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JimLewis
09-07-2006, 12:31 AM
Well, as I said in a previous thread we've grown a great deal this year. We're up to 16-17 regular employees (depending on the week). And as we grow I find that our biggest problem is NOT finding qualified employees, NOT getting them to work hard, NOT getting them to show up regularly. The biggest problem is getting them to friggin' get along with each other!

Sheesh!

The mexicans in particular seem to have some crazy pecking order that nobody understands. Depending on whether you are from Mexico or Guatamal and even depending on which state or area you are from in Mexico and then it also depends on seniority, age, experience, and apparently just how big of an ego you have.

So the constant complaint is "Jose is making me do all the hard work and thinks he's better than me while he does all the easier stuff."

And I'm like, "Well no crap! Jose has been here for 2 years and has 6 years experience and you just came over the border 3 months ago. Get over it!"

Anyway, just ranting......

DBL
09-07-2006, 12:43 AM
make your own pecking order bring everyone together and say im the HNIC but under me is juan then salvador then jose then roberto and so on

Uranus
09-07-2006, 12:51 AM
I agree with DBL. Make your own pecking order. Give a couple of guys a supervisors title and the rest go by time with your company and work ethics. U set the order. If they dont like it tell them there's more mexicans coming over the border every day. Then take there green card and send them out with your truck with no plate on it. See how long it takes them to be shiped back!

Lawnaholic
09-07-2006, 01:11 AM
...and say im the HNIC?
LOLOL. Some people might not understand that. That's too funny!:laugh: :laugh:

jsf343
09-07-2006, 01:47 AM
make your own pecking order bring everyone together and say im the HNIC but under me is juan then salvador then jose then roberto and so on
hahahahahahhaahhah:laugh: :laugh: or HCIC:laugh:

Evergreenpros
09-07-2006, 01:53 AM
Have a defined rank structure, even have pins or some other insignia on their uniforms to show leadership. Works wonders. If you leave it up to them to decide who's senior (no pun intended) everybody will have a different answer as to who is who.

Az Gardener
09-07-2006, 01:56 AM
You have no idea how correct you are, they are worse than a bunch of old women.

Marty Grunder is a kind of green industry Tony Robbins. I have seen him speak and he has a guy in his group that understands this pecking order he explained it briefly in a tape set. The guy is and old fellow from El Salvador he also owns a LCO in the mid west somewhere.

I'm sure Marty! has more info on this subject. He is in Ohio and his speaking company is called "The Winners Circle" If you are going to employ large groups of brown skinned fellows, it would be worth your while to educate yourself on these matters.

HOOLIE
09-07-2006, 01:56 AM
Jim, we had this same exact problem at the old place I worked for. Actually the dialect of Spanish varies significantly from country to country, so it does help to note where they all originate from.

And yeah, they seem to not grasp certain concepts, such as the guy with 5 years experience and a driver's license is likely to get paid more than the new guy with no license. Some of them...they just don't understand this. Also seemed like if you fired one, the next day the one's brother and 7 cousins would quit...never understood why someone would willingly unemploy themself because their relative did something stupid and got fired. :dizzy: :hammerhead:

JimLewis
09-07-2006, 03:39 AM
I agree with DBL. Make your own pecking order. Give a couple of guys a supervisors title and the rest go by time with your company and work ethics. U set the order. If they dont like it tell them there's more mexicans coming over the border every day. Then take there green card and send them out with your truck with no plate on it. See how long it takes them to be shiped back!

Ummm. It's a little more complex than that.

First of all, you must be under the assumption that I haven't already set my own pecking order. I guess you assumed I just threw 16 guys together and told them to go to work. But no. I have actually defined everyone's position. I make it clear to them what their position is going to be, who their immediate supervisor is, and who the supervisor of that whole group is (e.g. construction forman or maintenance foreman). It's not a lack of establishing a pecking order that is the problem.

Also, your statement about "there's more mexicans coming over the border every day" isn't really a good response either. First, that's not totally accurate. Where we live, even though we have a heavy hispanic population, most all of the good ones already have jobs. They get and keep jobs quickly here. One of my crew leaders just had a relative come over from Mexico 2 weeks ago. He told me if I needed another worker to let him know. By the time we needed a worker - a week later - the guy had already found full time work somewhere else. So it's not like there are an abundance of workers to be had here. There aren't.

