PDA

View Full Version : Do your employees get it ?


EDEN77
04-21-2009, 09:06 PM
I hired a new employee last month. He's very young and totally inexperienced. But, I've never worked with anyone who has a better attitude and is more willing to listen to directions. His perfect work attendance and best attitude make him worth all the time and effort to train him.

Last Friday, I told him to take the WB mower to the trailer with the blades disengaged, shut off the engine, and then put a jack stand under the deck and clean the deck. A few minutes later, I walked up to the trailer and heard the mower engine running. He was under the deck trying to put the jack stand in place WHILE THE ENGINE WAS RUNNING. Well, everyone in the neighborhood heard me while I told him how dangerous that was. I thought I shocked and scared him enough that it wouldn't happen again.

Today, I was mowing at a property while he was trimming. He was trying to advance the trimmer line manually from the trimmer head when part of the head got away from him and rolled directly towards my mower. I raised the front end of my mower so I wouldn't destroy the part and reached to disengage the blades. Before I could get the blades stopped, my employee reached down under the deck to grab the trimmer head part. I blew a gasket. WHAT THE !@#$%^&* ARE YOU DOING ??!!!!!!!!! I gave him an official verbal warning and I am handing him a typed written warning tomorrow that he will not be allowed another ridiculous, stupid maneuver like that again. If he does something that dangerous again, he will be fired on the spot----for his safety and my sanity.

Does anyone else out there have an employee who just doesn't understand what a lawn mowing blade spinning at very high RPM can and will do to the human body when it's where it's not supposed to be ?

BlackDog3
04-21-2009, 09:11 PM
I have seen that all to many times. Where i used to work we had mindless guys working. I have seen them put machines into the most dangerous positions ever and not get killed. I think you are right on for doing that. Safety is a must especially with dealing with machines that can kill you.

dreich3075
04-21-2009, 09:11 PM
If he does it again I think you should use his arm and deminstrate for him

BCarlson
04-21-2009, 09:31 PM
Look into some safety videos, I've seen some gruesome ones that I couldn't eat my lunch afterwards. If he makes it to the weekend have him come in on saturday or stay late and watch the video. If memory serves me correctly Dupont put out the videos....Let him know that the last thing you want to do is explain to his mom/wife/girlfriend why he's now without a hand or arm.

THEGOLDPRO
04-21-2009, 09:34 PM
run a small watermellon over for him to show him what it would look like.

browningv308
04-21-2009, 10:29 PM
last year i hired a guy to help me picked him up that morning went to the still dealer and bought him a new weed eater took him to the first job of the day and told him to weed eat while i mowed 10 minutes later looked over at him and he was using the weed eater to hammer in a ground rod at a meter base because he kept getting the string caught on it left him at the gas station on the way to the next job

DuallyVette
04-21-2009, 10:37 PM
I'm amazed at how stupid my 20+year old employees are. I'd expect a 3 year old to require extreme supervision...but a 20 year old ???

MajesticUSA
04-21-2009, 10:42 PM
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e244/twgquick/Laughing_RoflSmileyLJ.gif

topsites
04-21-2009, 10:54 PM
Anger, it just doesn't work, you'd think it would, I used to.
But I found over the years, probably the only thing anger teaches consistently is fear.
So then they learn to be afraid of us.

run a small watermellon over for him to show him what it would look like.

So far I like this answer the best, and the safety videos one as well.
There might be another along these lines but it's in the methods behind the training.

ed2hess
04-21-2009, 11:13 PM
You have a big potential problem ........I don't think safety movies are going to be the answer. If he has demonstrated little common sense then you need to let him go before he hurts himself or somebody else. I would not have asked a new guy to go jack up/raise the machine and clean under it.. Start them off trimming and blowing until they get confortable around equipment. Just reading threads on lawn site is kinda scary listening to the type of questions asked.

mississippiturf
04-21-2009, 11:24 PM
Anger, it just doesn't work, you'd think it would, I used to.
But I found over the years, probably the only thing anger teaches consistently is fear.
So then they learn to be afraid of us.



