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DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 09:42 AM
So we're at a job yesterday working in the back. I'm out front doing something at the truck. It was decent temps yesterday so the client's windows on their house were open.

One of the guys was running a machine. As I'm out front along the street at the truck I hear this phone ring. And I think "wow, the client has their phone really loud I can hear it plain as day".

Well, next thing I know I hear the machine suddenly shut off. :cry: And I think to myself "oh no he didn't" :hammerhead:

At this point I'm furious. But when I'm really angry I keep away from the guys. So I stay out front and I find a way to walk towards the side so I can see for sure that my guy is really on the phone and that he didnt just coincidently stop his machine when a phone rang. Sure enough he was on the phone!

So I'm like "ok, don't get excited, keep cool, and put a smile on your face".

I wait about 5 minutes and I go back there. With a smile on my face I say "umm Abe YOU STOPPED THE MACHINE TO ANSWER THE PHONE???????"

He hesitates for a second and says "yes".

I repeat (with a smile on my face) "YOU STOPPED THE MACHINE TO ANSWER THE PHONE???????????"

He says "it was an emergency". Which I knew wasnt true and I could tell by the way that he said it that he knew I wasn't going to buy it. And without any delay I took a business card out of my wallet and I said "if your people EVER have an emergency you tell them to call the office number and I'll pass the message on to you". And I said it with a chipper smile and with a tone kinda like "ok, you're not weaseling out of this one and I'll have a response for everything you say".

He says "it was one time" and "you do it" :hammerhead:

I said "one time????" He said "yeah 1 phone call per day is not bad". And in which I can tolerate 1-2 quick calls per day. I replied "we're almost done and about ready to leave, you NEVER stop a machine to answer the phone, after you're done and we're on the road you can call and chat all you want".

And I said "my phone is a business phone, clients call it, supplier call it, MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS DO NOT CALL ME WHEN I'M WORKING". LOL I can not believe he said "you do it" :hammerhead: If my phone doesn't ring.....we don't work!

We're a very small operation.

I try to be easy going about their phones ringing and I do tell them that 1 or 2 quick calls per day are ok with me.

But for him to stop the machine.......whoo wee did that boil my blood!

Looks like Tuesday morning we're going to have to have a chat about phones. I'm sure after the 3 day weekend and with them being all groggy - it'll go REAL well.......



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corey4671
09-03-2011, 09:45 AM
I've had a couple of neighborhood kids help me some in the summer weeding beds. Phone stays in the truck while we work
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JDiepstra
09-03-2011, 10:04 AM
Also, please tell us what machine he was running that is quiet enough that u can hear a cell phone ring over it.

DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 11:19 AM
Also, please tell us what machine he was running that is quiet enough that u can hear a cell phone ring over it.
Holy cow did u never have a cell phone?

I said phone. Not computer that you can talk on.

The old phones have volumes that you can hear from the other side of the earth. Perfect for noisy environments, you hear every call come no matter what.


Posted via Mobile Device

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-03-2011, 11:54 AM
Just had a conversation about this with an employee yesterday..... He was on his phone all day thursday and the foreman complained to me. I asked the employee what the problem was. He said "problems with his girl" so I told him well tell your girl that if she doesn't stop calling you at work you're going to get fired and then you'll both have a big problem. Then I offered to give him the name and number of the last guy I fired for talking on his personal cell phone all day so he could call him and find out how serious I was about the situation. I think he got the point. I can't stand that $hit. Talk on your break or own time. Not mine!!

all ferris
09-03-2011, 02:34 PM
Maybe he was lining up some side work:laugh:

DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 03:12 PM
Maybe he was lining up some side work:laugh:

Different subject, but yes, I do not have a problem with my guys doing side jobs. And if I did have a problem with that, there's nothing I can do about it anyway!


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FLCthes4:11-12
09-03-2011, 03:37 PM
I hate those respones from employees tring to justify it. Whats wrong with a sorry boss, wont happen again. Then get back to work. Its the lack of respect that pisses me off when things like that happen to me. Not long ago we were working on a r.o.w project in front of some fast food places. Me and one guy are cleaning up, tarping the truck and closing up for the day. When I look around and notice the other guy is gone. I ask where he is and no one knows. A little bit later he comes out with a large drink saying he was thirsty. So i sent him home.

scagrider22
09-03-2011, 04:34 PM
Holy cow did u never have a cell phone?

I said phone. Not computer that you can talk on.

The old phones have volumes that you can hear from the other side of the earth. Perfect for noisy environments, you hear every call come no matter what.


Posted via Mobile Device

Haha, I use to have a Nextel that could be heard over a bulldozer.

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-03-2011, 04:37 PM
Wow, someone needs to chill out, would you rather have the engine idling while he's on the phone? Or how about behind the wheel of a company truck while on the phone?
You lawn boys get your panties in a knot over the smallest little things.
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No.... it's a respect thing. When they are on the clock and on my time I expect them to perform. Not stand around and talk on the phone. I have 30 employees.... If every one of them spent even 10 minutes a day talking on the phone that's thousands of dollars a year in lost productivity. Personal phone calls are to be taken care of at break, lunch break or after hours. It's clearly stated in our employee manual.

scagrider22
09-03-2011, 04:39 PM
No.... it's a respect thing. When they are on the clock and on my time I expect them to perform. Not stand around and talk on the phone. I have 30 employees.... If every one of them spent even 10 minutes a day talking on the phone that's thousands of dollars a year in lost productivity. Personal phone calls are to be taken care of at break, lunch break or after hours. It's clearly stated in our employee manual.

Well said, I have fired 2 guys this year because there phone was more important than working.