Furthermore, this attitude of "fire 'em and hire someone new" isn't really a good one either. That used to be my attitude 5 years ago. As evidenced by my threads here on lawnsite 5 years ago. But one thing I've learned over time is that experience is extremely valuable. And while I was firing guys right and left for so many years because of things I considered legitimate reasons, I was also losing experienced workers. I eventually learned that it is sometimes better for me to keep someone who is causing problems, and fix their problems, than it is to just fire them. Because more often than not, when you just fire them, you end up replacing them with someone who also has "issues" but less experience. And not just landscape experience in general. But experience working with you and your company and doing things the way you like them to be done. All that experience is lost and takes months or years to teach the new guy.

I think it would help to reiterate the pecking order from time to time. But I also think it's more complex than that. There are other cultural differences at play that just get in the way. So much so that I've had good workers just up and quit because they couldn't get along with another mexican from a different area. It's weird.

MOW ED
09-07-2006, 07:38 AM
Hi Jim,
Are these issues taking from the bottom line? I guess what I am saying is that is your work and quality of work suffering because of personnel issues? Are you losing money because of it?
i don't understand the cultural and regional differences of the Mexican people but I think that if your key people know that the problems are causing monetary problems something may change. Sort of like the peer pressure thing. I don't have employees but I am a supervisor with the fire dept and I am just grasping at any idea I can to help.
Are you having major issues or are these things that seem to be annoyances? You have to have at least one confidant in the masses to help you out. If you don't you have to recruit one. Easier said than done.
I do understand the problem of regional differences between people. I don't think the EEOC will let you hire based on which region in Mexico someone comes from but mayby that is something you can look into in the future. I would find one guy in the group that can tell you why this is happening and ask for some tips. Good luck and let us know how things are going in a while.

Sandgropher
09-07-2006, 08:15 AM
Jim, do not hire Mexicans :)

Bulls_mowing
09-07-2006, 09:22 AM
Jim, do not hire Mexicans :)

I agree with ya Sandgropher

JimLewis
09-07-2006, 02:00 PM
Jim, do not hire Mexicans :)

Hahahaha! That's a good one. You guys are funny.

Actually, I tried that for the first several years. I noticed that all the LCOs and Landscapers in my area seemed to use predominately mexican crews. And I noticed back when it was just me and a PT helper I had (american guy) that we often got comments from people saying they were relieved to see some clean-cut american guys doing landscaping. So I figured if that's what customers seemed to like, I'd try to build my business with these kind of guys. I tried for several years and every friggin' one of them were virtually worthless. Two of them were smoking pot every day in the truck during lung time and then returning to work all afternoon that way. Another guy was peeing right in the open in the street in front of a customer's house. I wrote a big thread on that years ago. Another guy was a drug addict and I never knew it until the end. But he was constantly needing cash draws and always had some clever excuse why. Another guy was routinely sick or missing for random reasons. Another guy always had to take off work early to go pick up his kids. Another guy was gone at least one day each week with random life issues. One week he had to take off for 3 days and asked for a draw because his GF was getting an abortion. These stories go on and on and on. Americans have been virtually worthless. They always have issues. I think there are plenty of good hard working americans. But they are all doing higher-pay jobs.

So yah, don't think I haven't tried that. I have. And it was a miserable failure. I've hired and fired over 30 american guys over the years. Mexicans, with all their issues are still 10x more reliable, harder workers, less problems, etc. than almost any american guy I've ever had.

Thanks for the good laugh though. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

JimLewis
09-07-2006, 02:06 PM
Hi Jim,
Are these issues taking from the bottom line? I guess what I am saying is that is your work and quality of work suffering because of personnel issues? Are you losing money because of it?

Are you having major issues or are these things that seem to be annoyances?

Not really. It's just eating up more of my personal time trying to deal with it all. I just become a babysitter at times when I feel that I shouldn't have to be. "Now boys. Let's get along and get back to work..." "Ok, Boss"

I guess it's affecting it a little because sometimes a guy can't get along and he just quits. But more often than not the solution is switching up crews. "Ok. Jose. You can't get along with your helper Juan. Fine. Juan can work on Jesus's crew and you get Jesus's helper. But you better get along with him. Tomorrow we'll switch." And that usually solves the problem. At least for 6 months until those two start fighting.

Anyway, like I said in my original post I am more or less just venting. Just blowing off steam. I hate being a babysitter. But it's still 10x better than working with the americans I used to have.

TJLANDS
09-07-2006, 02:12 PM
Hahahaha! That's a good one. You guys are funny.

