View Full Version : odd problem/ not related to lawns

12-19-2002, 03:04 PM
you guys are great to mess with. since alot of you are employers, id like to share my nightmare with you and have your opinions. at my "real job", i am a crew leader. i oversee 5 employees and a large piece of machinery. each crew member has their own title and job description . anything not in a "job description", becomes my responsibility. im to choose one of the members based on experience, and asign them tasks. well, about 4 yrs ago, i became the recipient of a helper with a disability. we will call him joe. joe has attention deficit disorder, and suffers from paranoia and depression. he was at the time, in the lowest position on my crew, even though he was there longer than most of the others. it came time to promote someone, and the management approached me and asked if i would mind taking a shot with joe. since joe and i got along well, and i felt i had gained his trust, and he really did put in alot of effort, i said sure, id give it a crack. well, joe has evolved to what i believe is his personal absolute best. he cant get any better, he just doesnt have it. joes "disability" causes him to act irate and violent at times. when put under any pressure, he erupts. one time he shoved me in a fit of rage, cus i told him to hurry up, i ignored it. i am, and have been for 4 yrs now working harder than i should, doing some of his work to cover for him. well, its got to the point now where if joe cant handle it, my supervisor expects me to do his work. ive repeatedly explained to the management that joe isnt cuttin it, we should put him back to his old position, as the extra workload has become too much for me to handle. they ignore me. last night was the last straw, i caught a bag of crap cus joe took 2.5 hrs to do a job that would take another person 45 min to do. today i filed a harrassment complaint with the personel dept. i have had it! any comments, opinions, any been in a situation like this? thanx

12-19-2002, 03:20 PM
I know somebody like this. I don't work with him by choice. I know that one day he will wind up getting himself killed by either freaking out, or doing something really dumb. I don't know what to tell you other than to stay away from him, and alert your employer that this person poses a hazard to themselves, clients, and is a major liability.

12-19-2002, 03:23 PM
AHHH...ADD the great leveler of the playing field! Just wait a few more years for some to graduate and you'll get the next great deal ...BIPOLAR.

People used to be ashamed when they acted badly, and got fired when they couldn't perform. Now they get "A disability condition that needs to be treated and understood."

12-19-2002, 03:25 PM
There is always the alternative that your employers send him for an evaluation by a psychiatrist / psycologist. That would probably help. Drugs, when used properly never hurt anybody.

12-19-2002, 03:26 PM
First off I would love to know what machinery you work with. My Father had a biz that we bought and sold metal working machinery (Chip making and Fab stuff).

If you are in "CHARGE" and responsible to the point of having to do another employee's work for your team then you should have the authority to either demote him or fire him. I cant see it being fair for your employer to make you responsible for all the teams work and yet not give you control of who is on the team.

I would take it up with management or who ever is the highest in the company that you trust will give you a fair listening ear and explain the whole deal and how you feel with the work load and all. Just be honest with them and please dont make threats. If you do.....well we all know what will happen.

Good luck. I hope it gets better for you. None of us need stress like that. Hang in there dude! :)

12-19-2002, 04:11 PM

I've been in the same situation as you before. I am a lead man for a press stamping/fab company. I would simply state to my supervisor that this person is a safety hazzard. You and the employees that you are responsible for should all voice your concerns. I don't know what kind of machinery you operate but if he can't concentrate on his work, he is a accident waiting to happen. I know if one of my guys were to shove me in a rage, they woundn't be working with me anymore, abuse on the job should not be tolerated. The company I work for has a safety commitee that handles these types of situations. Maybe that would be a possibility? I know I wouldn't give up on this, keep pushing management until they address the situation. Safety is #1 concern.


12-19-2002, 04:19 PM
Bobby, I would have gone over my bosses head and meet with their boss to discuss this issue. I totally agree with you that this should not be your responsibility unless you are compensated for it. From what you are describing this really sounds like "they" are asking you to do the work of two employees. I would also talk with member of management about your current situation. Since you are in charge of a team your should have a little more authority then you do. Rather then make you a supervisor with the ability to review employees and terminate employees "they" have instead just made you a team leader. A team leader is responsible for the actions of the team but does not have the authority to do anything to make the team successful other then do the work yourself. I with you the best of luck on getting this resolved.


12-19-2002, 05:49 PM
Sounds like to me that management has got them selfs in a bind and dont know how to get out of it , The Joe guy has a disability and they know it but if they fire him or demote him they are afraid he will file a lawsuit of some kind to get his job back yelling discrimanation all the way to the court room. And we do live in a world where anybody can sue anybody for anything . The sad thing is even tho you are so right as Joe being a Safety liability he will probally win in court as some judges and jurys are blind to the real issue . Just wait till he gets hurt or killed then it will be your fault not managements

The Mowerdude
12-19-2002, 10:50 PM
Doesn't this company ever suffer from slow times that result in folks having to take a lay-off?

"Sorry Joe, business is down and we've just got to let someone go."

12-19-2002, 11:01 PM
I'm autistic and i just get along fine (with my equipment) they don't talk back and they just keep on working without talking back! It's the workers and customers I don't do well with!

Alan Bechard
12-19-2002, 11:32 PM
I know the first thing I would ask you if you were on my crew, Please show me the documentation that you have on this gentleman. Please show me written records of verbal warnings and substandard performance reviews. Please show me where you have informed him in writing of his failure to perform satisfactorily and please show me the records documenting his outbursts.

I am just a betting man, but I bet you are going to tell me that everybody knows about this, and you have told him 100 times, and your boss agrees with you,

And there is no paperwork,

but I will tell you that without proper, complete and thourough written documentation, you are fighting a loosing battle.