GreenLight
09-03-2011, 06:39 PM
Good topic and honestly a tough one to moderate in real time. IT drives me crazy when guys don't know "the line". Sure, we all have cell phones and we all take a call here and there on company time, myself included. But if you have absolutely no regard for "wrapping it up" versus "yea, im free to talk for a bit", then you are gone. As a grown man, I try to give others the respect that they will act mature and handle those things in a quick and orderly fashion. If I ever feel like that line is consistently overstepped that's when I reach my breaking point. Im a super nice guy, but if you take advantage of me I don't have a middle ground. DVS made a good point about "taking 5 minutes" to cool off. I have a big problem about not doing that and I explode if I feel like you are insulting me and the money I am paying you. I have had a few embarrassing moments on jobs (where I know the customer inside could hear me losing my sh*t) that I would blame on phones.

DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 08:02 PM
The laborers don't drive the trucks. So a non-issue.

And phones are distracting. And distractions can cause accidents, as in personal injury and equipment damage.

I believe it's an awkard feeling explaining to the insurance company that you backed the truck into the corner of the house because your spotter had a text come thru and he glanced at his phone to see who the text was from and didn't signal for you to stop.......



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DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 08:20 PM
I hate those respones from employees tring to justify it. Whats wrong with a sorry boss, wont happen again. Then get back to work. Its the lack of respect that pisses me off when things like that happen to me. Not long ago we were working on a r.o.w project in front of some fast food places. Me and one guy are cleaning up, tarping the truck and closing up for the day. When I look around and notice the other guy is gone. I ask where he is and no one knows. A little bit later he comes out with a large drink saying he was thirsty. So i sent him home.


Yep! And we had that conversation two weeks ago! About respect. I had to inform them that everytime I coach them they backtalk when all they need to do is so sorry.

LOL - for the rest of the day those smart a$$es apologized back to everything I said! LOL It was funny! :laugh:



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KrayzKajun
09-03-2011, 08:20 PM
I agree with DVS. I'm the boss and try not to answer my phone while operating equipment. Now I will check when switching out equipment or taking a quik water break.
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DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 08:28 PM
Haha, I use to have a Nextel that could be heard over a bulldozer.


And thats the sole reason why I waited and held out so long to get a Smart Phone.

Last year I bought a $30 Go Phone from AT&T. The girl that worked there laughed at me (in a nice way) for buying their cheapest phone. But the great thing about it is you could crank that ringer up! We do a lot of concrete demolition as a seperate division. And with a machine running at full throttle and that hammer a poundin away - you could hear that phone loud and clear. And thats the phone my employee has, same exact model.

I live on top of a mountain. If I left the phone inside with the windows open - I'd hear it ring way at the bottom of my property.

And Oh! We go out to eat on Friday nights. Nothin like sittin in a restaurant and out of the blue "ring ring ring" shrills across the entire building and all the patrons look at you!!! :laugh: So to add to the commition I would always say (so the people near our table could hear) "I got it" ! (like back in the 80's when you and your sibblings would run and fight over who was going to answer)


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larryinalabama
09-03-2011, 08:31 PM
Im glad IM a solo operator sometimes private calls are necesssary. If a call is necessary and last over a few minutes just have your employee clock out. Could be he has a sick family member, grandmother thats dying and he doesnt want to share that with you because its none of your business, not a lack of respect for the job or you.

DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 08:35 PM
No.... it's a respect thing. When they are on the clock and on my time I expect them to perform. Not stand around and talk on the phone. I have 30 employees.... If every one of them spent even 10 minutes a day talking on the phone that's thousands of dollars a year in lost productivity. Personal phone calls are to be taken care of at break, lunch break or after hours. It's clearly stated in our employee manual.

Definitely a respect thing. But it's also about structure and discipline. We're a very small operation, but I refuse to run a 3-ring circus.

There is NOT one successful company of any type of industry that does not have structure and disclipline as a footing for their business. To achieve success, structure and discipline is a must, otherwise you ain't goin no where.


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FLCthes4:11-12
09-03-2011, 09:09 PM
Im glad IM a solo operator sometimes private calls are necesssary. If a call is necessary and last over a few minutes just have your employee clock out. Could be he has a sick family member, grandmother thats dying and he doesnt want to share that with you because its none of your business, not a lack of respect for the job or you.

I disagree with that if a family member or child is sick or something major is going on (not b&m ing by the wife or girlfriend) It is your business if they are taking time out of schedule work hours plus as a boss I'm alot more understanding if I know the reason and it is legit.

larryinalabama
09-03-2011, 09:33 PM
I disagree with that if a family member or child is sick or something major is going on (not b&m ing by the wife or girlfriend) It is your business if they are taking time out of schedule work hours plus as a boss I'm alot more understanding if I know the reason and it is legit.

Well some people keep their criseses to them selves. Therefor its really not your business. If I worked for you and had something to take care of I would just call off for the day.

Crusher Run
09-03-2011, 09:36 PM
If it's an emergency, I want a direct call. None of that call the office, and someone will give you a message. Seriously!? If someone hurt in my family and I was unaware and unable to help because "Tonya" got distracted or "Bob" didn't answer or I just got a new number and "Diane" didn't have the latest phone list.
Respect goes both ways.
I work for a pretty conservative company, and I will talk on the phone on the job in front of the hard ass boss, because I know that he knows I'm talking care of something that is important to ME. Some things have to be done between 9-5. However my phone calls are usually few and short. The boss has never said a word.

larryinalabama
09-03-2011, 09:42 PM
If it's an emergency, I want a direct call. None of that call the office, and someone will give you a message. Seriously!? If someone hurt in my family and I was unaware and unable to help because "Tonya" got distracted or "Bob" didn't answer or I just got a new number and "Diane" didn't have the latest phone list.
Respect goes both ways.
I work for a pretty conservative company, and I will talk on the phone on the job in front of the hard ass boss, because I know that he knows I'm talking care of something that is important to ME. Some things have to be done between 9-5. However my phone calls are usually few and short. The boss has never said a word.