Well said T/S. Yelling at an employee is one method of teaching, but usually not the best one.

DuallyVette
04-22-2009, 12:44 AM
Common Sense is no longer common.

Too many people don't seem to have enough sense to properly wipe their azz.

I try to explain the task nicely a few times. When I start getting pizzed, and insult you till you cry...you should just go home to your mama.

TheC-Master
04-22-2009, 01:09 AM
I don't know if it were ever common.

Green Machine Mowing
04-22-2009, 01:17 AM
Im a solo operation, my employee is totaly worthless :hammerhead:

Littleriver1
04-22-2009, 07:27 AM
You have a big potential problem ........I don't think safety movies are going to be the answer. If he has demonstrated little common sense then you need to let him go before he hurts himself or somebody else. I would not have asked a new guy to go jack up/raise the machine and clean under it.. Start them off trimming and blowing until they get confortable around equipment. Just reading threads on lawn site is kinda scary listening to the type of questions asked.

I don't think common sense really has that much to do with it. These people do tie there own shoes and find their way to work and back home again. Ed2, is correct in saying not to ask any one to work on equipment they know nothing about. I let him play around with the mowers putting them on and off the trailer and watching untill they get comfortable with it. Hell, give him a tennis ball and tell them to run it over to see the damage. Then ask them if they want to play with that certain thing with a hand that looks like that tennis ball.

nathannc
04-22-2009, 08:44 AM
Basically the boy's self image is primarily defined by others resulting in a overpowering desire to please and it has overwhelmed his common sense. He is terrified of doing something wrong and thus, as someone else has said, anger is not going to help. Indeed, it will probably have the opposite effect and make him anxious and subsequently more accident prone. This approach will eventually engender anger, resentment and poor work performance. This apparent lack of common sense over personal safety is probably due to overly critical parents or some other authority figure and partly just DNA.

Sorry for the dime store psychology but, you learn a lot being a teacher for 20 some odd years. I have seen this kid many times. You need to be very careful with this kind of worker. I hate to say it, but you might ought to let him go because of the risks he is willing to take to please in what can be a dangerous work environment.

If you insist on keeping him, acknowledge anytime he practices safe work behavior. Do what you can to enhance his sense of self worth. Make him feel competent and a valued member of the the team. Realize that his ego is extremely fragile. Try to empathize with the environment that created this type of behavior. It will take some nurturing and be difficult at first but, if done properly, you might end up with the most loyal, dependable and dedicated worker you will ever find. The question is, do you have the time and patience?

Dave in NC

ALC-GregH
04-22-2009, 09:00 AM
Basically the boy's self image is primarily defined by others resulting in a overpowering desire to please and it has overwhelmed his common sense. He is terrified of doing something wrong and thus, as someone else has said, anger is not going to help. Indeed, it will probably have the opposite effect and make him anxious and subsequently more accident prone. This approach will eventually engender anger, resentment and poor work performance. This apparent lack of common sense over personal safety is probably due to overly critical parents or some other authority figure and partly just DNA.

Sorry for the dime store psychology but, you learn a lot being a teacher for 20 some odd years. I have seen this kid many times. You need to be very careful with this kind of worker. I hate to say it, but you might ought to let him go because of the risks he is willing to take to please in what can be a dangerous work environment.

If you insist on keeping him, acknowledge anytime he practices safe work behavior. Do what you can to enhance his sense of self worth. Make him feel competent and a valued member of the the team. Realize that his ego is extremely fragile. Try to empathize with the environment that created this type of behavior. It will take some nurturing and be difficult at first but, if done properly, you might end up with the most loyal, dependable and dedicated worker you will ever find. The question is, do you have the time and patience?

Dave in NC


Take this advice whole heartedly and run with it.

blake2727
04-22-2009, 09:02 AM
Excellent thoughts nathannc.

PLS-Tx
04-22-2009, 12:23 PM
Excellent thoughts nathannc.

Yes, very good thought.

We deal with some of the very same issues.

We have one guy that is a nice guy, good attitude, hard worker, but dumber than a box of rocks. His dad is a tyrant.

