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View Full Version : What's up with the 6 week itch?


Liquidfast
09-11-2008, 07:13 AM
I pray I never see another thread about employees. The ones that make it to 6 weeks seem (in my case) to start the complaining process, seem to think they have some ownership in the company, never have money for food or drinks, start on about their pay (not enough) or just plain complain.

One guy starting telling me when we would skip an account. Then when asked to do something, felt it was his job to dictate the working order...."NO, I'll mow and YOU can pull the weeds!!!"....LOL.

I honestly feel like I am losing it.

I pay a decent wage. I have recently starting getting tougher....not that I was a push over.


ANYONE have the secret to good help? Or, is solo really the only way to go?

lawnman_scott
09-11-2008, 07:28 AM
I pray I never see another thread about employees. The ones that make it to 6 weeks seem (in my case) to start the complaining process, seem to think they have some ownership in the company, never have money for food or drinks, start on about their pay (not enough) or just plain complain.

One guy starting telling me when we would skip an account. Then when asked to do something, felt it was his job to dictate the working order...."NO, I'll mow and YOU can pull the weeds!!!"....LOL.

I honestly feel like I am losing it.

I pay a decent wage. I have recently starting getting tougher....not that I was a push over.


ANYONE have the secret to good help? Or, is solo really the only way to go?There are good employees, just hard to find. I see your in ontario. Maybe you need to get an american. Im in Florida and I have a canadian working for me. He is good and has been with me for about 5 years now. My wife thinks its funny because she is from Canada too.

larryinalabama
09-11-2008, 07:35 AM
SOLO is the only way to go

ALC-GregH
09-11-2008, 07:56 AM
Fast, just remind him who writes the checks. Be nice, smile and even kinda joke alittle, then give him the pissed off straight face and tell him, now go pull the F'ing weeds before I find someone who will. :D

heather lawn sp
09-11-2008, 08:13 AM
We've usually had really good results with the Human Resources Canada website

jb-ge.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/Intro_an.aspx

or search

Human Resources Canada

Liquidfast
09-11-2008, 08:28 PM
UPDATE: Today, he "WATCHED" me pull weeds after asking him to. Then he pointed out several roofers working and commented on how much money they make. "I bet those guys get a ton of money".

He then asked for more hours. I ask him to push a property that I normally ride. Halfway thru, he says that we have an equipment malfunction. I take string and replace the chute (that was the HUGE break down) and he then rolls his eyes and off he goes.

He asked why he can't get paid a day before payday. I tell him to ease off the booze and his money will last. OH....he has to get his pay into the bank quickly to get his credit rating better :hammerhead::hammerhead::confused:. Then he goes on to say he GOOGLE landscaping positions and discovered the majority of landscapers get paid daily.....LOL. I ll work for a company that does that.....for sure. I offered more hours thru a good friend of mine that landscapes and he REFUSES to work for someone else........cuz they actually might make him work.

I give in and pay him early. NOT EVEN 20 MINUTES LATER, he is tired...."We worked 5 hours straight" he says.

I ask him to put the equipment down and get into the truck. We start to drive. "Where are we going?" he asks.......3 minutes from his house :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

I get him to the door, shake his hand and thank him for the time he has put into my business.


Two hours later, my phone rings telling me he won $30 on a scratch ticket....money well spent. I tell him to make sure he hangs onto it cuz today is and was his last day.


I will save $1700 per month. The 2-4 coffees a day...the friggin free lunches I packed for him daily.....I should be rich soon fellas.




lastly....I was schmoozing a customer who is spending $7000 on landscaping the first week of October. I dropped him off down the road to complete 2 props on his own. He arrives and asks "What have you done since I was gone?" I chuckled.

topsites
09-11-2008, 08:31 PM
I don't understand, what is the problem?

Liquidfast
09-11-2008, 08:43 PM
I don't understand, what is the problem?

Nothing topsite. All is good........now.

billslawn89
09-11-2008, 09:09 PM
SOLO is the only way to go

yep! sometimes when i'm out on the route, and its smoking hot out, i would say to myself, "sure would be nice to have a helper doing the trimming" then i wake up and realize that how many more accounts i would need and have to do, to have that helper. SOLO and the only way for me too! :drinkup:

Ooomwizard
09-11-2008, 09:23 PM
I use Mexican's... most work their butt off. Happy to have a job.

