View Full Version : CRaZeeee Employees

10-01-2000, 08:53 PM
We hired this guy about 2 years ago (at 16 years old) .. he was a FANTASTIC worker (fast, effecient, hard worker, etc.) .. The only problem was that he was MENTAL .. and I mean MENTAL! He would stand in ear shot of the customers and swear up a storm. He would become VERY aggitated at the littlest things. One small thing, and his entire day was ruined (which in turn caused some serious friction for everyone). It got so bad that he actually tried to run me over with the Dixie Chopper .. His parents had taken him to different hospitals and the police to find out what was wrong, but nothing helped this guy. We couldn't fire this guy because we didn't know what may happen (and plus he was a great worker :)) .. He finally left us, went to work for his dad, hated it .. and then went somewhere else. ANYWAY .. I'm just wondering if anybody else has had any experience with .. well, insanity.


10-01-2000, 09:37 PM
Have not had any insane workers!!! But I have seen some crazies

10-01-2000, 09:59 PM
I've had people threaten me with tools such as hammers and one guy went home to get his gun and was coming back to shoot me. Lucky me I guess, he stopped at the beer store first and got picked up by the cops for drunk driving before he could come back to play with me. Now when I fire people I do it in a separate office with no witnesses so that I can be in control of the situation. Just another reason why I wanna leave construction and go lawn cutting for my wife, I can handle her.

10-01-2000, 10:08 PM
I had an employee steal from me all year and then he started getting real friendly with my customers and so i decided to fire him minus 1 weeks pay and thats when he took my weed wips and said go ahead call the police. Now thats crazy. Either way i paid his lame *$$ and got my wips and gave him the boot. He was sleazy enough to say that he would of had someone lese steal it anyway. Now thats what i call a looser. He also got kicked out of his wifes trailer for being drunk at 9 a.m. sturday morning not to mention 10 years of heavy heavy drinking and his wife kept the cutting list so i had to go and buy it back from her. Supposedly he owed it to her. Cost me 280 dollars. Anyway i am glad i fired him. The best thing i did all summer. What a nightmare.

I would like to add that this guy was the best at what he did. He was known by all the lawn crews as the king of cutting grass. he was good but screw him anyway.

[Edited by bdemir on 10-02-2000 at 01:13 AM]

10-02-2000, 08:26 PM
Hey Bdemir!

Wow. Did we have the same guy working for us that you did? The guy we had was LIGHTNING with the whip (and did it perfectly, too .. not to short .. just PERFECT) .. but MAN! He was crazy. Oh well.


10-03-2000, 08:27 PM
I absolutely CANNOT and WILLNOT believe that NO ONE except for 3 lawn crews have had crazy workers. Not possible. Come on lazy people!


10-03-2000, 09:58 PM
Hey stick you might of had the same guy considering you live in dtroit. Where are you in detroit.

10-03-2000, 10:09 PM
We're out of Livonia. I would have to seriously doubt that you had this guy .. this was his first job, and now he does something with machines!


10-03-2000, 11:31 PM
Yeah I didnt think it was the same guy but you never know. Anyways this guy lives in washtenaw county and hes not with me anymore. A lot of my work is by the airport or close to it and mostly residential and some commercial.

10-03-2000, 11:42 PM
I had a guy with the nickname "skip". I now know why they called him skip. Because his brain skipped when it came to thinking. One day his first day by himself. He wrecked the truck, the trailor with a tractor on it, a bagger. Flew threw each job. Stole a hedge trimmer. The wreck came because he was very careless. All this while I was out of town. It was about 5 years ago and I let him live lol But he died many deaths in my dreams

10-04-2000, 11:07 PM
Hey chuck ..

Wow! You're a better man then me. There would definitely be a 'skip'-head trophy hanging in my den over the fire place. Sheesh.


10-04-2000, 11:35 PM
Hey stick, I'd have to pay Chuck for all the thread space if I told you half of them.
We took a trip to the smokies one autum. Cousin Ed was gona handle things while we were gone.(he worked for me).
He managed to back up with the door open and bend the door backwards on a telephone pole.
Another duffus foreman I had parked my truck in front of a dumpster.We were out of town. Luckily, I saw the truck when we got back. The guy said he was getting ready to call a tow truck.Crack head forgot where he left the truck.
Another one managed to get a 21 snapper on top of a piece of rebar, two foot high.
Trust me, the list goes on.
I guess that's why for the last six years or so, I've worked by myself.

