The Very, Very, Very Expensive Leaf Pick-Up

It was around this time last year when House Crazy Sarah opened up an e-bill for the “fall clean-up” service that she had hired a company to do a few days prior. And they had done a good job of cleaning all the leaves from her small yard.

But not $455 worth!

House Crazy Sarah about popped a hernia when she saw that bill.

Did they use gold plated rakes?

raking fall leaves

Have degrees from Harvard??

She was incensed! There was no way in heeeell she was paying that price! Especially when she came home from lunch and the two worker guys were standing around in her driveway smoking! Grrrrr…..

There are literally only three (3!) leaf-bearing trees in her yard. And half the yard is driveway! How on earth did they find $455 worth of leaves to pick up?!

raking fall leaves

So House Crazy Sarah immediately got on the phone and left an angry mama bear message for the company owner. She made sure to say several times that there was no way in heeeell she would ever pay so much money for a leaf pick up. Especially when in past years it only cost around $100!

Within minutes the owner called her back and wanted to know what the problem was.

“I’ll tell you what the problem is,” House Crazy Sarah said angrily, “How can you in good conscience charge such an exorbitant amount for a freaking leaf clean up?!?”

The owner defensively declared that he had every right to charge that much because it took his guys three (3!) hours to clean the property of leaves.

autumn leaves

“How is that even possible? I came home and saw them standing around in the driveway! And there are literally only THREE (3!) deciduous trees in my yard!”

The owner glibly explained that two men being paid $50 an hour for three hours added up quickly. Now House Crazy Sarah is no math brain, but she was pretty sure that two guys each making $50 an hour did NOT add up to $455 for a three hour job!

The owner explained that there was also the fuel surcharge and administrative costs and the cost of removing and discarding the leaves.



For all she knew, House Crazy Sarah could have been paying these bozos to sit and around and bullshit for at least half the time.

old photo of workers sitting on a beam

“I have a masters degree and I don’t even make nearly that much money!” House Crazy Sarah retorted.

“Since you have a masters degree, then you must know that it takes a lot of OVERHEAD to run a successful business!” The owner snarkily replied.

House Crazy Sarah could see that he was not backing down. But neither was she.

When else failed, she could always resort to the Power of the Pen.

“Look pal, there’s NO WAY I am going to pay you that amount. In fact, I am only going to pay you $150, which is even more than I think it’s worth. But if you have a problem with that, then I am going to write bad reviews about your company all over the internet so everyone can know what a crook you are!”

With that, she pressed the ‘end call’ button on her phone as hard as she could, and missed the days when you could slam down the whole heavy receiver with violent force.

woman angrily slamming phone down


About an hour later, the owner called back, but House Crazy Sarah didn’t answer.

When she finally listened to the message, it seemed her bad review threats may have held a little power because the owner had a much meeker, conciliatory tone.

“Look, I’m just a small business owner trying to make a living and bad reviews could really sink my reputation in a small town like this. Let’s just call it fair and you can pay me $150 and that will be the end of it.”

House Crazy Sarah sent a check for $150 (and made sure she wrote on the memo line: INSANELY EXPENSIVE LEAF PICK UP) and never heard another peep from the owner.

Of course she didn’t go online and write bad reviews about the business. (She thought she would save that for her blog.)   😉

This year, House Crazy Sarah’s kids are doing the leaf labor for free. Okay, she might pay them a little bit.

But not $455!!!


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