Liquidfast
09-11-2008, 10:30 PM
yep! sometimes when i'm out on the route, and its smoking hot out, i would say to myself, "sure would be nice to have a helper doing the trimming" then i wake up and realize that how many more accounts i would need and have to do, to have that helper. SOLO and the only way for me too! :drinkup:

Thats the thing. Financially, I use him only on the days that justify. It costs me on average $17 per hour when EVERYTHING is factored in. I make enough on those 3 days per week to generate revenue off him.

The problem is a few customers have mentioned $$$ in front of him and that seems to be where the prob started.

brucec32
09-12-2008, 10:27 AM
Wait a minute now. The guy indeed seems like a real piece of work, but you use him ONLY on the "days that justify" using him, 3 days a week? And YOU are complaining about him complaining about wanting more pay and hours? Step back and think about it from his perspective.

I may be misreading the post, but this sounds like exactly what is the problem in this business. You offer any worker low pay (Sorry, $17 after taxes, insurance, etc yields him relatively low pay if this is indeed part time), no stability, no benefits, no future, and what the heck did you expect to get? In most fields you pay more for contract or part-time help if the work is considered undesireable. If it's mothers getting to work at their kids' schools, you can pay peanuts. Because it's easy and convenient. But this is not easy work and certainly less rewarding.

You guys think you're offering "decent pay" when you're not. You've been too close to it and lack perspective on what your competition for labor is paying. Office flunkies with HS diplomas who can barely read/write/speak made $28-30K at my wife's office, plus benefits. I mean some really worthless lazy do-nothing clerks. Not accountants or analysts. If one has even basic grammar skills and can speak proper english why go bust tail outdoors for about 1/2 of the total compensation? On the other hand, even an uneducated worker willing to try and learn can make a lot more learning a trade and after a year or two can be making some good money and have a real future. So what's left in the labor pool?

No responsible hard working guy is going to work part time for low pay. So the logical result is you get dumb, irresponsible, or lazy workers, or basically the cast-offs that nobody else wants and bums who don't want to work 40 or more hours a week and live in their parents' basements and can't hack a job where they can't come in hung over half the time or have to pass a drug screening. What moron would go cut lawns in the heat, with his boss in the truck next to him all day barking orders (don't underestimate this), working unpredictable hours, for low pay, when if he's marginally bright and has anything going for him he can do better elsewhere? You're not to blame for the prevailing wage, but it is now so low relative to the cost of living that it is untenable. Even if you did find a good one, why wouldn't he just go work for a better company offering better pay and a stable work schedule?

Solo is becoming more popular because the numbers don't add up for LEGALLY employing reliable workers. Factor in the hassles like you've described, and solo sounds even better.

lawnwizards
09-12-2008, 03:23 PM
Wait a minute now. The guy indeed seems like a real piece of work, but you use him ONLY on the "days that justify" using him, 3 days a week? And YOU are complaining about him complaining about wanting more pay and hours? Step back and think about it from his perspective.

I may be misreading the post, but this sounds like exactly what is the problem in this business. You offer any worker low pay (Sorry, $17 after taxes, insurance, etc yields him relatively low pay if this is indeed part time), no stability, no benefits, no future, and what the heck did you expect to get? In most fields you pay more for contract or part-time help if the work is considered undesireable. If it's mothers getting to work at their kids' schools, you can pay peanuts. Because it's easy and convenient. But this is not easy work and certainly less rewarding.

You guys think you're offering "decent pay" when you're not. You've been too close to it and lack perspective on what your competition for labor is paying. Office flunkies with HS diplomas who can barely read/write/speak made $28-30K at my wife's office, plus benefits. I mean some really worthless lazy do-nothing clerks. Not accountants or analysts. If one has even basic grammar skills and can speak proper english why go bust tail outdoors for about 1/2 of the total compensation? On the other hand, even an uneducated worker willing to try and learn can make a lot more learning a trade and after a year or two can be making some good money and have a real future. So what's left in the labor pool?

No responsible hard working guy is going to work part time for low pay. So the logical result is you get dumb, irresponsible, or lazy workers, or basically the cast-offs that nobody else wants and bums who don't want to work 40 or more hours a week and live in their parents' basements and can't hack a job where they can't come in hung over half the time or have to pass a drug screening. What moron would go cut lawns in the heat, with his boss in the truck next to him all day barking orders (don't underestimate this), working unpredictable hours, for low pay, when if he's marginally bright and has anything going for him he can do better elsewhere? You're not to blame for the prevailing wage, but it is now so low relative to the cost of living that it is untenable. Even if you did find a good one, why wouldn't he just go work for a better company offering better pay and a stable work schedule?

