Plowing-no good deed goes unpunished


Senior Member
Anybody else have a problem dealing with the elderly...I bend over backwards to help them out cause they remind me of my grandparents. But because they cant remember the deal we had ( for the extra stuff ) what I would and wouldnt do for free to help them out . They get angry, confused and refuse to pay etc and fire me LOL No more elderly and NO MORE TRAILER PARKS


Junior Member
Sorry to hear about your troubles, maybe you could ask them to sign something then tell them to put it on there refridgerator that way you can just point it out! Oh yea if they dont pay push the snow back in there driveway and leave, this way the neighbors will know you mean business! LOL

Mike 97 SS

BWhite, thats my moms favorite saying, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. As a matter of fact, she used that saying this morning when she was telling me something. :) Mike


Senior Member
Bryan, Ohio
Yeah. I'm the same way and I had the same thing happen twice.
I didnt get fired but I did have a time.

Had one I plowed and while I waited for the check I shoveled her walk one time, she said you do walks too for that price? I said noooo, but I have time right now I'll just through it in. (Already gave her a senior discount by the way.)

Next snow storm was 5" and I just plowed and sent the bill.
No time to stand at the door or do anyones walks.

I recieved the check promptly for half the amount and a note that said I forgot to shovel the walks.

High maintenance they are sometimes.
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Junior Member
Here's a little story......
There's an elderly couple that lives across the street from me that I've seen but never met. Yesterday I saw him outside shoveling his driveway with a coal shovel. I went over and introduced myself and offered to do his driveway for free whenever it snows. He looked like he was ready to hit me with the coal shovel! Maybe it's just a basic mis-trust by the elderly of anyone offering to do a service, free or otherwise? (by the way, I did backdrag his driveway)


It does seem that way, that some elderly takes things sometimes wrong. If you go to their house and ask them if they need help w/ plowing or shoveling, some of them take it the wrong way- meaning that they think, you feel that they can not do things anymore. Like they are losing their mind and body.
Speaking on terms of myself, I asked an older couple last winter, (nicely) if they would be interested in hiring someone to help them out w/ snow removal, that I would charge them $15 per snow to do drive and sidewalk. Now here is the kicker, the nice little old man ( I thought) bit my head off and said "young man do I look like I can't lift a shovel full of snow" and I said......... well I thought that it might help you and your wife out if I helped you. He laughed and looked at his wife on the couch and said "Son take a look in my garage and you will see", he said, laughingly. So I took a peek inside his garage and there sat a brand new riding lawnmower w/ a snow blade on it! All decked out w/weights and chains. He told me that his son took away his he went out and purchased his new toy!! I laughed my a## off that day and apoligized to him, that was last year when I worked for someone else and every time it snowed last winter I drove by to check out the "old man" on his new toy. Quite the site to see a 79 year old man plowing his drive. From that day on I try to never underestimate the elderly. Bring on the snow, Hawkz


Senior Member
Bryan, Ohio

Here's one....

Last year the side of the street all my neighbors park was burried big time...

I drove by and seen all of them but one out with snow shovels trying to get dug out.. an elderly couple was parked right in the middle... I thought if they moved I could clear the hole street in a heart beat.

Sooooo... I knocked on the door for everyone... Thinking I'd be the ladies hero for the day.

I said, Maam....If you would like to move your car out for just a minute I'll drag all that snow out of there for ya...

Before I could blink she said... "Oh Heavens No" and slammed shut the door.


I felt something needed explaining here.... But I was afraid to knock again. :-(

HAhhaaa,,, Well, I plowed everyone clear but her.

I dont know If she thought I was trying to hustle her or what.

I never asked again.


Senior Member
Bryan, Ohio
Had an elderly fella just yesterday... He was shoveling about a 150 foot drive with a skinny little shovel... Just started.

I plowed out the next door and he was working just 10 foot away.

I thought for a few minutes... then rolled down the window. I said, I can take care of that for you for 20.00 (6"of snow)

He said, (gruffly) "Well, thats twenty dollars I'm saving then isnt it!"

Hahhaa... I said yep! Guess your right...



Hamlet, IN

I do an older lady's drive that goes into a parking lot that I do. 50% shoveling for 10 bucks. We got our first snow Christmas morning and she insisted she owed $20 from two years ago.

and I was going to let this one be another free-be.

Roger Dodger

Senior Member
nw Pa.
Dealing with the elderly in any type of task can be a challenge. I believe many seniors become skeptical after a time because they fall prey to con artists, scams, and abuse. They likely switch to "self-protect" mode after a bit. They are educated by police departments, senior centers, and even their own relatives to err on the side of caution and distrust of others. When a good Samaritan does come along, their receptiveness can be less than welcoming as a result.