Its simple common sense.

Ill bet these hard axxes in hers get 8 phone call from their wives per day.

If I hire someone and cant make money off him the realitionship is pointless.

tadpole
09-03-2011, 10:01 PM
Why not just ban all personal cell phones from job sites. It wasn't that many years ago cell phones were not common place. Everyone seemed to get along fine without them. I grew up without the use of cell phones and still do not own one. During the work week, the job comes first; personal matters are secondary. Somehow that is gradually being switched around with the job taking backseat to personal matters, why else the need for a personal cell phone on the job site? This is just one more example of the eroding work ethic in this country. Sad.

DVS Hardscaper
09-03-2011, 10:48 PM
If it's an emergency, I want a direct call. None of that call the office, and someone will give you a message. Seriously!? If someone hurt in my family and I was unaware and unable to help because "Tonya" got distracted or "Bob" didn't answer or I just got a new number and "Diane" didn't have the latest phone list.
Respect goes both ways.
I work for a pretty conservative company, and I will talk on the phone on the job in front of the hard ass boss, because I know that he knows I'm talking care of something that is important to ME. Some things have to be done between 9-5. However my phone calls are usually few and short. The boss has never said a word.

Call the office = my cell phone. :)

There is a difference between a legit call verses cousin Raul calling to talk about last night's fiesta and how many Coronas they drank.


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Mtnmn
09-03-2011, 10:58 PM
I'm not a lco, a home owner. I work as a moldmaker in a tool room. When I got married 35 yrs ago I told the wife, don't call me a work unless the house is on fire, the kids break an arm, or you've been in an accident. What ever it is it will wait until I come home. I'm not paid to talk on the phone and don't want the reputation for always being on the damn phone, come review time. I've gotten calls for all three of the above.

One shop I worked in the owner was walking by the pay phone in the shop and a guy was making a grocery list. By the end of the week the pay phone was gone. All calls went thru the front office and were screened, only emergency calls got thru and no notification at break time that you had a call.

The OP is right. What's the difference between a phone call or sitting in the $hit house reading a magazine or sleeping?

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-04-2011, 12:48 AM
Why not just ban all personal cell phones from job sites. It wasn't that many years ago cell phones were not common place. Everyone seemed to get along fine without them. I grew up without the use of cell phones and still do not own one. During the work week, the job comes first; personal matters are secondary. Somehow that is gradually being switched around with the job taking backseat to personal matters, why else the need for a personal cell phone on the job site? This is just one more example of the eroding work ethic in this country. Sad.

Boy did you nail that..... I was just having this conversation with my brother on Friday about 3 of our employees and how it seems that their job is a real inconvenience for them. Work seems to just be a real big problem for them and their dealing with their manufactured personal drama. The stupidest things happen and it's " I can't come to work today" or " I have to go home" after they just clocked in an hour before. Two of em are getting talked to on Monday and told that they need to leave their drama and attitudes at home or they shouldn't bother to come in anymore.
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GreenI.A.
09-04-2011, 01:01 AM
I'm pretty cut and dry with my guys. Their phones stay in the trucks at all times. They are free to use them while driving from site to site (except the driver) or while on breaks. The only phones alowed out side of the truck on a site are the company phones, which one person on a site always has on them at all times. I can contact them on the company phone and know they will answer and vise versa. My policy is if I see you on your personal phone on a site then they wont be allowed at all and the guys will have to leave them in their cars back at the shop. I dont know the last time I went into the bank and saw a teller on her cell, so why should I accept any different from my guys

DVS Hardscaper
09-04-2011, 03:03 AM
Boy did you nail that..... I was just having this conversation with my brother on Friday about 3 of our employees and how it seems that their job is a real inconvenience for them. Work seems to just be a real big problem for them and their dealing with their manufactured personal drama. The stupidest things happen and it's " I can't come to work today" or " I have to go home" after they just clocked in an hour before. Two of em are getting talked to on Monday and told that they need to leave their drama and attitudes at home or they shouldn't bother to come in anymore.
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Employees will drive you insane. Babysitting. I'm a small company so I don't have as much to lose as a 30 man company. One of these days I'll throw my hat in and buy a nice old Mack Superliner and make a living from that. No more snobby clients. No worthless employees. Just me myself and I
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garyawelch
09-04-2011, 08:24 AM
I used to have a tried and true method (before I hired the best three guys ever) of dealing with employees who had intractable problems during the workday, i.e. wives, girlfriends, sudden health problems etc. I would say, "Hey dude, I know you are having a rough day, why don't you go home and take care of it and come back fresh on Thursday.". And he would say, "But today is Thursday.". And I would say, "I mean next Thursday!"
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JimLewis
09-04-2011, 05:52 PM
Honestly, DVS, I think you are getting a little to excited about this one. Emergency or not, I don't think it's too out of line for an employee to take a personal phone call once in a while.

Honestly, I really don't care how many phone calls my employees take in a day. I judge them based on how much work they get done in a day, not how many times they are on the phone. Fortunately, all my installers are good hard workers and don't spend a lot of time on the phone anyway. But if that happened to me, I wouldn't have gotten all pissed off. I just would have checked how the progress of the job was going that day. And if we were on schedule, then I really wouldn't have said anything.