Solo is becoming more popular because the numbers don't add up for LEGALLY employing reliable workers. Factor in the hassles like you've described, and solo sounds even better.
i guess you didnt see where he had offered the guy more hours through his friend's landscaping business. the fact is, the guy was, is and always will be a lazy bum.

henri4207
09-12-2008, 04:01 PM
Has any large company owner on here, lets say with 2-3 crews, ever gone back to working solo because it is the only way to go? I understand there are more headaches with employess and the bigger you get, but thats part of running any busniess. I am a small company, had problems with employees over the years, I work with 2 hardworking guys, and hopefully will expand next year, but there is no way I would ever go solo again. I still work everyday, deal with crap here and there, but overall, I make a heck of a lot more money with 2 workers as I can do three times as many lawns in one day. I may have more expenses than solo, but a lot more cash flow and a lot less tired. I would honestly like to hear of big lawn companies that are on here that are now solo and why?

Liquidfast
09-12-2008, 07:01 PM
henri...you make VERY GOOD points.

Here is the problem. I laid out EXACTLY the way it was going to be from start to finish. I left nothing to chance. Being a lackie is indeed an arduous, unrewarding JOB. But, it is a job. No matter how unglamorous and self loathing one feels at a JOB, there is always the alternative (no job) which makes the decision easy.

I have never expected any employee to last nor do I expect to be told how to operate MY company. Ground rules are laid (by me) so that everything is spelled out to them (them being the employee) PRIOR to gainful employment.

My company is NOT a babysitting job, I am not his parent, counselor or friend.

That being said, you have opened my eyes to a different perspective and for that I am grateful.

milkie62
09-15-2008, 12:28 AM
Mowing and/or landscaping is not a very rewarding career when working for someone who is working out of their garage.Most anyone with a brain would see that after one day and start thinking on how to get some cash together and go out on their own.I sometimes laugh when I hear it on this site that some of your former employees are now your competition.What do you expect.How does anyone think someone can survive on $10/hr ??? All any lackie would need is a 21" Wally World mower,a rusted out Ford Ranger 4-$25 mow jobs taking a half hour and he is already making more than he would be working all day for someone else.Others here have said that "He is up to $10 bucks an hr for cutting grass,What more does he want?" And in the next breath some of you brag at making $70/hr.But on the same hand most of you ONLY really cut grass.Minimum wage is over $7/hr.That is what high school kids make bagging groceries and yet you think you are going to get a super responsible adult for $8/hr.Some of you need to wake up and smell the coffee.Like one poster said at that rate you will get excons,druggies and basically guys who cannot hold a job.My hats off to you guys that are making a good buck at this and supporting a family.I could not do it and admit it.Too much at the mercy of the weather.I would much rather be making my $30/hr and surfing the net.Plus I do not think my allergies would allow me to handle any more than part time.

Phil G
09-15-2008, 03:42 AM
Fast, just remind him who writes the checks. Be nice, smile and even kinda joke alittle, then give him the pissed off straight face and tell him, now go pull the F'ing weeds before I find someone who will. :D


Harsh.........but fair.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Good Luck Phil

ALC-GregH
09-15-2008, 08:39 AM
LOL Phil.....
I couldn't hire someone to help me, they would quit the first day. I'm like a drill Sargent. I'd tell them to pull the weeds or walk home! :D

Frontier-Lawn
09-15-2008, 09:37 AM
With me if i need help that day, i find a guy and save bust ass get $10 per hr slack get FL min wageof $6.79 per hr.

Phil G
09-15-2008, 10:31 AM
LOL Phil.....
I couldn't hire someone to help me, they would quit the first day. I'm like a drill Sargent. I'd tell them to pull the weeds or walk home! :D


Now, that's harsh but unfair
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


atb Phil
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g144/PhilGz/SmilieUKFlag.gif

Liquidfast
09-15-2008, 11:03 PM
Mowing and/or landscaping is not a very rewarding career when working for someone who is working out of their garage.Most anyone with a brain would see that after one day and start thinking on how to get some cash together and go out on their own.I sometimes laugh when I hear it on this site that some of your former employees are now your competition.What do you expect.How does anyone think someone can survive on $10/hr ??? All any lackie would need is a 21" Wally World mower,a rusted out Ford Ranger 4-$25 mow jobs taking a half hour and he is already making more than he would be working all day for someone else.Others here have said that "He is up to $10 bucks an hr for cutting grass,What more does he want?" And in the next breath some of you brag at making $70/hr.But on the same hand most of you ONLY really cut grass.Minimum wage is over $7/hr.That is what high school kids make bagging groceries and yet you think you are going to get a super responsible adult for $8/hr.Some of you need to wake up and smell the coffee.Like one poster said at that rate you will get excons,druggies and basically guys who cannot hold a job.My hats off to you guys that are making a good buck at this and supporting a family.I could not do it and admit it.Too much at the mercy of the weather.I would much rather be making my $30/hr and surfing the net.Plus I do not think my allergies would allow me to handle any more than part time.


