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Posted:  12 Mar 2015 05:29   Last Edited By: HortGuy007 
I have been working as a tech for about 10 months and I feel very stressed very often. The company I work for is a Large Landscape company with over 300 employees and with a small interiorscape department of 6 people. I am responsible for 30 accounts, on the 7 business day rotation schedule. Being paid 12 an hour, using a company vehicle, health/dental benefits, 401k, and vacation time.
The company converts time into tenths which sometimes makes paperwork confusing, for example 0-3 minutes is .1 and .5 is 30 minutes.
There were two or three people before me who tried the position and quit. One reason previous techs quit was an employee that is very difficult to work with, an older gentleman that seems to not work well with others and has a reputation in the company and being difficult.
Paperwork also seems to be excessive, writing up replacements for 30 different accounts (over 500 plants) is nerve racking and there is always a problem as I inherited some very old and sickly plants.

25 of of the 30 accounts I service are done with a 2 gallon watering can. The time budgets seem very tight and I typically don't even have time to take a full 30 minute lunch.
Since this is my first time being a service technician I am wondering if anyone can help me and tell me what they think. I can give more information if needed. Quesions and replies appreciated!
Posted:  12 Mar 2015 16:56  
Wow, I feel for you!  Your first experience in the interiorscape field and you're saddled with an inordinate amount of paperwork, deteriorating inventory, unreasonable scheduling and...to add insult to injury...a watering can instead of an Aquamate!

Your compensation isn't bad considering your benefits package and your geographical market.  However, work is not just about money.  If the organization you're in isn't organized, you have two choices: step up with good, practical ideas to improve it, or leave it.

Have you looked around for a similar position, maybe with a smaller company that is more responsive to its employees?  Smaller firms often have less bureaucracy, are more creative and react more quickly to stresses.  I'd opt for that option if I were you.  Good luck!
Posted:  10 Apr 2015 04:07  
Thank you for the reply Clem! Yes, there is one smaller interiorscape/plantmarket firm in the area that I am interested in. I have applied there twice (once one year and then the following year,before my current position) and even talked to someone from the company on the phone who said they were sorting through applicants and would call back but they never did. They recently posted a job opportunity on their website. I would like to apply and feel my chances for getting a position would be high. Yet soon it will be my one year anniversary with the company. For some reason I have ill feelings about leaving this company after taking control of so many accounts. Should I feel bad for trying to leave my current company for another interior company after only a year? I do have many reasons why I would like to leave (including the lack of creative opportunities, boring plant selection, and grumpy old overwatering coworker).


Spring is here and all the landscape workers are coming back to the shop which means I may have to navigate around them occaionally, because they out number me.
I have been getting compliments from my accounts and feel I have earned my trust with all of them. My plants are under control and all looking well. The two plant walls I care for are thriving and have not needed replacing. Thankfully my recent plant replacements have been few and far between.
For my one year review I was asked to fill out a one year review questionnaire. Most of the questions are worded for the landscape crews and include the word "crew". My three new work shirts and spring jacket do not include the words interiorscape, and only "Landscape Contracting Inc." I will be getting a company credit card soon to buy supplies when needed.
The servicing is wearing on my body though, My forearms and hands are worn out feeling by the end of the week. (glad I am still able to type this much. lol)

I wonder if service teching for another company would leave me feeling the same way. As I said earlier, the more creative interior company that only does plants is hiring and I would like to apply but would feel like i'm doing my current company wrong. (Not to brag but i'm not easy to replace! Should I feel bad for quitting and joining the competetor? Actually, I wouldn't feel bad after all the negative experiences i've had.

Replies and constructive criticizm are appreciated
Posted:  10 Apr 2015 15:25  
Ask to sit down with your boss and discuss your issues.  Tell them you envision a long-term stay with the company, but only if you get a sense that there's a good chance for advancement and for your input to be heard and considered.  Also, if you've not been given any milestones for pay increases, ask for a raise, but do so at the end of the discussion, and be ready with reasons...solid, business reasons, not personal ones...as to why you feel you are more valuable to the company than you were when you started.  Keep it cordial and professional...remember, this is business, and you have to demonstrate added value to be considered for a pay increase.  Good luck!

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