It is important to make sure they fully understand and agree with you on the job at hand. Even then, you must be certain they have their faculties about themselves. Remember, they are aged and things process somewhat slower... just like when our children kick butt on videogames that usually kick ours when we try it! Another aspect to remember is that some seniors derive satisfaction from doing things on their own; a self-reminder that they are not that dependent upon others... yet.

I think the only time we need to get real concerned is the day when one of us sees a little old lady peering between the top of the steering wheel and the dashboard, driving a well cared for, Ford Granada w/ plow mounted up front!:eek: :confused:
That's the day I hang up my keys!
Christmas morning freebie

Here's another for you,
Early Christmas morning I was on my way home from our first plowable snow of the season. I was in a fairly cheery mood. I just got done earning a nice chunk of change and after all, it was Christmas morning. The homes about one block from mine are beautiful, stately, older homes with long driveways (pretty upscale). I'm a block from home and I see this poor guy out shoveling his drive (I'd say about 150') at 6:30am. I figured this poor guy was probably trying his darndest to get the whole thing shoveled before the relatives arrived in droves. As I got closer he stood up and stopped working, as to some how say "PLEASE HELP ME!". I figured I'd stop-make two or three passes, and when the guy opened up his wallet I'd say "no charge sir, merry Christmas" and give him one of my business cards for future reference. But when I stopped and asked him if he needed any help, he said no (you had to hear the way he said it) like why would anyone require help hand shoveling this puny 150' driveway? So I said OK-somewhat embarrassed-and drove away. I guess the joke was on him though-a couple HOURS later when my wife and I were headed to our families for Christmas, guess who was still shoveling their drive? I should have been a smart ass and honked and waved at him! LOL


Senior Member
Long Island NY
I was plowing customer and a elderly neighbor was watching. I plowed his driveway since the town plow piled snow on him and I felt bad for him. As I was leaving He walked out and thanked me for the effort. I just wished him a merry christmas.
Sometimes ya win.


Senior Member
When I first started my mowing, snowplowing business, I had a real hard time with the older customers. I had one fella slam the door in my face after I gave him an estimate. Another lady claimed I had cut her cable TV wire when I had never even seen it or gone near it.
As soon as they got to know me and I had earned their trust, they have been the best customers on my route. They always pay on time and many send me Christmas cards. Can't say that about customers in the 30 to 45 year old range. Most seem to wait till the last day of the month to pay.


Stamford, CT
Its not just the elderly!!!! Here's my story.... from two years ago

I'm out on my route doing my customers in the northern pat of town, 2 - 3 acre zoning, long driveways big houses....

Its about a 8 inch storm and I'm just finishing my run. I see this 30 something guy out with a regular square shovel, attempting to shovel his 600 foot long driveway. He hears me coming down the street , stands up straight and flags me down.

I figure, I'm done with my route, I can make a extra couple of bucks and maybe pick up a regular customer. I mean its on my route already so no big deal.

So I stop, guy walks up to my truck window and says Hey dude, can you help me out, my regular guy is on vacation and I need to get out . I said sure I can do your driveway BUT, I cannot be held liable for any damage since your driveway is not marked.( This wasn't the first storm it was more like the third or fourth storm)

Now this driveway was one of those long winding country road types of driveways with a huge incline going up to his house with a small parking area in front of his garage doors.

I told him it would be $95.00 cash up front. He looked at me like I was crazy and he promptly told me to F**K myself because his "regular guy" only charged him $25.00... I wished him the best of luck with his shovelling and suggested he wait for his "regular guy" to come back from vacation or whatever, rolled up my window and left. As Im pulling away the guy flips me the bird like its my fault his unscrupulous plow guy screwed him over.

I wish I had gone back later and plowed the edge of his driveway back full of snow.. but I went back three days later and the driveway still wasn't plowed. Must have been a wonderful ski slope after awhile and about a week later we got hit with another 8"-9" storm. I dont think his "regular guy" was on vacation, I just think he was a scab trying to make a few bucks oneday and realized it was too much work for too little money so he stopped showing up.

:nono: don't ever tell me to F**K myself or flip me the bird.
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Senior Member
south east WY
Well guys that is the way things work. When I was still doing lawn care I would have some of the same stuff happen in that setting.
Lawns would look like (**) long and unkempt. I would stop and offer to help them out. "Oh no we got it handled, we got a guy taking good care of us." I would leave thinking to myself you cannot BS a BSer or some body that knows more about lawn care than you every dreamed of.

And after a while it got to be such a pain that I quit dealing with the SS income crowd and the elderly. Stopped offering senior discounts and made every body pay full price.

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