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Crew communication (cell phone abuse)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TPendagast, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,685

    I watched it over 25 years evolve into what it has become now. Not sure how to control it when it comes to the kids that are so addicted they cannot and will not stop wasting your time. One guy I fired went from low use to 2 plus hours a day in a very short period. It's one of the principle reasons I opted out of employees.

    Funny side not I had that guy come back to help me for a single day last summer. He was out on probation and living out of a hotel. He spent the entire day setting up dates for his hoes. So lack of landscaping work turned him into a pimp. He was so fired after that it wasn't funny.
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,234

    I hear ya, I'd go nuts if I didn't listen to something, not sure how I did it for so long without.

    Same with my wife. lol

    Then you have the music too loud. I can still hear changes in the mower operation, never could hear what was going on around me.

    Emergency calls is weak at best. Used to be back in the day before cell phones and pagers, people just worked. If there was some sort of emergency, people found a way to get a hold of someone.

    This crap about being connected to everything and everyone 24/7/365 has made the world nuts. There is no need for it. Seriously. The world and human race survived a long time without it, I think we still can.
  3. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,930

    Either ban the phones all together or don't be so damn cheap and give them a company cell phone.

    Going this route give you control to:
    restrict numbers coming in by blocking.....block a few times they'll get the picture.
    you make it clear that its for you to communicate with them.

    Cant speak for all providers but at least my provider gives you the ability to see what calls are being placed\coming in. not very difficult to block numbers via web app.

    Then I know my carrier still does the 2 way you can have a phone still for:
    be albe to place 911 calls
    use 2 way to communicate with staff.
  4. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    Good Luck with that. All my guys have cell phones, which has actually been very efficient. We use Google Sheets which allows you to create spreadsheets. I have created sheets for routing and it requires a consistent amount of editing by the crew leaders.
    In turn it acts as a GPS tracker. I have the sheets set up to keep track of their time on each job. They literally have to clock in & clock out at each and every job.
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,710

    I don't get the "what if the cell phone saves their lives?" and the "what if the cell phone can't play music for them?"

    They don't get music at walmart, McD's or any other place they work.

    If there is an emergency they can call the main office number in which case the message is forwarded to the employee JUST like any normal company that doesn't let you have cells at work.

    save their lives?

    Ive been landscaping since 1989.

    Ive never seen anyone die on a property or be so badly injured their life was saved by a communication device.

    Im pretty sure this is the same post by the guy who thought mexicans sit in trucks and listen to news reports in english to better route around traffic, and that's why they need radios?

    this thought process is ludicrous.

    Motorola radios are the answer.
    No cells at work.
    Carry your radio.

    when guys at work DO haver their cells? do you think they answer them?

    because they are running down batteries listening to music and forgot their charger.
    and the constant "I forgot my phone at home"

    So 30% of the time I have a crew out there I can't communicate with ANYWAY.

    everyone hires from the same labor pool, so everyone has the same issues.

    When motorola radios and answering machines were the tech of the day… I would go entire days without talking to clients on the phone, and I can Promise you, from looking at time and efficiency reports decades old… Cell phones have NOT made things more efficient.

    Guys with older mowers, less efficient technology, were mowing the same properties in 94 with less call backs and faster times than dudes doing it in 2014 with better mowers that should be having faster times and have all sorts of quality issues.

    Are the guys dumber?


    It's distractions and temptations…. cell phones, specifically smart phones.
  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,506

    So t what's your solution to communicating with a deaf employee?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,710

    How many deaf employees do you have?

    From what I understand you're mostly deaf. And you text or email your customers mostly.

    That's a rarity, not a commonality.

    Deaf people are limited, like one legged people or someone missing a hand.
    There are some things they simply can't do.

    Radio/phone communications are one of the things deaf people can't do.

    You're question is, Am I going to compromise everything else on every other crew to accommodate a deaf employee? (i.e. let everyone have cell phones and abuse them just because of the deaf employee)

    The answer is no.

    How often do you always have every crew out there being one person?
    not very often.

    So simply put, the OTHER guy/gal can talk on the radio.

    OR in the super RARE situation where I would find myself with a deaf person who needed to be on their own route all by themselves?

    Hand them a paper route sheet and just know there is very little I can do to communicate with them during the day?

    the fact of the matter is, deaf people existed just fine (like the rest of us) before cell phones and texting.
    They had jobs, they ate and fed their families.
    Does it suck to be deaf?

    does texting and emailing make it easier? Im sure it does.

    Personally I prefer texting and emailing… I HATE talking on the phone and If I have to talk to people Id rather do it in person.

    I happen to be hard of hearing myself.
    Any sort of background noise, such as a bar or a sporting event and I might as well be 100% deaf because I can't make out anything the person next to me is saying (which is why I hate sporting events or going to bars)

    Generally I can't really understand what most people are saying in more than 50% of conversations unless Im looking at them face to face. I despise it when my wife starts conversations from other rooms or trying to talk to me with her back turned to me , like walking around in stores. All I hear is charlie browns parents…. someone is talking but no words.

    so I kinda know a little about what hearing impaired is like.

    But truthfully, I don't expect the world to make allowances for my hearing issues, my PTSD, or the fact that I seriously am annoyed by little kids everywhere where they don't belong (nice restaurants, movie theaters, and every where else they raise hell to prevent an adult couple from having some semblance of a night out without watching 'romper room' unfold in front of us)

    I realize the world will do what it will do and I have to adapt.

    What if I had 5-8 deaf employees? Hmm then Id have to come up with a system that was different?
    there are GPS routers and screens that allow texting over them between the dispatch office and the crew…. RealGreen systems has something like this. If I was going to have to take cells away, and/or if I had more than one deaf guy/gal…I would very likely invest in this instead… its a pretty nifty system in general.

    But the chances of me having more than one deaf person is pretty slim… it's honestly not a common ailment. So, the answer would be I would give him or her a non hearing impaired team mate.

    I have ALOT of non english speaking employees ( I speak several languages that are not english) and when I put one of them with an english speaker, they still work together fine…

    To be honest with you, if the two of them CAN'T talk to each other at all, they would probably get MORE work done.

    Ive always fancied if I ever had to get married again, I would find a wife who spoke none of the languages I do, and promise myself to never learn hers… just so I wouldn't have to talk to her. (so that leaves me with russians, japanese, korean, or australian… I know its technically english but i can never figure out what they heck they are saying!)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,710

    the more I think about it… RealGreen or similar system… the mobile GPS Laptop/tablet text communication with the office/dispatch only.

    If there was an emergency the crew member needed to know about, someone would call the office and the office would let them know.

    just like at any normal job.

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