5 new workers.fired all but one,but getting ready to fire him to

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mike9497, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. mike9497

    mike9497 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    well guys once again i can never find any good help.the first 3 were lazy and would show up late or not at all.#4 tried to steal accounts from me.plus he broke one trimmer and two shovels.#5 started out fair but still very lazy.he crabs every minute about his leg from a accident that happened 4 years ago.now just today he had a tattoo done up so his arm hurt.B****** about that all day but not his leg.i feel like im doing more than him.then today i got a call saying a guy driving one of my trucks was talking dirty to passing drivers women drivers that is.im kind of stuck here.i really do need someone else besides me and my brother.i can only do so much.i tried talking to him but hes a young guy 21 and i feel hes just set in his ways.im glad my mother watched over me like a hawk growing up. otherwise i would of turned out like these guys...lol lol. now im 23 and when i was even 16 i never acted like this kid.he needs to stop for breaks every 5 minutes.see i start my day at 6 AM.start mowing or whatever at 7 7:30AM.i don't stop for a break at all.i feel driving around from job to job in a truck with AC is a break.im lucky if my day ends by 8.i tell all my guys to bring lunch and drinks with them.i mean i don't ride there AZZEZZ at all.im very easy going.but i think im going to go out in the morning and work by myself and not even try to call this kid
  2. reelgrass92

    reelgrass92 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    It's really hard to find good help. You either got fellows staying with their women, playing video games, staying on lawnsite all day (nothing wrong with this one), or I just can't handle it.
    Or you either have the original mama's boy.:p
  3. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,150

    SOLO!!! And plan on keeping it that way!!!
  4. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I agree with Kane. 100% solo and plan on trying to stay this way.

    I like all the control anyway....:D
  5. Reset ground rules and company policies. Break them and good bye.

    Enforce the policies, they will stop, if not, then they will do the same everywhere they work.

    Don't play games, get on them fast as you can, submit add in help wanted section too.
  6. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Well, in two years I have been through approximately fourty (yes, this is a correct #) white guys and one white woman.
    In the same time span, I have utilized eight mexicans.
    Only three of the white guys were worth a damn - most I fired in the first week. I have expierenced everything from the cops showing up with arrest warrants, to malingering, theft, attempted theft, automobile/equipment accidents - the list is virtually endless. However, what got me the most was the whining from these schmoes.
    With the mexicans, I have only had one lazy guy, and I was informed before hand this might be the case. No whining, they work very well/excellent, always willing to learn - my only problem is with the border patrol.
    What I have learned from all of this was to set a employment policy and stick to it. No deviations. I inform new hires of this policy. No exceptions.
    I had a lawyer (on a unrelated matter) ask me what my employment policy was. Despite Texas being an employment at will state, fired/discharged post employees can still file a grievance and you will be wrung through the wringer by the state. However, if you have a employment policy, and can make the state understand that the employee understood, you are somewhat protected.
    You are culpable for your employee's actions - if they are violating your rules, can their ***** NOW! No employees are better than dumb ones.
  7. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    For the past 2 years I have been solo, but this year I am using part timers in the 28-35 year old range. I have 2 that are awesome right now. 1 is a Firefighter, and the other is am electrician just starting his business. We all attend the same church as well. I pay them 10-12 an hour for cutting and as much as 15 for certain landscape jobs.
    I really liked solo, but I am 40 now and want to think about doing much less of the heavier labor stuff by the time I am 50 and that must mean a strategy of growth and diversification. Good YOUNG help is really hard to find, but like all of us responsibilities change with age and work habits either improve or folks end up in the gutter drunk. So I will continue swtriving for a larger part time labor pool, and pay them well on the days I most need them.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Mike, I can understand your frustrations and concerns, and you DEFininteky have validity in all of them. I do have to say though, maybe you should work on some sort of incentive program or something. First of all, I have to say I disagree on the break thing. Riding in trucks, pulling equipment, is NOT a break. These guys NEED time to sit down, gather themselves, eat, drink, and rest a bit, and I'm sure that you would find that for the short time(s) taken, it would be MORE than made up for in productivity. Work should be enjoyable, and this is one of the most enjoyable type occupations there are. Working 12 hours a day, every day, with no stops, no breaks, and such is for the birds. I would be burned out on THAT old stuff in 2 weeks. For the guys that show up late, if they miss the boat, - you're GONE! You can't hold up 4 other guys and yourself over one dude. He'll just have to be on time the next day. And no, - there IS no "driving" to the jobsite. My outfit consists of truck, trailer, and occasionally a 4 wheel pick-up that are all matching and color coordinated. Not a truck, trailer, pick-up and a rusted out Geo to be parked in front of the properties. This isn't happening. Some people like to instill the policy that if you are late, you can come back tomorrow. By the time they get a check or two that is shorter than all the rest, they will realize. If it continues, they can get a FEW days off. The same goes for taking key days off. I used to do that. I would say. "Well, Joey, since you needed to take Friday (or Saturday) off, why don't you just go ahead and take the next day off, too. We'll handle it."
    This was usually pretty effective. As far as the injured leg winer goes, get rid of him. He's a liability. Not only that, but if it's bothering him that bad, it's obviously affecting his performance, and slowing him down, which in turn, slows the others down. If they are listening to this all the time, it just brings THEM down. You need someone who is saying. "Come on. We can GET this!" Picking everyone up, not holding them down. Well, good luck with it, and I hope you have better luck with your "re-vamping".
  9. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Messages: 457

    What do you start them out at pay wise ?
  10. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    I don't run a crew but I have before. the following is IMHO.

    1. you need a noncompete statement agreement. they work for you and cut no one else not even themself if involves the same thing that you do.

    how do you beak a shovel much less two? my shovels last for years!

    2. when you start your day doesn't matter to your employees and bringing their lunch in a sack should not be made a condition of employment. you should take between 30 minutes to an hour for lunch. and stop for drinks once in the am and once in the pm. it is probably the law where you are.

    I highly recommend that you offer the lunch break or eat a bag lunch and end the day that much quicker. you should buy them lunch at mickey dee's, or simular, on a regular basis.

    3. whadda ya mean call the kid? does he work on the basis of a phone call? that situation wouldn't work for me.

    good luck. dependable people are out there. finding them is hard.


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