I'm not there babysitting my installers all day anyway. I stop by and show them what needs to be done, hand them the design, paint out some of the borders and such, discuss some of the details of the job, and then just check on them at the end of the day or once a day until the project is finished. On the first day I may have scheduled for them to get the old concrete broken out, the soil excavated, and at least a few yards of new gravel brought in. So if I go back by the job at 5:30 p.m. and that stuff has all been done, then I could really care less if one of my guys stops for a few minutes to talk on the phone, go take a dump, or sit in the truck and have a bag of chips. My main concern is meeting production times and them doing quality work. If that's being done, I'm happy.

This is probably one of the main reasons my employees stay with us so long. Most of my guys been with us 7 years or more. Part of that is because I'm more results oriented. I don't sweat the small stuff as long as we're on schedule and as long as the work that is being done is to my standards.

You're going to have a heart attack at 45 if you keep getting all bent out of shape about the little stuff. Nobody wants to work for someone who's all over their A$$ all day anyway.

Groomer
09-04-2011, 06:10 PM
well said, Jim. DVS, just call him on his cell and tell him to get back to work.

DVS Hardscaper
09-04-2011, 06:40 PM
Honestly, DVS, I think you are getting a little to excited about this one. Emergency or not, I don't think it's too out of line for an employee to take a personal phone call once in a while.

Honestly, I really don't care how many phone calls my employees take in a day. I judge them based on how much work they get done in a day, not how many times they are on the phone. Fortunately, all my installers are good hard workers and don't spend a lot of time on the phone anyway. But if that happened to me, I wouldn't have gotten all pissed off. I just would have checked how the progress of the job was going that day. And if we were on schedule, then I really wouldn't have said anything.

I'm not there babysitting my installers all day anyway. I stop by and show them what needs to be done, hand them the design, paint out some of the borders and such, discuss some of the details of the job, and then just check on them at the end of the day or once a day until the project is finished. On the first day I may have scheduled for them to get the old concrete broken out, the soil excavated, and at least a few yards of new gravel brought in. So if I go back by the job at 5:30 p.m. and that stuff has all been done, then I could really care less if one of my guys stops for a few minutes to talk on the phone, go take a dump, or sit in the truck and have a bag of chips. My main concern is meeting production times and them doing quality work. If that's being done, I'm happy.

This is probably one of the main reasons my employees stay with us so long. Most of my guys been with us 7 years or more. Part of that is because I'm more results oriented. I don't sweat the small stuff as long as we're on schedule and as long as the work that is being done is to my standards.

You're going to have a heart attack at 45 if you keep getting all bent out of shape about the little stuff. Nobody wants to work for someone who's all over their A$$ all day anyway.

Jim buddy, thanks for your thoughts.

Although I believe you missed the part where I wrote that I do tolerate a couple brief calls per day.

And I think you have me pegged wrong.

I am very happy go lucky and very easy going. I literally wake up in the mornings bouncing off the walls. In other word I enjoy life and most folks that know me will attest to that, and if I died - the preacher would probably state that many times during the service! What you see here is My online personality, and I've perfected it and the ratings are sky-high!!

I do not breathe down anyone's backs nor have I ever. Most of my people work here an average of 5-6 years. And after that they typically go back to their countries.

As far as production, I do sometimes have to crack the whip. I find Hispanics have a hard time working alone, frequently 2 guys will want to work on gluing caps, which is a task that does not involve 2 people. And in cases like this I have to say "Jose you do this and Carlos you do that and Raul you go clean the driveway. And that's about the extent of my breathing down their backs.

I sometimes believe my guys take advantage of the fact that I am laid back. It's because I have been so chill about their phones that it is ballooning. Cousin Roberto calls once in a while and Oscar talks to him, over time cousin Roberto calls more and more because he is under the impression that Oscar is always able to talk. 2 weeks ago the guy that shut the machine down to chat had someone repeatedly call until he answered. And then it was one of those conversation that entailed nothing more than shooting the sh--.

Years ago I had one emPloyee that would totally stop working to chat. But it was all day long! Not just a call here and there. I wasn't on the site to see it. I had a friend whom stopped by to check out the site for a photo shoot that told me about it, and an American stone mason sub told me "his phone sure is busy", which he initiated without me bringing it up. Sure they get the work done, it means the other guys have to pull his weight. We contractors call this 'Egg Sucking Dog's.

Also Jim, you really should work with the crews from time to time. I know its a great feeling to finally be able to say you're absent from the Jobs. You'd be amazed at what you'll learn. I used to be absent from my guys till the recession hit. Things were happening that I was oblivious to. And by 10:00 when your hard working employee's phone rings for the 10th time, I bet you'll have a different outlook. And 10th time isn't an exaggeration. I had one guy who's whole family would call every morning throughout the morning, and then At 3:00 they would all start calling again! Well 3:30 is typically clean up time, so he'd be there chatting while the other two were picking up his slack!



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bobcat_ron
09-04-2011, 06:43 PM
Jim buddy, thanks for your thoughts.

Although I believe you missed the part where I wrote that I do tolerate a couple brief calls per day.

And I think you have me pegged wrong.

I am very happy go lucky and very easy going. I literally wake up in the mornings bouncing off the walls. In other word I enjoy life and most folks that know me will attest to that, and if I died - the preacher would probably state that many times during the service!

I do not breathe down anyone's backs nor have I ever. Most of my people work here an average of 5-6 years. And after that they typically go back to their countries.

