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Had to fire an employee today...what was he thinking???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tx-1, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. tx-1

    tx-1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Most of my crews work alone, so I place a good amount of trust in them, So when I find someone who is reliable I usually put him by himself. Well today I was on my rounds, and I had been noticing that one employee's work had began to slide. His production had dropped off in the last couple of days so I decided to pay him a visit. Called the office and got his run list for the day and figured I would go out and work with him for a couple of hours and try to get him a little more motivated. I pulled up to find his wife and little son having a picnic at 3:00 pm in the backyard of a house. Seems that he left the shop and has been going home to pick up his family and take them with him throughout the day!!!!!!!!!! Not to mention in a company truck with my Gas and my equipment ( not to mention the liability issues).. I didn't know what to say. He said that he was sorry, and that he would take them home, and finish his rounds. He also admitted to doing this for the past week!!!! He thought that it was okay and didn't see why it was such a big deal. WTF!!!!!! got his keys and locked truck and trailer up. I should of made him walk home, but felt sorry for his wife and kid. called them a cab... Man, sometimes ya got to wonder what people are thinking. I have had my fair share of employee screw ups, but this takes the award.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    that sucks hope you find a good replacement
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I can see your pissed about it. If he IS good at what he does then maybe you needed to talk to him about it. Tell him that it's not OK to bring family members with him to work. You sure did motivated him.

    Good luck.
  4. clcare2

    clcare2 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 224

    I had a guy a couple a years ago who take time out the day to go to see his parole officer. Found this out after he was fired for mowing his dealers yard in trade for pot, while he was on the clock.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Aw man heck at least he wasn't drinking beer while having sex with the customer's underage daughter as dad's car is rounding the corner :p

    What your guy did sure is reason for a reprimand, but I wouldn't personally fire someone over this.
    Nobody is perfect, it would probably have got me furious too but these things will happen.
    Call'm up say sorry things got a little hot, tell him he can have his job back if he wants but no more picnics LOL
    then all is good, what I would do.
  6. flakebortch

    flakebortch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I'd be livid about what he cost me in bucks, but for whatever reason, you gave the guy a decent measure of responsiblity. It sounds like you've got a sizable operation, and you're not new to judging a person's character. It occures to me that the same qualities that you had a hunch about in this guy also are qualities that make him a good father/husband. He made a mistake, but sure as shiz he learned a lesson getting sent home from his job in a cab with his family. Why fire a guy who just honestly learned something that you find completely repugnant. And now the next guy needs to learn it too. If he doesn't skip out on his family in your truck that is.
  7. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    Obviously you need to talk with your employee's more on what they can and can't do. This guy was only having lunch with his family, not smoking crack in a customers house. Then you decide in front of his family that he's going to be fired. I bet his kid thinks alot of you. You need to call him back and explain a few things to him and let him know he can't have his family with him during work. If your lucky, he'll come back to work for you. Then again, he might have seen a part of you he doesn't care to see anymore and not WANT to work for you. Either way, you need to make it right.

    Have you ever seen a tow truck driver riding around with his wife with him?
  8. E & J Pro Turf

    E & J Pro Turf LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 122

    Greg how many employes do you have? How many crews do you have?

    OK enough said! Trust me this guy has seen it all.

    Lets think about what the home owner might think about this guy hanging out in his back yard. Reminds me of when we where having a new roof put on our house. My wife came home and the had opened our bathroom window, snatched the soap and where in the backyard getting cleaned up in there boxers. She got 4 new roof vents and 2 new windows. Ouch!
  9. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    You did the right thing. Re-write the rule book and state the obvious. I find our employees interpretation of whats wrong or right isn't always in line with ours. IMO, if their on my time, they're dancing to my song.
  10. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    Your right, I don't have anyone working for me. I still feel he needs to talk with the guy. It's not like he was again, smoking crack or doing something illegal. I'm sure the customer wondered what they were doing but at the same time, this guy was deemed a good worker and tx-1 didn't mention anything else that he was doing wrong. If you talk to him and explain what you want of him as a employee, he might turn out to be that much better to have working for you. In your eyes it might be a crime in progress what he was doing but to him, he was eating lunch with his family. I've seen crews sitting under trees eating lunch all the time. Having his family with him in the company truck, again, he probably didn't think it was a problem. I say give the guy a chance and just talk to him about the issue.

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