The other day I had him take the green waste trailer to the dump, I no, not to smart of me.

Anyway, I give him instructions on what to do. I stressed that when they started pulling the debris out of the trailer, that he needed to get back to a safe distance, because if a cable broke being under that kind of tension, he could be severely injured.

Well, when I meet up with, latter in the day, I notice his sleeve on his shirt was torn. He told me, laughing, that when they pulled the debris out, the cable caught his shirt. :dizzy:

Guess who won't be going to the green waste dump again??????

IdealLawnCare
04-22-2009, 12:58 PM
Im a solo operation, my employee is totaly worthless :hammerhead:

Im solo too and I told my only employee to talk a walk:walking: and not come back but he will not listen.:cry: safety should always be the most important thing.

PLS-Tx
04-22-2009, 01:08 PM
Im solo too and I told my only employee to talk a walk:walking: and not come back but he will not listen.:cry: safety should always be the most important thing.

You guy are a big help to this thread. :rolleyes:

maintenanceman
04-22-2009, 01:35 PM
Once when I was a service manager at a tire store, I asked a new employee to "run up to the Chrysler dealer" and pick-up a fuel pump in the parts department. Before I could hand him the keys to the company vehicle he was running full speed out one of the bay doors, tripped, fell down, got up and kept running. The Chrysler dealer was at least a mile away and it was 95 degrees in August. About 20 minutes later he comes running into the shop, exhausted and red faced, covered with sweat, but he had the fuel pump. This poor kid was nice and he meant well, but eventually I had to let him go. I had him doing oil changes most of the time, and by 9 AM he was totally covered in oil and grease! Hopefully he's doing better now . . .

EDEN77
04-22-2009, 04:01 PM
This is for nathannc. I've been checking out Lawnsite for over 3 years now. There is a vast combination of great advice from professionals and childish sarcasm from others. Your post is one of the best I've read in a long time. Thanks for the serious and helpful insight. I will keep in mind what you wrote.

For an update, I gave my employee the official written warning today. As usual, he took constructive criticism in the best way possible. I use anger when I think it will get results. I will use calm, patient talk if I think that will get results. Today, I was as quiet and supportive as I could be. I think this guy's attitude is rare and I want to help him keep his job. He assures me he does understand how dangerous his actions were and he will try to work smarter. Time will tell.

Again, thanks to everyone who wrote in a mature and helpful manner about this.

4 seasons lawn&land
04-22-2009, 06:15 PM
10 buck's says he wont be there tommorrow. A written warning is a little bit too much. How young is "young"... you can't put a 12 year old in these situation's

hackitdown
04-22-2009, 06:32 PM
I have dealt with employees for only 13 months now, but I have learned one important lesson. Never tell them to do a task that you have not directly supervised in the past. The first time they do anything, no matter how simple, I hover over them and explain why things are done a certain way. I try to make it ok by making jokes or keeping the mood light, and I try to encourage questions by always answering the stupid questions without ridicule.

It is way too easy to break something, ruin a job, or get hurt. I did it many times myself.

Besides, last winter I worked for a friend remodeling homes. I had no clue what I was doing. He taught me how to NOT be an A-Hole when dealing with a newbie...me.

4.3mudder
04-22-2009, 07:02 PM
Hmm, very interesting thread. I can see where common sense has gone to shame with the younger generation. I am 20, and I can feel that way sometimes. Getting big headed as what some would say. It helps when you are familiar with tools and equipment for what kind of job that you are doing.

EDEN77
04-22-2009, 08:26 PM
The employee will be 18 next month. Our country has sent 17 year olds in the past to war. Even lawn mowing isn't THAT dangerous. He has been extensively trained in very safe conditions with very much supervision. He hasn't been told to do anything I haven't trained him and watched him do first.