Actually, I tried that for the first several years. I noticed that all the LCOs and Landscapers in my area seemed to use predominately mexican crews. And I noticed back when it was just me and a PT helper I had (american guy) that we often got comments from people saying they were relieved to see some clean-cut american guys doing landscaping. So I figured if that's what customers seemed to like, I'd try to build my business with these kind of guys. I tried for several years and every friggin' one of them were virtually worthless. Two of them were smoking pot every day in the truck during lung time and then returning to work all afternoon that way. Another guy was peeing right in the open in the street in front of a customer's house. I wrote a big thread on that years ago. Another guy was a drug addict and I never knew it until the end. But he was constantly needing cash draws and always had some clever excuse why. Another guy was routinely sick or missing for random reasons. Another guy always had to take off work early to go pick up his kids. Another guy was gone at least one day each week with random life issues. One week he had to take off for 3 days and asked for a draw because his GF was getting an abortion. These stories go on and on and on. Americans have been virtually worthless. They always have issues. I think there are plenty of good hard working americans. But they are all doing higher-pay jobs.

So yah, don't think I haven't tried that. I have. And it was a miserable failure. I've hired and fired over 30 american guys over the years. Mexicans, with all their issues are still 10x more reliable, harder workers, less problems, etc. than almost any american guy I've ever had.

Thanks for the good laugh though. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Sounds just like me! My biggest problem is that my Costa ricans will not work with the Mexicans and the Guatemalans wont work with anybody:laugh:
The best part is they are always trying to outdo the others, do better and more work.

Fantasy Lawns
09-07-2006, 02:17 PM
Ha .... I feel your pain .... I only have too baby sit 6 of em ... all my guys are born in the USA .... strange enough ...only 1 has been with me less than 2 years

Anywho .... it's like a friggin day care some times ... sure they get the work done ...n the quality is good as well as the time keeping ....but sometimes back at the truck or at the shop .....one whould think they are all in HS sometimes .... except for Rick my foreman ... they don' mess with him ....more than once he has left a guy at a job site throw'n a hissy fit

The only peck'in order is who has shot-gun or rides a mower ....n that goes too the most experienced guy ....which is MY say

Summers almost over thou .... than we have the fall clean up too look forward too

Jusmowin
09-07-2006, 04:46 PM
If you want something do right do it yourself........But just get paid very well for your work. Im so sick to death of employees that I decided to go solo for the rest of the year.

Lawnworks
09-07-2006, 04:56 PM
Hahahaha! That's a good one. You guys are funny.

Actually, I tried that for the first several years. I noticed that all the LCOs and Landscapers in my area seemed to use predominately mexican crews. And I noticed back when it was just me and a PT helper I had (american guy) that we often got comments from people saying they were relieved to see some clean-cut american guys doing landscaping. So I figured if that's what customers seemed to like, I'd try to build my business with these kind of guys. I tried for several years and every friggin' one of them were virtually worthless. Two of them were smoking pot every day in the truck during lung time and then returning to work all afternoon that way. Another guy was peeing right in the open in the street in front of a customer's house. I wrote a big thread on that years ago. Another guy was a drug addict and I never knew it until the end. But he was constantly needing cash draws and always had some clever excuse why. Another guy was routinely sick or missing for random reasons. Another guy always had to take off work early to go pick up his kids. Another guy was gone at least one day each week with random life issues. One week he had to take off for 3 days and asked for a draw because his GF was getting an abortion. These stories go on and on and on. Americans have been virtually worthless. They always have issues. I think there are plenty of good hard working americans. But they are all doing higher-pay jobs.

So yah, don't think I haven't tried that. I have. And it was a miserable failure. I've hired and fired over 30 american guys over the years. Mexicans, with all their issues are still 10x more reliable, harder workers, less problems, etc. than almost any american guy I've ever had.

Thanks for the good laugh though. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I like that reply. I have recently got flamed in a previous post, because I won't hire any more americans for labor jobs. Some people just don't understand!

I have also had some issues w/ my guys getting along. I just deal w/ it. I have one guy that ends up pissing all of the other guys off, but he has alot of experience and takes time to do a great job. What do you do?? I just deal w/ it.

TJLANDS
09-07-2006, 04:57 PM
If you want something do right do it yourself........But just get paid very well for your work. Im so sick to death of employees that I decided to go solo for the rest of the year.
18 years ago that was an option, then what happens if you get hurt or whatever, who takes care of your family. You could maybe survive being solo but To survive and prosper in this business you need to have employees. I am sure there will be people that say otherwise but they are wrong.