10-05-2000, 08:11 AM
Sounds like some of these guys sprinkle pesticides on their cornflakes.

Another reason why I remain a solo act. I give you guys alot of credit as I would be in the pen for 20 years if I had some of these goofs.

10-05-2000, 08:15 PM
Hey Bob..

I think you win. You've had the craziest people work for you! I can see why you work by yourself!


02-01-2003, 01:59 PM
I know this is an old post but by law in North Carolina u have to be 18 years old to run power equipment. I can run power equipment at my age of 17 because I am the owner but I can't hire my friends that are 17. So stick9 how could u hire a 16 year old?

02-01-2003, 02:10 PM
dbemir, if I had been you... I would have called up a good friend and let him take care of it. The guy would have SERIOUSLY considered a change in lifestyle... I will put it to you like that. I do not employ crazy people. I have had people work for me who were DUMB and who smoked a little too much grass... they are now gone though. No drugs on my jobs. I do have a friend who is crazy and very easily irritated when he works. I am waiting to hear about when he gets himself seriously hurt or worse yet killed from freaking out :(

02-01-2003, 03:58 PM
I have had over 100 different employees in my 15 years of business. I can't remember them all - not worth the effort,but the one that stood out the most was a real burn-out. He used to be seen at least 3X's a week just standing in place motionless staring into space. We would just walk up to him & ask "yo Tom, what are you looking at?" His reply was always the same "Yoooooo."


Heavenly Green
02-01-2003, 06:38 PM
Ok yep Ive had my sharte of crazy. two seasons ago I had this 18yr old kid that lasted two weeks he was so slow and lifeless I couldnt believe it. He would walk around with the whip all slunched over dragging his feet. Walk rite by some trash and pretend it wasnt there. When he talked he couldnt form a sentence. I was told by another helper that he was always making refferances to doing acid. and then on the day I fired him Im positive this kid was tripping prob. on last brain cell.
Then last season I hired this 19 kid who just moved down from the northern part of state he brought with him his 14yr girlfriend and there newborn baby The first week everything went good but then the second week he started showing up late. That Friday he says he found a job with a mason so off he went a week later he was back begging for a second chance. So I gave him another try He started back on a thursday and didnt show friday then a month later calls me asking for his last check for that one day. Keep in mind that friday we waited for him to show. I told him I owe you nothing and he freaked called and left me threatening messages. And about once a month hes still calling me asking for his money and I keep telling him to get bent.

02-01-2003, 07:09 PM
the worst ive ever had,was a guy that brought his wife with him to work.
she literally told him every move he made. it just plain amazing . after while i realized why the wife treated him that way. when it came to brains ,the guy just plain couldnt put one complete thought togather. a little amazing. would nt have believed it if i hadnt seen it.

02-01-2003, 11:40 PM
Well I guess we all get them. One guy worked for me 4 years one day says can i take a trimmer home to use. well had to go to the pawn shop next day and get it back. and the best one This nut case brought this wife with him and asked can she ride with us today. it looked like the baby would drop right then she had to be 9 1/2 months along.

Ed Ryder
02-02-2003, 02:05 AM
This is an interesting thread.

I had gotten out of this business. I made some bad financial decisions and lost my fortune in other endeavors, and before getting back into it grass cutting, I worked for another grass cutter who usually had 8 or 9 guys doing the grunt work.

I couldn't believe the quality of this workforce. They were all criminals, drug users, alcoholics. Most of them didn't last very long. And then more degenerates would be hired. That's all there was for this company to hire. Crap.

Nobody was wearing hearing or eye protection. I changed that. And you know what? Those morons were totally pissed off at me because they had to suddenly wear that gear.

We're working around $500,000 homes and we got thieves in the crew. We had a guy who had just gotten out of jail on a gun charge. We had another guy who took such great pride in how he nearly beat a man to death. Another guy had just gotten out of the state prison. The knucklehead would not take instruction from me and at one point he decided he was going to beat the "the f*ck" out of me - over something really stupid. (He backed down. That was his last day.)

