I pay my gardener $ 100 per month. He or one of his employees comes once a week on Mondays, and does a pretty good job. When the weather is rainy, he does not come until it is dry, so sometimes there is a week where he does not service my lawn.
There have been 1 or 2 times over the past couple years where he did not come, and for no apparent reason. He typically comes when Iâm working, and he often sends an employee, so I donât have a chance to ask why he didnât come.
Should I still pay the $ 100 for a month where he misses a week because of rain? What about for the week he didnât show? Sometimes, a month has 5 Mondays instead of 4. Should I calculate the number of times he comes and work out his monthly pay depending on the results of that?
What are the ethics of paying for these missed weeks of service?
Itâs your gardenerâs responsibility to show up, but itâs your responsibility to set the boundaries. I assume he has a cellphone, so you can call him and lay out what your expectations and needs are for this relationship. If he doesnât meet them, then you have a reference point for a follow-up conversation. For instance, if he doesnât show up due to rain, ask him to come at a different time.
If he does a good job, and this arrangement has been working for several years, and you feel happy with it overall, there is no need to dock his pay for a missed day here or there, especially if he works 5 Mondays during some months instead of 4. I would, however, ask him to let you know ahead of time. You can show him goodwill, but he should also show you equal consideration.
Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatchâs Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at [email protected]. By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch.