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Employee Screw Ups

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brickman, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    I know that I have loudly proclaimed the benifits of working solo, and after today am begining to remember most of them. But I have a question for you guys that do regularly hire employees and what you do when they screw **** up.

    Today the guy working for me just cost me most if not all the days total take. First he breaks a window with a stone flung from the trimmer. And then about an hour later he some how catches the 21" WB on a gate and messes it up. The part on the mower was $30, and I expect the window to be in excess of $300.
    The story he told me about the gate and the mower does not add up. I can't figure out how he did what he claims happened. But what ever.

    How do you guys handle some thing like this? Pay the whole thing your self? ask the employee to pay part? I am not ready to fire the guy yet. But if this continues............................
    I didn't think in the last couple of days he wasn't listening very well to the things I was telling him about how I wanted stuff done. So I hope that this will wake him up a little. I am still trying to train him in. He is fast, but that is part of the problem, it is hard to slow him down and do it like I have told him to do. I do know he is frustrated that I am faster and do a much better job than he can right now.

    Thanks for your advice. I am a little stressed because the cash flow is still slow right now and this will hurt even more.
  2. A1 Lawn@Landscapes

    A1 Lawn@Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    I would reiterate what you have told him about his speed and lack of quality. Sit him down and tell him the story about the turtle and the hare, have him wirte "I will listen to the man that pays me" 100 times, or give him a few days off without pay so that he can feel the hit a little. If all else fails, terminate the relationship.
  3. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    i feel for ya but trimmer ,rock, window is just part of the game i got me a van window last week
    as for the screwing up the mower on the gate is it a walk behind or a push mower
    walk behinds + noobies means trouble :dizzy:
    i used to work for a large lawn service we ran about 6 crews of 4 guys and they used to screw up alot of stuff my boss just payed it and moved on
  4. Ajays

    Ajays LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    My partners cousin has a nice outfit of 5 crews and one of his employees ran one of his brand new exmarks down a hill into one of his brand new dodge rams. Now thats got to suck.
  5. ilovethisgame

    ilovethisgame LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I can't recomend what course of action you should take w/ the employee however, I find that when training someone new weather it be to the business as a whole or to the company too much + too soon = accidents. Let them use one piece of power equiptment for an entire week before introducing a new one to them. One it will slow them down Two it gives them a strong and lasting grasp on how to properly and safely handle the tools. If that doesn't work nothing wakes people up like a stiff backhand to the chops, lol

  6. shearbolt

    shearbolt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    The first day a guy was on the job he backed through a wooden fence and ran over a neighbours wheelbarrow. Next day he runs into the base of a tree and shears the blades off my Walker. Next day zero turns into a bid Ford Explorer. Luckily the back roller on my Walker only caught his bumper. But boy did he hit it hard!Recently an employee ran into the back of a garage with the trailer and almost tore the back wall off. A couple of years ago a guy poured gas into the crankcase(thinking it was the gas tank) on a customers lawn,obviously ruining the lawn and then leaving the gas soaked mower right by the customers back door. The grass has still not completely come back but I still do the lawn. No increases for her. The worst thing I ever did was take out a window in 6 years.
  7. Brieldo

    Brieldo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    Let me tell ya this: IF you guys ever hired me, I'd never do any of that. All it takes is some advanced thinking as to "What happens if I do this...", common sense, and a knack for taking pride in what a person does...if they're jetting around on yoru equipment without giving a rip, it damages the integrity of the business you've worked hard to establish...
  8. Grass_Slayer

    Grass_Slayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    the wb part i can understand the prob. there, new employee not used to the equip. run into the gate. heck i did that a couple of times when i first got my z. push one handle and it goes the way u dont want it to.

    the trimmer though,:( give him a break there. we've all hit rocks and thrown them with a trimmer. that had to be an accident. get him goin good with the trimmer then set him up with the wb. get him to pay for some of the window to just to show him he needs to be more careful and watch out for stuff like that.
  9. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Thanks guys. It has been a long spring and I have been plenty stressed out and then today on top of everything else and the short cash flow.
    I planned all along to pay for the window. Then when the 21" WB incident happened and it is only $30 to fix I think that I will take that out of his check, after telling him. And then hold off on giving him a raise for another pay period. I was thinking of giving a raise after the first two weeks, this guy is great in a lot of aspects, and if I can get quality along with his speed. WOW. I just hate to keep reminding him of details that I all ready had mentioned. I don't want to be an A hole boss.

    "ilovethisgame -- Dave" how are things going for you? How is the Walker working out I sold you?
    I put a speed up kit on my Walker yesterday. It makes a difference in how fast it goes. I should have done it a long time ago.
  10. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Today a large steel and rubber caster wheel fell off a ZTR when employee crashed it into fence.

    Then, get this...

    He chops it, destroying a spindle and leaving a blade in the grass.

    He continues on mowing another 1100 feet of fence until he realizes there are only 2 blades on the machine.

    The obvious horrible sounds that machine must have made as it ingested a 10lb caster wheel.

    Competely oblivious, he never even noticed a wheel missing.

    two words: DRUG TEST!!!!!!!!


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