insurance. 8e4a8bf122504779a7998ecc5a41e686 Well, thanks to Obamacare the least expensive premium for our family was $1700 per month (that was for a high deductible plan with very little coverage).  Needless to say, there was no way we could afford this.  Time for Plan B.

Josh was offered a position with the City of Prescott as their Landscape Coordinator.  This job came with full benefits.  Plan B was now in place.  Our family had to make the move to Chino Valley to allow Josh to take this position.  We now had much needed health insurance, but this meant a big move for our family while still owing Festival Landscaping.

What about Festival Landscaping? Well, that’s when Chris Johnson stepped in and UP!  This amazing young man has been running the field operations of Festival Landscaping since last December.  Chris has been with our company for 4 years.  He knows this business inside and out.  We still run the bookkeeping and scheduling portions of the business, and we help Chris troubleshoot whenever necessary.  But he is our #1, go-to guy!

What else has been going on?  Well, for starters January 1st the minimum wage went up to $10/hr.  Did this effect us?  YES, greatly.  First, this change now means that employees can go scoop ice cream for $10 an hour instead of doing landscape maintenance.  When minimum wage was $8.05 and we offered $10 – $11 an hour to do entry level landscaping, it was much easier to find employees.  Now, these workers are few and far between.  I mean really, who would want to work in 120 degree weather when they can pack groceries or take money at a drive thru window for the same wage!

Second, this means that our pricing will increase slightly as we must provide a more competitive wage to our employees so they’ll have incentive to work in a difficult field.

We have Chris Johnson, who’s been with us for 4 years, and Bryan Peralta, who’s been with us for 3 years.  We recently hired Gilbert Guerra who has many years of experience and is doing a fantastic job!  We’re working to rebuild another crew but that is proving challenging.  We truly appreciate everyone’s patience as we move forward.  The nice part of this process is that everyone now has Chris Johnson visiting their property.  If you haven’t yet met him, prepare to be amazed!  He’s incredibly kind and beyond skilled as a landscaper.

You’re Getting The Best!

Festival Landscaping is proud to announce some changes to our line up beginning this month!  We have our #1 guy, Chris Johnson, running the show there in Festival.  He is amazing and if you’re our customer, you will meet him – and YES, he will be in charge of doing your yard.  If you’ve already met him, then you already know how amazing he is!!

Chris Johnson has been with us for 3 1/2 years. He’s an expert at irrigation and knows how to care for a yard.  We’re only running one crew right now to ensure that our customers are receiving the best possible service.  He’s on each and every job ensuring that your yard is done RIGHT.  Since we’ve been doing this we’ve had no call backs and Chris has been able to train his crew the right way.

Keep an eye out for him and be sure to say hello; he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet!

Rumor has it…

We all knorumors-are-no-funw that there’s plenty of rumors and opinions about businesses, neighbors, “friends”, t
he community, HOA rules and more.  There’s even a place for everyone to write their opinions for all to see in Sun City Festival (that’s been a blessing and a curse for some!)
Here’s some questions we’ve heard multiple times and want to supply some accurte answers:

Question:  Can I replace a tree with a Saguaro in my yard?

YES!  According to the SCF Community Standards, “Saguaro Cactus may replace one tree in front yard landscaping when there are more than two trees required. Palms may not be substituted for trees at any time.”

Question:  I’d like to replace some frost sensitive plants with cactus and succulents that will remain green and growing year round.  Can I do this?

YES!  Again, according to the SCF Community Standards, “Cactus, flowers and succulents may replace shrubs on a like size basis.”

Question:  Can I top my tree?

Simple answer, NO.  This is not allowed in Sun City Festival nor is it healthy for your tree. Festival Landscaping will not offer this service to homeowners, but we can help you with a crown reduction if you’re interested.  We trim trees according to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).  This is where Certified Arborists get their training from.   If you have questions about this community standard, you can contact Karey Belanger, the Community Standards Director, at 928-252-2105, or email kbelanger@aamaz.com

Have a question?  Submit it to festivallandscaping@live.com and we’ll post it with an answer!

High Water Bill?

High Water Bill?  << Check out this link – You’re not alone with strange water bills from the City of Buckeye!

Yes, it’s true that a leak or diaphragm issue can cause a high water bill.  BUT, there is a limit to the amount of water usage you’re going to see on your bill.

We had a customer call us today with a water usage of 24,000 gallons – do you realize that’s about 2 SWIMMING POOLS worth of water?  If you had a leak that big, you would notice!

Don’t let the City of Buckeye tell you a water bill that high is a leak – it’s just not true (unless you’re swimming in your yard!)

On the flip side, if you notice a moderate increase of water usage, you may have a leaking valve picture 2diaphragm inside your valve.  This can be caused by a damaged diaphragm (they do wear out over time) or a piece of debris stuck in the valve not allowing the diaphragm to close all the way.

We can certainly help with an issue like this!  Just send us a Service Request on our website www.FestivalLandscaping.com.

We take irrigation issues very seriously and can usually get you in the same day, or the very next day.

It’s Just Me…

I thought it should be said that we like to portray ourselves in a professional manner, but it has been brought to my attention that we may look “bigger” than we really are!

Our landscape crews consist of 5 men right now – 5 fantastic, talented, considerate crewmen!Office  Our office staff consists of…well, just me!  I do the best I can to get Josh the emails and relay messages but it does stack up sometimes.  For this I truly do apologize.  It can be overwhelming, so any patience you can extend my way is always appreciated.

That being said, I want to thank everyone who has shown me kindness and patience while waiting for an email response or call back (sometimes I’m stuck waiting to get the information back to Josh or Chris – but your still patient!).

Have a wonderful day!

Stacy Olson