As far as production, I do sometimes have to crack the whip. I find Hispanics have a hard time working alone, frequently 2 guys will want to work on gluing caps, which is a task that does not involve 2 people. And in cases like this I have to say "Jose you do this and Carlos you do that and Raul you go clean the driveway. And that's about the extent of my breathing down their backs.

I sometimes believe my guys take advantage of the fact that I am laid back. It's because I have been so chill about their phones that it is ballooning. Cousin Roberto calls once in a while and Oscar talks to him, over time cousin Roberto calls more and more because he is under the impression that Oscar is always able to talk. 2 weeks ago the guy that shut the machine down to chat had someone repeatedly call until he answered. And then it was one of those conversation that entailed nothing more than shooting the sh--.

Years ago I had one emPloyee that would totally stop working to chat. But it was all day long! Not just a call here and there. I wasn't on the site to see it. I had a friend whom stopped by to check out the site for a photo shoot that told me about it, and an American stone mason sub told me "his phone sure is busy", which he initiated without me bringing it up. Sure they get the work done, it means the other guys have to pull his weight. We contractors call this 'Egg Sucking Dog's.

Also Jim, you really should work with the crews from time to time. Your be amazed at what you'll learn. I used to be absent from my guys till the recession hit. Things were happening that I was oblivious to. And by 10:00 when your hard working employees phone rings for the 10th time, I bet you'll have a different outlook. And 10th time isn't an exaggeration. I had one guy who's whole family would call every morning throughout the morning, and then At 3:00 they would all start calling again! Well 3:30 is typically clean up time, so he'd be there chatting while the other two were picking up his slack!

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Posted via Mobile Device


And were you were working on the job when you posted that via your mobile device?
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
09-04-2011, 06:49 PM
And were you were working on the job when you posted that via your mobile device?
Posted via Mobile Device

Yes. At 6:30 pm Sunday, labor day weekend!

(my phone is my Internet. No broadband, no cable available where I live)


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Posted via Mobile Device

bobcat_ron
09-04-2011, 06:50 PM
Yes. At 6:30 pm Sunday, labor day weekend!





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Posted via Mobile Device


Hahahahahahjahahahahahahaha

TomG
09-04-2011, 06:54 PM
And were you were working on the job when you posted that via your mobile device?
Posted via Mobile Device

haha, I was going to bring that up but figured I'd stay out of it. The OP probably wasn't working on a holiday weekend when he posted this but he does make a lot of posts throughout the day, in working hours, from his mobile device...

I'm a firm believer that a owner or a foreman should always lead by example.

larryinalabama
09-04-2011, 09:34 PM
Honestly, DVS, I think you are getting a little to excited about this one. Emergency or not, I don't think it's too out of line for an employee to take a personal phone call once in a while.

Honestly, I really don't care how many phone calls my employees take in a day. I judge them based on how much work they get done in a day, not how many times they are on the phone. Fortunately, all my installers are good hard workers and don't spend a lot of time on the phone anyway. But if that happened to me, I wouldn't have gotten all pissed off. I just would have checked how the progress of the job was going that day. And if we were on schedule, then I really wouldn't have said anything.

I'm not there babysitting my installers all day anyway. I stop by and show them what needs to be done, hand them the design, paint out some of the borders and such, discuss some of the details of the job, and then just check on them at the end of the day or once a day until the project is finished. On the first day I may have scheduled for them to get the old concrete broken out, the soil excavated, and at least a few yards of new gravel brought in. So if I go back by the job at 5:30 p.m. and that stuff has all been done, then I could really care less if one of my guys stops for a few minutes to talk on the phone, go take a dump, or sit in the truck and have a bag of chips. My main concern is meeting production times and them doing quality work. If that's being done, I'm happy.

This is probably one of the main reasons my employees stay with us so long. Most of my guys been with us 7 years or more. Part of that is because I'm more results oriented. I don't sweat the small stuff as long as we're on schedule and as long as the work that is being done is to my standards.

You're going to have a heart attack at 45 if you keep getting all bent out of shape about the little stuff. Nobody wants to work for someone who's all over their A$$ all day anyway.

JIM LEWIS MY HERO. Thats my whole point if everyone is making money phone calls dont hurt.

DVS Hardscaper
09-04-2011, 10:46 PM
Another thing that i think most business owners will also agree with is that when a laborers cellular devise is ringing more than the bosses - there is a problem.

During the day 98% of the incoming calls are business calls. I remember bout 2 years ago I has a guy who's phone rang more than mine!
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
09-04-2011, 10:52 PM
The OP probably wasn't working on a holiday weekend when he posted this but he does make a lot of posts throughout the day, in working hours, from his mobile device...

.


Tom you're a very presumptuous guy!

I do not physically work! The callouss on my hands are from the gym, not from working :)

Some days I'm in the office.

Sometimes I'm sitting at the quarry with a 20 minute wait to get loaded.

Sometimes I'm in line to the scales with 7 trucks ahead of me.

Sometimes I'm at the supplier waiting to get loaded.

I also work from my laptop in the truck during the day at the jobsite.

So many scenarios when you're the king daddy of hardcapes!!

And when we're filling in a big hole in the ground - sometimes there is an hr of downtime waiting for the trucks to return.

.
Posted via Mobile Device

zedosix
09-04-2011, 10:54 PM
I've had a guy actually compact and text, operate a mini-ex and text, drive and text, now he doesn't work for me anymore, it used to drive me crazy. I also paid him 25 an hour while he did this. He doesn't work for me anymore.

DVS Hardscaper
09-04-2011, 11:00 PM
I've had a guy actually compact and text, operate a mini-ex and text, drive and text, now he doesn't work for me anymore, it used to drive me crazy. I also paid him 25 an hour while he did this. He doesn't work for me anymore.

