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if you heard what your employees say about u

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    got a funny story for ya. how do u think your employees talk about you behind your back? last year i had 2 guys working for me. my family and i took a trip to the west coast, and i left instructions for the guys for the whole week, and made it clear that i trusted both of them, neither one was "in charge", but steve was to do the driving, and if there were any crucial decisions to be made, he would make them. well, after 3 days i decided to call and check with him on how things were going. the phone rings, his son answeres(about 3 yrs old), i ask for him, but apparently the little guy gets distracted and puts the phone down on the table. so, no one knows im on the phone. a minute goes by, and i hear steve yelling and complaining to his girlfriend, "im tired of his crap! he takes off and leaves me with all this work to do, what am i, a slave, he thinks im his slave! and if he thinks im changin the oil and tuning up the mowers, hes nuts, i dont get paid to be his mechanic, and so on, and so on." this guy was trashing me like u cant believe. we have never, ever had bad words between us, we got along and worked great. well, he never did find out i called, and i didnt call back that week. but when we got home i gave him a call, "how did everything go this week?" , "oh, hi bob, how was your vacation, everything went fine, we finished the whole route, mowers are tuned and running fine, and there is a list of our hrs on the clipboard." he never mentioned any problems or gripes, and i never mentioned my phonecall. my wife thought this was so funny, personally i was shocked. if YOU could put a bug in your employees house, what do u think u would hear?
  2. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    nothing, i am the only employee.
  3. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    Great story bobby...............
  4. ahah

    ahah LawnSite Member
    from 5
    Posts: 70

    That is a funny story. But it seems to me you have some serious communication problems with your employees. For him to vent that way and then pretend everything is fine upon your return just doesn't seem right. If I were an employee with issues with my employer, I would respectfully bring to his or her attention that I did not think it was good planning to not have the mowers tuned up before they left for vacation. It is already stressful enough to be here making decisons on your behalf and then have to do equipment maintenence that could have been done before or after you leave.......etc.
    Do you have an open door policy? Do you practice it? If not, you might want to look into some changes.
  5. Catmann

    Catmann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    I think you are living in a dream world (no offense!!). We have an open door policy, we all (10 employees total) talk all the time and everything is covered, no secret conversations for some to hear and other to not.

    Yet, it amazes me the amount of "bashing" that goes on from one person to the next and then about the owner. Everyone gets along, NOBODY dislikes anyone (we are all friends, 8 of us have worked here at least 8 years, the other two 3 years). But still, when someone is in a mood, out pours the bashing. It does not mean we cannot get along, it is just that we all know we have to accept certain things in a business atmosphere and that every decision is not going to please everyone. Sometimes it is just relieving to complain I guess.

    I doubt any company can avoid this. It is like a marriage. Without any arguments or disagreements I would be scared something is REALLY wrong. The stress of the week of pressure "being the boss" was probably the issue and when it was over it was no longer an issue.
  6. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I do my best to be a good employer. What they have to say about me behind my back is not my concern. I am their boss, not their friend. Is there anyone who has nothing bad to say about their boss?? The fact that my men come back year after year says it all.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I guess I'm ok as an employer. Same people keep coming back year after year...that or they have a grudge against themselves...LOL.

    Actually, every one of my guys has been a referral from one another in some fashion. All are friends or related somehow which makes it a nice atmosphere. Never an arguement or bad words thrown at one another. At least, not when I have been around.

    What they think bout me? Dunno, but it has crossed my mind more than once over the years.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have heard it before as well. One of the guys left their cell phone on and I could hear my ex-employee talk
  9. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Posts: 925

    There could be so many reasons it would take Dr. Phil to sort it out.
    But think about it if you have ever worked for some one else there is always something to complain about. When your not the boss you don't get to make the decisions and that bugs most of us doesn't it? Isn't that one of the reasons you love being the boss? Well this guys no different than us except he hates himself for taking your orders instead of going out on his own. And don't forget he was talking to his wife and probably trying to improve his image to her. Kinda like (If only I was running things it would be different cause I'm the smart one if only this or that) attitude a lot of guys BS there wifes with. It's his cover up of his own insecurities you over heard. This is just a guess on my part not knowing the guy. In general though I have see this type of individual a lot and they will talk this trash to the other employees. If this goes on all the time it can be a real problem. It gets any new employees off to a bad start and is the kind of thing that people are talking about when they use the "one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel" saying.
    Personally I would probably tell the guy what I heard and tell him in no uncertain terms that I wont tolerate it and if he's talking that trash to fellow employees he had better stop or he's history. I worked for a big landscape company several years ago. The crew boss I worked with was like that about the owner. I was always being told I worked too hard and to slow down. " If the company finds out we get this much done they will expect it all the time" I had a choice to make. Rat the guy out or quit. I was new the crew boss was friends with the owner so I quit. I can't work like that and don't need that kind of aggravation in my life. That guy was in the way of my personal goals. You may have a problem like that.
    Fate gave you a clue don't ignore it.
    Thats my opinion anyway.
  10. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Let's face it, as a boss your #1 job is to be that - the boss. Employees either accept the way YOU want things done, or they're gone! If they aren't pulling their weight, we can be like a diaper - always on their azz and always full of schidt.

    I don't think it to be too much to require employees to continue maintenance on equipment in your abscense. I agree w/ a lot of what leadarrows has stated. Fortunately it has been easier finding employees this year, so I've been able to weed out the undesirables. Everyone will have bad days, but if each employee knows what they're responsible for, and ensures their work is done properly, there is a lot less bickering and dissention in the ranks.

    I just let my third employee go this season - all this guy was really good at was either complaining about his job assignment, or talking behind the backs of the other employees and crew chiefs he was not w/ that given day.

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