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Your Input Over My Employee Blowup

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by EDEN77, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. EDEN77

    EDEN77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Looking for some input.
    I have one employee. He shows up every day on time. He does what he is told and does very good work.
    His private life is a disaster area and he tells me every day all about it.
    I pay him well for this area and for his first year of professional lawnmowing. He is paid for the first hour which is commuting time. He is paid for all break times and lunch times. I pay for the food and drink for all those times. He is paid nearly every day since he can't make it for 2 or 3 days much less a full week. He needs to smoke constantly or the stress in his life makes him even more likely that he's going to go postal, so I pay for his smokes from time to time. He usually doesn't have enough gas to get back and forth to work so I let him take a couple of gallons of gas when he needs it from my 5 gallon can. Today, for the first time this year, I raised my voice in protest when his sweatshirt was smoldering in the truck from a cigarette not quite extinguished. He told me he doesn't like to be yelled at, and he yelled at me as loud as he could. There's no danger of me firing him (I just blew it off), but is there anyone out there who NEVER has to get angry at an employee ? Over my 30+ years of working over a dozen jobs, I've been shouted down by bosses who didn't worry about "hurting my wittle feelings". I think he's about as ungrateful as it gets. I'm no wimp. I told him off. Any of you take this crap, too ? Am I a mean, miserable boss ? Is this what American labor has descended into, and why Mexicans seem like a good choice ?
  2. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Id fire an employee who would even try to yell at me.
  3. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    That's a tough situation. I do not think you are a bad boss, based solely from your post. Your employee sounds like a good man, just down the wrong track. He needs somebody to straighten him out, and you happen to be that person. Don't let him down by getting rid of him because he disrespected you, this goes much deeper than that. If he shows you that he is not a good employee, he needs to be gotten rid of. I personally have a "mild" temper problem, though I've never yelled or disrespected anybody who's my elder. You're a better man than me because I'd have gotten rid of him a long time ago. Hope this is worth something.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    I think you go way out of your way for this guy. I believe all life problens stay at the gate and can be picked up when we are done. No one raises their voice at me. I dont raise my voice at them either. I would give him one strike and that is all he gets.:nono:
  5. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    By the way, whereabouts in Pittsburgh are you located?
  6. squirrel19

    squirrel19 LawnSite Member
    from KY/TN
    Posts: 58

    Eden, the FIRST time an employee raised his voice or even talked back to me he'd hit the road in search of a new job. You own your business, but it sounds like he is running all over you. If you are going to keep him, I would lay the law down to him. I'd let him know that pay day is on Friday, he needs to support his own habits, and that he better NEVER raise his voice to me again if he wants to keep a job. don't let anyone run over you, no matter how good they are. Hope this helps...
  7. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,123

    I'm not going to say fire him or not, evidently this guy has some major issues. In my opinion you do need to sit down with him and have a talk about how his home life is affecting his work. The two shouldn't mix. If I were his boss and felt compelled to buy anything for him, I believe it would be counseling. To be doing him like you have been, you are by no means a meanie or bad boss you seem to be a big hearted person, as I can't think of any bosses that wouldn't have put him on the road long ago. This is just my opinion. Talk to him and resolve the heated words, then work on his work.
  8. TimTim2008

    TimTim2008 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,772

    i'll let it slide this time, but he better not do it again.

    even if you do raise your voice..

    and stop feeding his habbits. (if you agree you're paying him well)..

    are you scared of him doing damage, if you lay him off? (ie. stealing equipment, breaking windows of truck ect)
  9. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    You are to nice. From time to time I will pay for lunch if we had a rough day or we really worked hard and came out under budget hours on a job. But not every day and I would not support their habits either. I agree with what was said about sitting down and talk to him about his home life.
  10. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,522

    It sounds to me like your enabling the situation whether you realize it or not. Lunch, smokes, gas, listening to him vent every day, etc. He needs to man up and straighten out whatever it is at home that's eating at him. In the long run, what's going to happen is his attitude will rub off on you to some degree. While he may be a good worker, there's other ones out there to be had. You just need to find them. Give him a drop dead date to fix his problems. If he can't or won't do it, then send him packing.

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