My suggestion to you, is that if you are a supervisor (crew lead / team lead) it all means a bit different in different companies, that you start documenting the difficulties you are having.

I would also sit down with him and have a discussion of his duties and responsibilities in his present job, I would ask him if there is anything ongoing in his personal life that is effecting his work performance as it seems to be substandard lately, I would go on to say that if the stresses of the higher position are too much for him, we would work with him to help him find a position more suited to his needs within the company. I would also tell him that you are concerned about his violent outbursts and that that type of behaviour cannot be tolerated in todays workplace. I would close by saying that I was confident that we could work through this difficult time and come to a positive resolution, and to help him understand the progress that he is making i will be doing a weekly special performance review for him.

I would do this with my boss in the office with me, as my boss and I get along well this is usually quite effective. It also helps if I have to pursue it further in a negative fashion that my boss has already heard all the prelim stuff himself.

Just my thougts, I hate this part of the job, but as my boss reminds me every now and then, that is why I make the "big bucks" LOL!

My 2 cents, take it for what it is worth.

Al Bechard

12-19-2002, 11:40 PM
hey bobby, is "joe" really ultimatelawns?

12-20-2002, 01:53 AM
alan, ive done just about everything u have stated. true, there is no documentation by the management (they just hate papertrails), but i have made several(but not all) of my concerns on this issue in writing and have saved copies. its so incredibly frustrating to deal with someone like this. his attitude is, and i quote, "get used to me or get rid of me." the type of work we do is printing. we operate a 6 color perfector with inline finishing. the press is about 225 ft long, with many functions , and each crew member has his own job to do, if one doesnt perform, the whole operation goes down. isnt that some crap though, my men are my responsibility, but i have no power to hire, terminate, issue written warnings, nothing. all i can do is make suggestions to the management. uggghh! thanks for all the replies dudes

Tony Harrell
12-20-2002, 06:19 AM
Somebody is gonna get hurt. I can't believe a person with that kind of problem is working around machinery other than a dishwasher. I have a cousin that was borderline scizoprenic(sp?) who smoked a joint laced with angel dust years ago. It pushed him over the edge and he's totally disabled now. He's exactly like you described "Joe". His brother put him in a nursing home because he's totally medicated to control his actions.

Alan Bechard
12-20-2002, 08:56 AM
Man Bobby, if you have it well documented and Management will not do anything, you have a real problem.

I would not want to work for a company like that myself.

I would try the safety route in that case, but safety tones are set by management, and if they will not terminate a worker with documented poor performance and violent outbursts, I doubt that safety is truly "Job 1" with them.

Good luck in getting it resolved.

I would document the stuffing out of everything, in case anything ever happened, and I would be looking for ways to remove myself from the situation.

Al B

12-20-2002, 09:06 AM
Sounds like the company is getting a tax break for hiring a person with a disability. Might I suggest taping his outbursts. "Check the laws regarding this first". Document everything that way when this guy gets hurt or one of your crew members gets hurt you will have leverage. Violence in the work place is not to be tolerated.

12-20-2002, 10:53 AM

After reading down this far, does OSHA regulate you guys like all other plants? If so maybe a little talk with them could take the heat off you. Dont tell them who you are (as in a phone call) but it is a safety hazard that your company WILL NOT address and YOU dont want to be caught in the middle. I am sure they might have an answer for the management then.

And especially if JOE has a problem with outburst and rage. Sounds like a huge accident just waiting to happen.

Or could you be asked to be moved from your current position to another within the same pay scale and all? This gives your current team to someone else and less stress on your back.

Oh well all of this is just an idea. Good luck!

12-20-2002, 11:02 AM
ok, went the osha route. they told me this falls under police . if a man becomes violent, throws tantrums, shoves someone , etc. this is a criminal matter. now, i certainly cant call the cops cus the guy "freaks out" u know like the rage thing. the cop will say, "well, did he hit anyone?" no he didnt, so now what? i cant call the cops cus hes taking a fit, it only becomes a criminal act after he has hurt someone. ive called the labor board, osha, and have promised to call the cops should he put his hand on me again, but even that would sound silly to a judge, "your honor, he pushed me." real tough spot for me here, im just gonna keep riding the management till they get him off my crew. dont wanna see him fired, the man isnt evil, hes just sick, and a bit uncooperative.

12-20-2002, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
dont wanna see him fired, the man isnt evil, hes just sick, and a bit uncooperative.

I understand, but I would say in 90% of business today this guy would have been let go long ago. Too many others waiting in line to work for his pay and not have his problems. I am sorry he has a disability, but you didnt cause it and yet sounds like your having to pay for it somehow. Hang in there dude. We are standing here with a net to catch you..... :D

12-20-2002, 01:12 PM

12-20-2002, 01:57 PM
This follows under the Peter Principle which states that people are promoted to their level of inefficeincy. It sounds as if this guy has no business being where he is. You should document in writing everything that happens when it happens and put it in his file. Then you have documented reasons to fire him or at least reassign him to a position he can handle. It might be possible to convince this guy to take a easier less stressful position.

12-20-2002, 02:39 PM
the sad fact is that in 90% of companies these days that guy would not be let go...for fear of a lawsuit...i had a worker file a discrimination suit, then continue to work for 2 years while the lawyers did their thing...and all that time that person was carried along by everyone else and handled with kidd gloves for fear of inciting even more legal action...if you feel you are being discriminated against for being expected to cover for this person proceed with caution and document everything you can in as much detail as you can...and be prepared to consult a lawyer and be in it for the long haul...sometimes years...once a discrimination case is opened and the lawyers take over things change quickly and drastically...including your relationship with management...it's a tough spot to be in and there really is no 'win-win' solution...