My laborers start out with higher pay then other contractors in my area pay their drivers. If they don't like the rules they can go somewhere else that will allow them to talk on the phone all day and they will also get about $2-$4 less per hr!

.
Posted via Mobile Device

vtscaper
09-05-2011, 09:15 PM
if its a chronic problem with this guy and you have already had a "chat" before then let him go and maybe set an example. otherwise if it wasnt blatant disrespect of his responsibilities and your jobs are generally moving along smoothly i would not sweat him too hard or be too over the top about this subject.

I am assuming you are talking about someone on your team thats position demands they have a phone with them on the job. which would mean he prob isnt as easily replaceable as your general laborers. it really is a thin line but i think jim lewis made a good relationship between employees tenure and what sort of liberties you give them as long as they are meeting and exceeding your expectations from day to day.

you made a comment in one of your posts about "worthless employees" or something of the like. personally I wouldnt be able to sleep at night if I felt that way about any one of my guys. they would be gone the next day.

if hes a bum get rid of him otherwise i wouldnt let yourself get too steamed.

DVS Hardscaper
09-05-2011, 10:18 PM
you made a comment in one of your posts about "worthless employees" or something of the like. personally I wouldnt be able to sleep at night if I felt that way about any one of my guys. they would be gone the next day.



My guys are very hard workers and are doing a great job. When other contractors hear who my guys work for they frequently try to hire them because they know they've been trained right and work hard.

The reality is: WE ALL HAVE WORTHLESS EMPLOYEES. And we always will. These are guys that usually don't last more than a couple weeks to days on the payroll. You hire them and a 2 weeks or so later you realize they don't make the cut.


We're talking laborers. This is 2011, everyone has a cell phone, even 11 yr old kids.

You guys gotta keep in mind, I do not have a *No Cell Phone* policy. I believe I'm very liberal with allowing them to use them.

My whole point is the nerve he had to stop a machine and halt what he was doing to chat!

JoeyDipetro
09-05-2011, 11:01 PM
My guys are very hard workers and are doing a great job. When other contractors hear who my guys work for they frequently try to hire them because they know they've been trained right and work hard.

The reality is: WE ALL HAVE WORTHLESS EMPLOYEES. And we always will. These are guys that usually don't last more than a couple weeks to days on the payroll. You hire them and a 2 weeks or so later you realize they don't make the cut.


We're talking laborers. This is 2011, everyone has a cell phone, even 11 yr old kids.

You guys gotta keep in mind, I do not have a *No Cell Phone* policy. I believe I'm very liberal with allowing them to use them.

My whole point is the nerve he had to stop a machine and halt what he was doing to chat!

So, this operator was a laborer?

RSK Property Maintenance
09-06-2011, 12:05 AM
I leave my phone in my truck while working, I check it when I stop for fuel at gas station, lunch time or while fueling up the trimmers or backpacks if im doing a clean up and if I have anyone helping me I make sure they do the same otherwise they can look somewhere else for work. I've had people who help take a nap while traveling to the job if they want but when we get there they work hard. I also stop at gas stations that have ice cream stands and buy ice cream on hotter days as long as we are on schedule for the day.
Posted via Mobile Device

Cornell
09-06-2011, 12:22 AM
Someone needs to chill out. I am on my phone constantly throughout the day conducting company business and some personal things and I still install more square footage than our 3 man crew does daily. If my boss was as much of a tight-ass as you are I'd find a job elsewhere. Our workers do go on their phones occasionally and it's not something I try to sneak around the corner to catch them doing. This is what deadlines are for. I give them a reasonable deadline and it has yet to not be reached. If they work hard enough to reach my expectations (which are very high) and find enough time to answer a personal call or return a text then good for them. They know right from wrong.

Next time tell your employee that a bluetooth headset could be a wise investment, or to leave the machine on so you don't even notice because obviously you are a control freak. It's not like hardscaping installs mental strain on the brain to complete and be efficient and competent.

GreenI.A.
09-06-2011, 12:45 AM
something most people are missing it's more than just the productivity issue when he shuts down the machine, it's also an issue of the proffesional image of the company. If DVS could hear him out front then so could the homeowner and neighbors (potential customers). If you had a contractor working at your house, would you not mind if his employees that you are paying for hourly are constantly stopping to make personal phone calls. It's no different than if your employee puts down the rake and stops working as soon as you walk around the corner then jumps right back to work as soon as you come back.

Do the math, if you are on a 5 day install and you have 5 employees who each waste 20 minutes a day that adds up to over 8 man hours lost that week. Not only does that cut into the companies bottom line but it will piss the HO off aswell if they observe this.

Cornell
09-06-2011, 01:01 AM
something most people are missing it's more than just the productivity issue when he shuts down the machine, it's also an issue of the proffesional image of the company. If DVS could hear him out front then so could the homeowner and neighbors (potential customers). If you had a contractor working at your house, would you not mind if his employees that you are paying for hourly are constantly stopping to make personal phone calls. It's no different than if your employee puts down the rake and stops working as soon as you walk around the corner then jumps right back to work as soon as you come back.

Do the math, if you are on a 5 day install and you have 5 employees who each waste 20 minutes a day that adds up to over 8 man hours lost that week. Not only does that cut into the companies bottom line but it will piss the HO off aswell if they observe this.

