Life Advice



Ask Amy: A mower blows, but this mower still mows

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I mow lawns as a side gig.

Several months ago, my lawn mower quit working and one of the people I mow for (the “Smiths”) offered to let me use theirs.

I accepted their offer, and told them that as long as I used their lawn mower to mow other lawns, I wouldn't charge them for mowing theirs.

A few weeks ago, another client gave me their old lawn mower (they’d gotten a new one).

It was a kind gesture that truly filled my heart with hope.

Since then, I have not borrowed the Smith’s mower.


I've told them that I have a good mower, now.

They asked me to continue using theirs on their lawn, and I agreed.

Since then, I've mowed, weed-whacked and cleaned the grass from their property two times.

They thank me and tell me how great it looks ... but they haven't paid me.


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