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And the problems start already!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by shovelracer, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    So today we are at a job. My laborers are working and I am speaking with the client. The client and I walk around the corner of the house to see one of my laborers urinating on the foundation. Normally I would fire the guy right away. This is one of my good guys and this would be his 4th year with me. I've never had any real big problems with him, but he really screwed up. I sent him home and I suspended him for 4 days. So he will miss 2.5 days pay this week. The client was pretty upset about it, but I worked it out since they have been clients of mine since the beginning. The worst part is that he wasn't more than 15 feet from acres of woods if it was really that bad. My policy is that you never relieve yourself on a clients property period. He knew this. So did I do the right thing or should I have let him go even though he is normally a good worker? What would you have done? What can I do to prevent this in the future other than informing the workers of my policy? Thanks for any help.
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Seems like no one wants to touch this one. This is not a joke. Should I fire this guy regardless of his past history or does it have some merit?
  3. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    only thing he did wrong is get caught. Not like it is the first time someone was caught pissing. get over it. call him in the am and get him into work. Tell him next time go into the woods and watch out for the homeowner.

    Its no big deal. Although he did go in the worst spot
  4. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    One guy on this forum said he went through 20 people trying to find a good one, one of the guys actually took a crap in a customers backyard so it could be worse.

    What kind of job were you doing? was it simply mowing a yard? or was it something that keeps you on the property for hours/days?

    I would not find it funny, especially if he had an alternative, but I would keep him.
  5. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Leave the firing to the customer.. I would teach him how to use a bottle, and let him learn from his mistakes.. After being seen by the client, I would think he wouldn't do it again...
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I could care less until it cost me money. We were doing a cleanup/pruning half day job. I agree there are far worse out there. And most of them have worked for me at some point. The situation worked itself out as good as it could have. There are some places we work that if the same thing would have happened it could have cost me 10 or more accounts. I will keep him, but he needs to suffer some kind of repercussion for his poor judgement. The suspension will stay so he can think about it. It might be the only way he will understand where he went wrong. And I will relax a little about it. Thanks for the advice.

    SDNCLAWNCARE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 232

    I wouldn't fire him.... But NEVER let it happen again. Maybe he has some sort of medical reason, but make it clear to never happen again. You did a good thing. The suspension should do the trick.
  8. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    Wow I guess it's funny unless it happens to you. Stick to your guns go with your gut. If you felt like you have been fair by sending him home, then go with that. I would keep a real close eye on his performance. I bet you a million bucks this is not the only dumb thing he has done while on a custoomer property, you just happened to catch him this time. Best of luck.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ahhh man, all in all it's really not any more serious than say a speeding ticket, as a comparison...
    Yeah it's a big no-no but maybe set up a points violation system like the DMV and after 2-3 years the points come off the record.

    Seriously, I've had employers in the past did that, when someone does something wrong they get written up. Each type of offense has a set number of points assigned to it, and you get so many points and you're fired (roughly works out to 3 strikes and you're out) but in time the points come off, too. So it becomes a matter employees have to watch their steps, but it also compensates for the fact that we are human.

    I agree that you should call the guy in the am and see if he wants to return to work (but don't be too surprised if he says no, he might've got his mind set to having 3 days off by then). I don't particularly care for the practice (of urinating at an account, even if in the woods) but as for a customer getting bent out of shape, hey you know worse things happen.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    You did the right thing. Once you have dealt out a punishment NEVER go back on it or it will not stick in his mind.
    Do not call him back to work until the time you suspended him for is up.
    If you do you will look weak and loose some of your edge with your employees. The punishment will have lost all power to teach and the concern about what you might do to them if they break rules will be non-existent in very short order.

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