The quality of the work was pitiful. And these guys working around people's homes were absolutely of the wrong element. Frankly, I amazed this outfit could retain their customers.:confused:

02-02-2003, 06:32 AM
Well, I have had two crazies over the years. One was my first employee - a friend of mine. Not totally nuts, but like your guy, he would get twisted about something and then his temper just blasted off! He would cuss and scream and throw things right in front of the customers or at least where it was likely they could hear it. And he didn't seem the least bit concerned about them. He'd go nuts over one of MY pieces of equipment not working. I'd try to calm him down and say, "Hey man. No biggie. I'll just get it fixed. Here, use this one instead." And it wouldn't do a damn bit of good.

Fired him for it eventually. You just can't keep people like that working for you. He's still sort of a friend with me today. Although he manages his temper a little better these days. Still, I could never work with him again.

Another guy was a contractor we had formed an informal partnership with before we did much real landscaping. He'd do all of the sod and irrigaition and we did all of the maintenance and plantings. Worked well for a few months but I kept getting calls from customers saying they never wanted to see that guy on their property again. They'd tell me horror stories and at first I just didn't get it. He was like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. To me, he was nice as heck. I never saw him lose it or even a hint of his temper. But finally his dark side started showing after a few months and he finally exploded on me and my workers one day - just went totally ballistic. Irrational. On the client we were working for too. Freaked us all out.

Conversely, though, I've managed to have some VERY VERY good employees over the years too. I am blessed right now with 3 guys I wouldn't trade for anything. My foreman, especially is amazing. He could walk circles around most guys on this forum. He knows every phase of landscaping and irrigation better than most veterans do. He is 100% reliable, 100% honest, and works his butt off for our company. The other two guys I mentioned are great too. You just gotta be willing to weed out the bad ones (and do it quickly!) and keep and reward the good ones.

There are some who can't handle that. That's cool. They can stay solo forever. Well, not forever. Their back will eventually go out. But for those who are diligent and patient, the rewards are there.

Inevitably though, every employer as they get bigger, runs into some crazies along the way.

bubble boy
02-03-2003, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by JustALawnGuy

I couldn't believe the quality of this workforce. They were all criminals, drug users, alcoholics....

We had a guy who had just gotten out of jail on a gun charge. We had another guy who took such great pride in how he nearly beat a man to death. Another guy had just gotten out of the state prison.

philly, eh?

this bunch sounds like your average sixer or eagles fan...:D :D :D

02-03-2003, 12:06 PM
This is a very interesting thread. I do not believe I have ever seen this cover on this site previously. I have worked with some real winners in my day before going out on my own. One gentleman in particular was the meanest person in the world and I was the only other employee that could work with him. I guess he bothered everyone else as they must have listened to him. I just ignored everything he said and we got along well.


02-03-2003, 01:42 PM
I had a guy that wasn't totally carazy but, he says that he's so smart but, I don't know how he can always get a's when he's a total dumb @** he was smiling @me and BOOM he crashed the mower into the tree. Then a week later he drove me in the trailer on the back of the mower and broke it (only 2days old) since then I haven't used a rider.

Heavenly Green
02-03-2003, 01:59 PM
Last season we were in a sub cutting. And it looked like the trash men had just picked up all the garbage well somtimes they leave a little behind. This one guy working for me knows we dont leave trash on our properties so out of habbit he just bent over and picked up what he thought was just a piece of trash upon further inspection with it in his hand relized it was a used bloody tampon!
He immediatly started freaking out screaming and cusing at the top of his lungs then demanding that we take him home like that was the final straw or somthing me and the other helper thought it was funny but we were both a little worried till he cooled down.

02-03-2003, 02:18 PM
We had one guy that worked like a bull & was a pretty nice kid. However when he was trimming he would "SCREAM" at the grass as he was doing it...screamed loud enough to almost hear it over a trimmer revved up to the max. It was scary to get near him when he was in that frame of mind.
:dizzy: :help:

02-03-2003, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by lawncare3
I had a guy that wasn't totally carazy but, he says that he's so smart but, I don't know how he can always get a's when he's a total dumb @** he was smiling @me and BOOM he crashed the mower into the tree. Then a week later he drove me in the trailer on the back of the mower and broke it (only 2days old) since then I haven't used a rider.