DuallyVette
04-22-2009, 10:54 PM
A few weeks ago, I read a story in the paper about a young man that was building a car, completely of wood.(wood veneer & adhesives) . He did this as a project to obtain a masters degree in engineering. It seems that he was a very RARE student. Even within the extra high IQ student body. His unique skills ? : the ability to work and problem solve. He found funding from his dad, the wood veneer industry and the adhesive industry. He designed a machine to weave the wood fibers and of course, he had to figure out how to do everything that he wanted to do.


The latest generation of kids have been spoiled with "nice". Sure, you catch more flies with honey, than with a fly swatter. But these young people have no clue that they're not being "successful" every time they poop. They all got presents when they went to another child's birthday party. They all got a trophy for outstanding accomplishments for their loosing season in Little League Softball. EVERYBODY WINS. Until they need to support themselves...then they're a victim..and society must foot the bill...

Sweet Tater
04-23-2009, 10:31 PM
Im a solo operation, my employee is totaly worthless :hammerhead:

me too, I had to hire a boy just so I could get some work done ;) :laugh:

Sweet Tater
04-23-2009, 10:34 PM
Basically the boy's self image is primarily defined by others resulting in a overpowering desire to please and it has overwhelmed his common sense. He is terrified of doing something wrong and thus, as someone else has said, anger is not going to help. Indeed, it will probably have the opposite effect and make him anxious and subsequently more accident prone. This approach will eventually engender anger, resentment and poor work performance. This apparent lack of common sense over personal safety is probably due to overly critical parents or some other authority figure and partly just DNA.

Sorry for the dime store psychology but, you learn a lot being a teacher for 20 some odd years. I have seen this kid many times. You need to be very careful with this kind of worker. I hate to say it, but you might ought to let him go because of the risks he is willing to take to please in what can be a dangerous work environment.

If you insist on keeping him, acknowledge anytime he practices safe work behavior. Do what you can to enhance his sense of self worth. Make him feel competent and a valued member of the the team. Realize that his ego is extremely fragile. Try to empathize with the environment that created this type of behavior. It will take some nurturing and be difficult at first but, if done properly, you might end up with the most loyal, dependable and dedicated worker you will ever find. The question is, do you have the time and patience?

Dave in NC

I dont have a word in my vocaulary to say how right this answer sounds. I would run with this answer.

4 seasons lawn&land
04-23-2009, 10:42 PM
did he show?

eaglescout
04-23-2009, 11:17 PM
find a eagles out they have common sense and can be trusted

DuallyVette
04-24-2009, 01:44 AM
find a eagles out they have common sense and can be trusted

So, "EagleScouts" must be a gene. I don't know if common sense can be taught. I haven't had any luck. I do feel like I've raised my share of children, though I have no children.

lauchlan mcconnell
04-24-2009, 05:58 AM
Guys here my story read on with disbelief !!!
Hired a 22yr old gave him all the safety instruction etc as you should ,this i have to mention a man that did complete a school grade 12.
while mowing with a Honda selfpropeled he stops to empty the bag , wait for it , while its running at full revs he puts his hand into the mower, to as he said " clean out the grass " the mower blades picked and feed his hand into the machine .He eventually stopped the machine to find that the machine bit of more than he could chew .
Now for the surprise keep in mind i drove and paid for all medical attention and I shall also add if any safety sticker fall of my machines ( Due to cleaning or ware and tare) i replace them asap.
he tried to sue me!!!!! for worker compo and disfigurement .when asked why i should not pay i told my insurance company that people have to take responsible for there own stupid actions and that they should let there client know that insurance is for when competent people make mistakes not for idiots

EDEN77
04-24-2009, 07:32 AM
The employee is still working and is working much more safely. Every day I warn him and encourage him on working safely and using his head and UNcommon sense. I have high hopes that everything will work out.

andyslawncare
04-17-2010, 04:20 AM
Try drug testing the idiots. HAHA. I've done it and fired some for stupidity! I had a $300 rug on a woman's back porch (why it was there?; I don't know!!) but one of my old employees mowed it over and shredded the most of the rug, then walked to the front yard to flag me down and tell me there was a rug stuck in the mower blades!!! He was a complete pot head, I found out, and it was one of the first properties of the day....I'm assuming he was high. It was his last property...