So basically what you are saying is anyone working at Burger King, Mc D's or WalMart are degenerates, ex cons and the like? Minimum wage was created for a reason. If I pay someone AT LEAST that much, I expect an employee, someone willing to work and at least a certain attempt at perfection.

The reason your post doesn't make sense to me is that you are not factoring in the 55,000 truck, insurance and god knows how much on equipment that I choose to have. I choose to have an employee worth a damn which is why I pay MORE than minimum wage.

I do brag at making $70 an hour because it's my business. Whether I cut grass, clean a pool or wipe my granny a$$, it's a business I created, the customers I acquired and I do deserve someone willing to give me their very best. Not when it benefits them, but as a business owner, when it benefits ME.

mississippiturf
09-15-2008, 11:47 PM
I do brag at making $70 an hour because it's my business. Whether I cut grass, clean a pool or wipe my granny a$$, it's a business I created, the customers I acquired and I do deserve someone willing to give me their very best. Not when it benefits them, but as a business owner, when it benefits ME.


Liquidfast,

I don't always agree with your posts, but this is one I'll have to say, "Well done". I'm amazed at some of the posts on this site from good people who seem to think that if someone else does not use the same brand equipment, or treat the customers the exact same way they would, or have an opinion that may differ, then you are labeled with names too unkind to put in this response. People are too quick to bash others rather than to accept the facts of diversity.

We all could learn more from this site if we remind ourself that its okay to offer an opinion if asked, use our experiences to help others, but not to look down upon another LCO if they choose to have a different opinion.

milkie62
09-17-2008, 02:57 AM
No Liquidfast maybe I do not word it exactly.If someone can get say $60,70,or even $100/hr that is great.But like you said you have a $55k truck.I unfortunately only have a 2002 F250 and a 7x12 dump trailer.My total outlay is just shy of $20k.Now lets just look at it from perspective.We both put 0 % down on our equipment and finance for 36 mos.Who technically needs to make double on a lawn ? Automatically you have over twice ,almost 3 times the overhead that I have.I would assume though that you must have a dump truck because $55k for just a pickup is insane.But if you start out an employee at $8 or $9/hr how long do you expect an employee to be loyal and have great company drive if he knows he is going to peak at say$11/hr ? Alot of guys ask here how to keep employees-------#1 is $$$$$$$$$ and not a popsicle or an ice cream cone on a hot day.Everybody here including myself grumble at $4/hr gas prices.How do you think the $9/hr guy is handling it ?? And you say you get $70/hr.How much an hr to you clear on your employee ? At $70/hr you must be making a decent buck per employee.I hear most of the time on this forum that I need to charge a surcharge,prices are going through the roof,I hate lowballers,why do other trades get more money,don't customers realize that I am a professional grass cutter.

Liquidfast
09-17-2008, 09:55 PM
No Liquidfast maybe I do not word it exactly.If someone can get say $60,70,or even $100/hr that is great.But like you said you have a $55k truck.I unfortunately only have a 2002 F250 and a 7x12 dump trailer.My total outlay is just shy of $20k.Now lets just look at it from perspective.We both put 0 % down on our equipment and finance for 36 mos.Who technically needs to make double on a lawn ? Automatically you have over twice ,almost 3 times the overhead that I have.I would assume though that you must have a dump truck because $55k for just a pickup is insane.But if you start out an employee at $8 or $9/hr how long do you expect an employee to be loyal and have great company drive if he knows he is going to peak at say$11/hr ? Alot of guys ask here how to keep employees-------#1 is $$$$$$$$$ and not a popsicle or an ice cream cone on a hot day.Everybody here including myself grumble at $4/hr gas prices.How do you think the $9/hr guy is handling it ?? And you say you get $70/hr.How much an hr to you clear on your employee ? At $70/hr you must be making a decent buck per employee.I hear most of the time on this forum that I need to charge a surcharge,prices are going through the roof,I hate lowballers,why do other trades get more money,don't customers realize that I am a professional grass cutter.