If your employees are stupid enough to do something like that around a homeowner/customer then they aren't a very good employee and don't have the best interest of the company in mind in the first place. If you can't see they displayed these habits in the first couple of weeks of their employment (especially with a small company) then I say it's your own damn fault. Myself and all of my guys know when it is a good time to answer a phone call or wait another minute or five and call them back. If you were finishing up and he was running a packer or even a skid I could care less if they stopped for a minute unless them stopping hindered the rest of the crew. Our entire company understands and has good judgement when it comes to this. But I guess DVS's employee wasn't smart enough to know a good time vs. a bad time when his boss was around. Guess we all can't be blessed with great hardworking and smart employees who get the job done to expectations. :laugh: To me it sounds like this was some cheap hire that isn't working out so well.

DVS Hardscaper
09-06-2011, 07:29 AM
Someone needs to chill out. I am on my phone constantly throughout the day conducting company business and some personal things and I still install more square footage than our 3 man crew does daily. If my boss was as much of a tight-ass as you are I'd find a job elsewhere. Our workers do go on their phones occasionally and it's not something I try to sneak around the corner to catch them doing. This is what deadlines are for. I give them a reasonable deadline and it has yet to not be reached. If they work hard enough to reach my expectations (which are very high) and find enough time to answer a personal call or return a text then good for them. They know right from wrong.

Next time tell your employee that a bluetooth headset could be a wise investment, or to leave the machine on so you don't even notice because obviously you are a control freak. It's not like hardscaping installs mental strain on the brain to complete and be efficient and competent.


I'm not sure to whom you're speaking when you say "someone"!

The online mentality and psychology of comments are interesting. With our local newspaper there will be opportunities for people to post comments about the articles. And sure enough, never fail, everytime there will be one person that misses a sentence or two in the article and writes paragragh and paragragh and paragragh of comments about something that doesn't even exist. And then from there, 1/2 of the other folks commenting will agree and follow that one person's mis-informed comments! This happens when people do not read. And I too am very guilty of this.

Thank you for your time and thoughts, but, umm, LOL I am by far no control freak! And if you READ everything I have written - you would know that! Of all the active members on this forum, I'd bet I would rank in the top 5 of being the most layed-back and easy going boss :drinkup:




.

DVS Hardscaper
09-06-2011, 07:45 AM
If your employees are stupid enough to do something like that around a homeowner/customer then they aren't a very good employee and don't have the best interest of the company in mind in the first place. If you can't see they displayed these habits in the first couple of weeks of their employment (especially with a small company) then I say it's your own damn fault. Myself and all of my guys know when it is a good time to answer a phone call or wait another minute or five and call them back. If you were finishing up and he was running a packer or even a skid I could care less if they stopped for a minute unless them stopping hindered the rest of the crew. Our entire company understands and has good judgement when it comes to this. But I guess DVS's employee wasn't smart enough to know a good time vs. a bad time when his boss was around. Guess we all can't be blessed with great hardworking and smart employees who get the job done to expectations. :laugh: To me it sounds like this was some cheap hire that isn't working out so well.



Well buddy, lets not get carried away with yourself.

I have one profound observation after about 11 years of participating in online landscape forums: AND that is that everyone at the forums SOMEHOW has the BEST employees and the BEST sub-contractors you could ever find!!!! LOL

It's human nature for us to believe in what we invest, whether it's a new clothes dryer, a computer, or employees.

And like the rest of society no one is perfect. No children are perfect. And no parents are perfect parents. And all families have at least one problem, whether the daughter is pregnant at age 17, or the son is arrested and caught with drugs, or the youngest son dresses in all black and won't leave his room. Or the daughter is always getting sppeding tickets

With that said - the same goes for employees and co-workers.

,

punt66
09-06-2011, 08:07 AM
So we're at a job yesterday working in the back. I'm out front doing something at the truck. It was decent temps yesterday so the client's windows on their house were open.

One of the guys was running a machine. As I'm out front along the street at the truck I hear this phone ring. And I think "wow, the client has their phone really loud I can hear it plain as day".

Well, next thing I know I hear the machine suddenly shut off. :cry: And I think to myself "oh no he didn't" :hammerhead:

At this point I'm furious. But when I'm really angry I keep away from the guys. So I stay out front and I find a way to walk towards the side so I can see for sure that my guy is really on the phone and that he didnt just coincidently stop his machine when a phone rang. Sure enough he was on the phone!

So I'm like "ok, don't get excited, keep cool, and put a smile on your face".

I wait about 5 minutes and I go back there. With a smile on my face I say "umm Abe YOU STOPPED THE MACHINE TO ANSWER THE PHONE???????"

He hesitates for a second and says "yes".

I repeat (with a smile on my face) "YOU STOPPED THE MACHINE TO ANSWER THE PHONE???????????"

He says "it was an emergency". Which I knew wasnt true and I could tell by the way that he said it that he knew I wasn't going to buy it. And without any delay I took a business card out of my wallet and I said "if your people EVER have an emergency you tell them to call the office number and I'll pass the message on to you". And I said it with a chipper smile and with a tone kinda like "ok, you're not weaseling out of this one and I'll have a response for everything you say".

He says "it was one time" and "you do it" :hammerhead:

I said "one time????" He said "yeah 1 phone call per day is not bad". And in which I can tolerate 1-2 quick calls per day. I replied "we're almost done and about ready to leave, you NEVER stop a machine to answer the phone, after you're done and we're on the road you can call and chat all you want".

And I said "my phone is a business phone, clients call it, supplier call it, MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS DO NOT CALL ME WHEN I'M WORKING". LOL I can not believe he said "you do it" :hammerhead: If my phone doesn't ring.....we don't work!

We're a very small operation.

I try to be easy going about their phones ringing and I do tell them that 1 or 2 quick calls per day are ok with me.

But for him to stop the machine.......whoo wee did that boil my blood!