Lawnworks
09-07-2006, 04:57 PM
If you want something do right do it yourself........But just get paid very well for your work. Im so sick to death of employees that I decided to go solo for the rest of the year.

Not delegating work hurts the bottom line!!

Jpocket
09-07-2006, 09:19 PM
LOLOL. Some people might not understand that. That's too funny!:laugh: :laugh:


Lol Im black so I def. Now what you guys are talking about:laugh: :rolleyes:

Jpocket
09-07-2006, 09:26 PM
Hahahaha! That's a good one. You guys are funny.

Actually, I tried that for the first several years. I noticed that all the LCOs and Landscapers in my area seemed to use predominately mexican crews. And I noticed back when it was just me and a PT helper I had (american guy) that we often got comments from people saying they were relieved to see some clean-cut american guys doing landscaping. So I figured if that's what customers seemed to like, I'd try to build my business with these kind of guys. I tried for several years and every friggin' one of them were virtually worthless. Two of them were smoking pot every day in the truck during lung time and then returning to work all afternoon that way. Another guy was peeing right in the open in the street in front of a customer's house. I wrote a big thread on that years ago. Another guy was a drug addict and I never knew it until the end. But he was constantly needing cash draws and always had some clever excuse why. Another guy was routinely sick or missing for random reasons. Another guy always had to take off work early to go pick up his kids. Another guy was gone at least one day each week with random life issues. One week he had to take off for 3 days and asked for a draw because his GF was getting an abortion. These stories go on and on and on. Americans have been virtually worthless. They always have issues. I think there are plenty of good hard working americans. But they are all doing higher-pay jobs.

So yah, don't think I haven't tried that. I have. And it was a miserable failure. I've hired and fired over 30 american guys over the years. Mexicans, with all their issues are still 10x more reliable, harder workers, less problems, etc. than almost any american guy I've ever had.

Thanks for the good laugh though. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


You pretty much said it all...Some guys on here have racial issues to begin with, to them employing a mexican is like employing a black guy or worse.

You should see some of the looks I get while passing all white crews, myself being black with a crew of Mexicans.

Sandgropher
09-07-2006, 09:45 PM
What do people think about El Saladorans(CANT SPELL LOL) some one said they are as good as Mexicans but with less problems, prob will not help Jim though might not many around his way.

Surf'n'Turf
09-07-2006, 10:12 PM
Interesting topic... I can tell you from experience and also from my wife's point of view (teacher in 99% Latino district) that it is not unusual to see sqaubbles and in-fighting between various Latin groups (Dominicans fighting with Salvadorians who can't stand the Mexicans who don't trust Columbians, etc.) Even Mexicans from different regions have a distaste for one another (the rural Oaxacan guys vs. The Puebla City guys). Sometimes, even the young guys will pick on the old dudes. It's a cultural thing. Figure out who the 'leader' is, and also single out the troublemaker(s) in the group. Call for a sit down and get it straightened out.....generally, once the boss is involved, they will work it out amongst themselves. If that don't work and it is affecting your bottom line....roll heads....Joe Clark style....the REAL HNIC!

Surf'n'Turf
09-07-2006, 10:19 PM
. Two of them were smoking pot every day in the truck during lung time and then returning to work all afternoon that way.

That's just too funny a typo to pass up....

nfarr
09-07-2006, 10:37 PM
What do people think about El Saladorans(CANT SPELL LOL) some one said they are as good as Mexicans but with less problems, prob will not help Jim though might not many around his way.

I have hired many Hispanics over the years and agree with what is being said about getting along. I have had problems with people from N Mexico not working with people from Oaxaca, etc.

But the people I have had from El Salvador seem to be much quicker to start throwing punches. We have a real gang problem in this county with MS13 a Salvadoran gang with strong ties in the US. I used to run into it in Metro Wash DC. But have not seen it in Ohio.

Turfdude
09-07-2006, 10:39 PM
So Jim,


Sounds like U2 "babysit grown men & fix the things they break."

Grits
09-08-2006, 12:08 AM
Start firing the ones that are truly b!tches and let everyone else know why you fired them...and that if anyone else wants to act like a bunch of ******ed girls that they can hit the gate.....that should straighten their ass up. If not, go down to the 7/11 and pick up a totally different crew and start over. You don't have time to deal with that high school bullsh!t, you are trying to get their pansy asses more jobs. Be a prick about it if need be. You are the boss, act like it.