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about to fire a friend

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Frontstreetlawns, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Frontstreetlawns

    Frontstreetlawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    Allright follow me threw

    I have a friend that is on the fire dept. with me. Thought He would make a good employee. Hired him about 6 months ago. Small things bothered me. He would ask to get off work early the day of. Ect.

    Well last thursday he hurt his back dumping a catcher. Went home early. Friday he went to the ciropractor and they said he needed to baby his back and that he would be fine. Didnt turn it in to L&I. I didnt tell him not to. Well sunday he thinks he can work. Monday morning calls and says he cant work it still hurts. Tuesday works but cant lift a catcher... goes home around 12. Wednesday works till 1 still not at a 100% maybe 60% Thursday done by 12. I tell him hes not 100% and needs to think about going to a doctor and getting it better. He says he would have to turn it in to L&I. I said fine, dont worry about me, I need you back fully. Well i took a nap after work bc my other employee and I are busting our butts picking up the slack. While I sleep he leaves a message on the phone saying he wont be in tommorrrow. Fine.

    Wife drives by the fire hall. Our Employee is pulling a sleeper shift at the fire hall. :angry::angry::angry:
    If he cant work why is he putting himself in a position of pulling hose and carrying alot of wait!!!!!
    I feel like i am between a rock and an idiot bc of this potential L&I claim.

    Last time i hire a friend so i dont feel like i cant fire him:hammerhead::angry::wall:wall
  2. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,316

    Lesson here is only hire friends if you're close enough to them to know their true character (I have been friends with my right-hand guy since age 4).

    Otherwise, hiring complete strangers is the only way to go.

    As you already know, you get yourself in a lot of crap hiring people to do them a favor or help them out by giving them a job. There are always other ways to be a good friend and still maintain a good business strategy.
  3. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,272

    What are you guys using catchers for at the fire station? You should both do your jobs at the fire dept and leave the landscaping to the landscapers! I dont go around trying to put fires out for less pay than you!
  4. Frontstreetlawns

    Frontstreetlawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    Lifting grass catchers for work,Landscaping is our jobs. We are volunteers at the fire dept and get a little compensation. But it sounds to me that someone is a little arrogant and doesnt like weekend warriors.
  5. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 1,382

    I learned that lesson this summer as well man. I sometimes need help inconsistantly so I hired "friend" #1. In the beginning as always he had the right attitude and such. I just needed him to trim and edge but then he made me feel bad ab it so I let him use the mower some. He was terrible at edging. We would supposedly be done and as I'm blowing the curb I see grass hanging over the gap and I asked did you edge that? "yeah"

    "Okay, come here man, look at this." His reply "Yeah man but it's hard as sh!t!" I don't care how hard it is it has to be done that is what they pay us for. He has alot of potential to be good at something but I swear his work ethic attitude and lazyness will get the better of him in life. Then I hear he's been talking sh!t behind my back like "Griffin would say were working at this time and then it'd be this time" (this happened one time. I said 7, ended up being 10) Big deal. You don't have **** to do anyway, plus I'm the boss, I get to decide when we work. When it started getting real hot he got a graveyard shift at a gas station and just sprung it up on me out of nowhere. They ended up firing him because his drops were always inaccurate (taking money)

    Friend #2 did very good edging and trimming but was slow. After a week he got up to speed and never bitched about just trimming/edging (which I admire) So I never felt obligated to let him ride the walk behind. He didn't trust himself on it and I'm glad. BUT he would randomly not want to work.

    Friend #2 wasn't all so bad but I will never hire another friend really unless it's a must and they're begging for it. I've found that friend #1 always makes EVERYTHING about him. He has a bad attitude and will bring your company down with him if he can. Never graduated highschool (neither did bro and sis) can never hold a job up to 6 months and doesn't have one now. He just wakes up everyday with no direction in life, does little bs mechanic work seldom and the worst part is he is ok with it (and prob prefers it.)

    My attitude is I have broken my back doing trimming/edging EVERYTHING for other LCO since I was 12. I always did excellent work and most importantly showed up. I barely knew some of these bosses and worked my ass off. These guys are my friends and can't do a decent job PART TIME??? Rediculous. I feel that I have put my time in and now I'm boss so I get to ride MY mower that I invested in and don't want some guy screwing up. (well my parents invested in the mower but I paid them back so it's mine.) I also heard friend #1 talking more sh!t like oh his parent's bought him that stuff now he thinks he's top dog.

    Yeah, I do. They believed in me enough to invest in me. I paid them back in a timely manner and now I own and am WAY better off than I was last summer. Sorry to rant about a simple subject but yeah, I won't be hiring friends anymore. My delimma now is I need to find a consistant employee that can help me out part time but I cannot give them enough work to be full time yet...So, anyway that's my little dellima but from experience I would not "hire" friends, and definitely not go into business with them. I tried doing a partnership with a friend once but that's a whole different story.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  6. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Your "friend" isn't hurt - he just doesn't like the work.
    I run a grounds maintenance business full time and occasionally am in the area when a fire call goes out (volunteer department). Very infrequently I am able to respond, however, I will make the time if it is a large grass fire endangering residences.
    Found out the clients really don't like if I jet off their property to aide the department so business comes first unless there is a compelling need for more bodies.
  7. land_scaper70

    land_scaper70 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    A real friend is there with you; a friend will help you move, a real friend will help you move a body. A friend will bail you out of jail, a real friend will be sitting next to you saying, " boy that was cool". I have a friend that wanted a finders fee for getting a job and to work on the job for a wage. We parted friends still, with the understanding that it is business and not part of the friendship. I would look for someone else to replace your friend, a stranger, someone who wants to work. When he comes around looking for hours, explain that you not think this work is not for him, or that you will keep him in mind if you need someone else. And if he threatens that he is going to file a claim, that is why you pay, it was either you or the FD. He is not a real friend.
  8. Texas Lawn

    Texas Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    It can be a struggle in business, especially in this industry. Whenever you have to hire, you usually look to people you know first. They are similar to you or you wouldnt be friends with them. Yeah there is probably better workers out there, but you know what to expect and its better than taking a chance on some guy who will disappoint you or screw you over (although friends can do this too).

    I worked with a guy and ultimately had to part paths. He wasnt an early riser (essential in the Texas heat) and was lazy. This was when I first started out and while he was a horrible employee, it was still better than working all day by myself. Once I got bigger, I realized I should drop him and find somebody better and cheaper. It worked out but not without problems. The thing is, are you running a friendship or running a business. Use the additional money you make to buy better friends
  9. johnroscoe

    johnroscoe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    The season's almost over- tough it out if you can and then tell him you don't want to see him get hurt worse in the Spring.

    Friends are hard to come by, even lousy working ones.
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    yup, i let go my closest friend just like that. Step light. I told him i couldnt afford him anymore. I didnt tell him the real reason.

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