Looks like Tuesday morning we're going to have to have a chat about phones. I'm sure after the 3 day weekend and with them being all groggy - it'll go REAL well.......



.

If your employee is a productive employee an he is not doing that on a regular basis then i would say you over reacted. Including making a whole thread about it. This is a small issue. The fact that you need to vent online to the world about it is interesting.

DVS Hardscaper
09-06-2011, 09:56 AM
If your employee is a productive employee an he is not doing that on a regular basis then i would say you over reacted. Including making a whole thread about it. This is a small issue. The fact that you need to vent online to the world about it is interesting.

"Venting"? Absolutely, you could say so.

Or how bout doing what I'm known to do and simply generating a topic for discussion that is something that is a part of all our routine business? If you think about it - aren't most of my topics more related to the logistics of business, working with clients, contending with vendors, and managing employees?

Yes, very productive employee, whom was just hired in July.

Shutting down a machine to answer a phone call to talk about last night's party is not acceptable :) (that's what the conversation was) That's crossing the line and that blew my mind!

Again, when you have employees, this creates a need for structure in the company. And when you're a solo operator (as your signature states) you may not quite realize what happens when multiple employees are all running rampant. Advancedwallstructures has told us that he is in his early 20's. Give him a few more years of managing multiple employees / crews and I'm pretty sure his views will change 360.

But hey, since Frank & Helen always put the most money in the Offering at church on Sunday's, and never miss a Sunday of church service, it's ok if Frank reads and responds to a text message while the preacher is leading the congregation in prayer!

,

JimLewis
09-06-2011, 12:01 PM
Well, I'm sorry you feel like you've been picked on here. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. You definitely don't deserve this. You're never critical. You're always so positive and complimentary on everyone else's posts. :rolleyes:

punt66
09-06-2011, 12:27 PM
"Venting"? Absolutely, you could say so.

Or how bout doing what I'm known to do and simply generating a topic for discussion that is something that is a part of all our routine business? If you think about it - aren't most of my topics more related to the logistics of business, working with clients, contending with vendors, and managing employees?

Yes, very productive employee, whom was just hired in July.

Shutting down a machine to answer a phone call to talk about last night's party is not acceptable :) (that's what the conversation was) That's crossing the line and that blew my mind!

Again, when you have employees, this creates a need for structure in the company. And when you're a solo operator (as your signature states) you may not quite realize what happens when multiple employees are all running rampant. Advancedwallstructures has told us that he is in his early 20's. Give him a few more years of managing multiple employees / crews and I'm pretty sure his views will change 360.

But hey, since Frank & Helen always put the most money in the Offering at church on Sunday's, and never miss a Sunday of church service, it's ok if Frank reads and responds to a text message while the preacher is leading the congregation in prayer!

,

We all apprecite a topic to chat about. As a business owner of 3 businesses i have several employees. I run an aircraft machine shop and have a sister company out of that and we are an online high end hobby manufacturer/retailer. Before all that i owned an excavation company for 11 years. I could come on here with 15 topics a day.

All i am getting at is that such a small problem (to me) doesnt seem deserving of a public lashout of an employee. HR/performance issues should always stay private. To each their own.

Cornell
09-06-2011, 09:35 PM
We all apprecite a topic to chat about. As a business owner of 3 businesses i have several employees. I run an aircraft machine shop and have a sister company out of that and we are an online high end hobby manufacturer/retailer. Before all that i owned an excavation company for 11 years. I could come on here with 15 topics a day.

All i am getting at is that such a small problem (to me) doesnt seem deserving of a public lashout of an employee. HR/performance issues should always stay private. To each their own.

Exactly, its pretty clear from the few posts I've read that DVS is somewhat high-strung IMO (and by taking the title of the thread).... Not always a bad thing not it's just not a way I operate. I've had my job as a Foreman since I was 17 and am 22 now. I worked under someone else from the ages of 15 to 17. Five years is a decent enough amount of time to realize the possible problems I could have with a crew. It's not like only AFTER 10 years a problem like this is going to arise. Maybe I'm a little more laid back but if I got this angry about an employee answering a phone that I had to tell everyone about it I wouldn't have any hair left from everything else that might anger me . Then there is the fact that I don't need to babysit all day and I am out building walls alone. I hope a crew member answers if I call to see if they need anything or have run into any problems so I can assist if need be. I don't want to be onsite watching them work when I could be elsewhere. Very rarely do I feel the need to talk over someone, only when they ask for direction.

JoeyDipetro
09-07-2011, 10:25 PM
"Venting"? Absolutely, you could say so.
?
Or how bout doing what I'm known to do and simply generating a topic for discussion that is something that is a part of all our routine businessIf you think about it - aren't most of my topics more related to the logistics of business, working with clients, contending with vendors, and managing employees?

Yes, very productive employee, whom was just hired in July.

Shutting down a machine to answer a phone call to talk about last night's party is not acceptable :) (that's what the conversation was) That's crossing the line and that blew my mind!

Again, when you have employees, this creates a need for structure in the company. And when you're a solo operator (as your signature states) you may not quite realize what happens when multiple employees are all running rampant. Advancedwallstructures has told us that he is in his early 20's. Give him a few more years of managing multiple employees / crews and I'm pretty sure his views will change 360.

But hey, since Frank & Helen always put the most money in the Offering at church on Sunday's, and never miss a Sunday of church service, it's ok if Frank reads and responds to a text message while the preacher is leading the congregation in prayer!

,

What you are "known" to do? According to whom? Inquiring minds want to know, are you paid by the owners of this site? That seems to be the only reasonable explanation for many of the topics of your posts as well as the frequency of your posting.