02-03-2003, 05:28 PM
I need to add this one. about 5 years ago one of my apt. comp it was very large 5 men 6 hours to do. this one guy i looked for 2 hours no were to be found. well my crew leaded found him asleep in the woods behind the place. it was time to go. here's the kicker we were 30 miles from the shop. don't know what happen to him he never call or came back for this one day of sleep.

02-03-2003, 05:53 PM
I had a whacko about 5 years ago that worked about a week when he came up to me and said, "I like to sleep during the day. Do you run a night shift?"

I dropped him like a day-old doughnut.

02-03-2003, 08:24 PM
After being on this site for a little over 3 years, I often wonder not about the crazy employees but how many crazy LCOs there are out there! And in here! Because I've seen some pretty good examples here over the years. ;-)

02-03-2003, 08:59 PM
I think you gotta be a little crazy to work in the lawn/landscape/tree field. Me included, of course. I can just hide it better than my employees. Sometimes, I'd be so hurting for help, I'd hire anyone in the morning and know I'm gonna fire them by lunch. I'll be taking my first stab this season into the Mexican workforce. I hope they love to work. P.S. Justlawnguy, where are you from in PA suburbs. Upper Darby here<

02-03-2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by DLCS

The guy that I hired for 1 day was smiling @ me and crashed right into the tree. Then two days later he was my chouffer (I was riding in the lawn trailer) and then, he tried to get a 360 turn and broke my 2 day old trailer.

02-03-2003, 11:01 PM
I had a guy who could handle all the equipment perfectly-make it do just what he wanted it to-never complained-always willing to work late and take on any job. He just couldn't remember what he was doing. He would start mowing a field by picking a line up the middle and working to one side, when he got done that half he would move on--completely forgetting the other side. This guy worked for me all last year and never did the whole job on any lawn. At first i thought he would just have to learn to double check--but a year later and he's still missing stuff consistently. I know we all have our off days but what the heck man. He's not even crazy--just unbelievably unfocused.

02-04-2003, 02:03 PM
I had a young guy working for me in '01 that had some problems. He seemed normal while working with me on construction and planting jobs but when I sent him on maintenance work the problems started.

He told me that his father owned a cab company but he wouldn't work for him because he didn't like his fathers lack of ethics. When I told him I would be laying him off for the winter he said he was going to work with him rather than collect. I later found out from a friend of his that his dad works for fed ex.

He told me he shared an apartment with his brother and that thier father owns the building.Turns out his whole family lives there and they don't own it.

Then my foreman quit so I had to let this guy drive for a while. In a matter of 2-3 weeks he managed to do more damage to my enclosed trailer than it got in the previous 4 years. I got complaints from customers, employees and a person who called to tell me about his speeding. That was his last week.

Two weeks ago he made the paper for robbing 4 gas stations in the town he lives in.

02-04-2003, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by PR0 TURF
We had one guy that worked like a bull & was a pretty nice kid. However when he was trimming he would "SCREAM" at the grass as he was doing it...screamed loud enough to almost hear it over a trimmer revved up to the max. It was scary to get near him when he was in that frame of mind.
:dizzy: :help:

Now that's funny!!!! I don't think I could work, cause I would be laughing so hard!

02-04-2003, 03:50 PM
This thread makes me think about staying solo.:dizzy:

The screaming at the grass might scare it to death, thefore it wont need trimming

02-04-2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by lawnworker
This thread makes me think about staying solo.For those who don't have the fortitude to handle situations like this, they should stay solo. But for those who can take it, take the appropriate actions, and move on, a larger business is VERY rewarding.

02-04-2003, 06:07 PM
I just want to know one thing. How did you make the mistake to hire these employees. Was it not obvious in the beginning, were you desperate, did this come out later, or was it just bad hiring practices that were later corected?

02-04-2003, 06:30 PM
There is no way to totally screen an employee 100% during the interview process. Those who have bad work histories don't put those employers on their applications. So the only ones you can call are the ones they didn't have problems with. There's a lot more to it - but basically there is just no way to totally find out whether an employee is honest, reliable, has a temper, etc. until you've worked with him a while.

Sure, you get better at selection as you get more experience. But you'll never find a way to totally weed out every bad apple. You just got to learn to deal with them quickly when you realize you've got one.