I sorta hear what you're saying. My truck # was tossed out there. Regardless. I charge more to make more. I feel that I need a certain income or it's not worth my time. You say "unfortunately" when it comes to your truck. I know of scrapers that would kill for your truck. Now, let's put that into perspective. If my uncle owns a 1977 "A TEAM" van and becomes a van-scaper and HIS total outlay is $2000.00 should he only charge $5.75 per lawn?
Or............I'm tired and forgot my train of thought but I 'm sure there is a slight possibility that some of this makes some sort of sense.

milkie62
09-17-2008, 11:11 PM
Sure the things that you say make sense,but so do mine.I was only being sarcastic when I said that about my truck.But on the other hand between what i have spent on my truck and trailer is real.You said you only threw that # out there about yours.I just figured you had to have the "ultimate truck" at that amt of cash and only joked that my setup is only squat.But now get in my shoes and look at you .If we each had a truck payment based on our vehicles who would be actually making more on three $100 lawns.I just see some guys have the latest and greatest in trucks and trailers.That is fine,but some would have to charge super high prices in order to make the same as someone as myself who has a clean older truck.My truck has been driven to Colorado and back,through some of the Flattop Wilderness,to Raddisson Quebec caribou hunting,loaded with firewood,slid into ditches while snowplowing and buried in mud by accident.I cannot justify buying a new truck doing these kind of things.But on the other hand it looks pretty damn good for an 02 with only a couple of minor scratches and I saved about $20k on the price.My mowers on the other hand are brandy new top of the line.One guy on one post ----he has some sort of military sign by his name claimed $130/hr.One guy called him on it and he hanged his tune to "Well that is for two guys".I just think some guys here inflate more than they actually make.I get $45/hr for myself and $20/hr for each of the high school kids I have.My lawns because I sometimes misjudge times range from $35-100/hr.,but most are in the $40-50/hr range.

dougmartin2003
09-18-2008, 01:08 PM
SOLO is the only way to go

man i agree 100 per cent

davidcentralflorida
09-18-2008, 05:37 PM
No Liquidfast maybe I do not word it exactly.If someone can get say $60,70,or even $100/hr that is great.But like you said you have a $55k truck.I unfortunately only have a 2002 F250 and a 7x12 dump trailer.My total outlay is just shy of $20k.Now lets just look at it from perspective.We both put 0 % down on our equipment and finance for 36 mos.Who technically needs to make double on a lawn ? Automatically you have over twice ,almost 3 times the overhead that I have.I would assume though that you must have a dump truck because $55k for just a pickup is insane.But if you start out an employee at $8 or $9/hr how long do you expect an employee to be loyal and have great company drive if he knows he is going to peak at say$11/hr ? Alot of guys ask here how to keep employees-------#1 is $$$$$$$$$ and not a popsicle or an ice cream cone on a hot day.Everybody here including myself grumble at $4/hr gas prices.How do you think the $9/hr guy is handling it ?? And you say you get $70/hr.How much an hr to you clear on your employee ? At $70/hr you must be making a decent buck per employee.I hear most of the time on this forum that I need to charge a surcharge,prices are going through the roof,I hate lowballers,why do other trades get more money,don't customers realize that I am a professional grass cutter.

what? thats funny when you have to pick them up, sometimes wake them up and drop them off. not to mention front money for smokes drinks, other than water, i supply that. sometimes it feels alot like babysitting.
il stay solo

Liquidfast
09-18-2008, 07:43 PM
what? thats funny when you have to pick them up, sometimes wake them up and drop them off. not to mention front money for smokes drinks, other than water, i supply that. sometimes it feels alot like babysitting.
il stay solo


Amen. You have some explaining to do MR. I think you hired my guy. You should have asked me first.

milkie62
09-19-2008, 10:14 AM
Well I have to apologize to you all that have losers working for you.I never had so I have not been in your shoes.I am just talking about the 2 kids that work for me.Punctual,look neat,work hard,and look for things to do while waiting for me to finish up what I am doing since they cannot sometimes help with what I am doing.I have seen slugs before and guys that had to be picked up for work still hung over etc.The only point I was and am still trying to make is that a good employee needs to be taken care of if you want to keep him.IMO if I could clear $10/hr on an employee AFTER all business related parts are covered I would consider that pretty good.I do not know what everyone expects to make off their employees but sometimes their expectations are a little on the high side I think.I wish I could charge $210/hr to drive up and have 3 of us get out of the truck,but I do not think I would get that much work at those prices so maybe I am a lowballer.

I too will basically stay solo