hiring a friend

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    thinking back a few yrs..........i had this friend(yea i know, you don't believe i have friends). he and i would do things like fishin, drinkin beer, hang out, whatever. if he needed a ride, or help with something, i'd help him. if i needed help, like wiring my trailer for the boat, or a mechanical problem, or putting in the air conditioner, he'd help me. it worked out very nicely. well, one day he asked if i could hire him, he needed a job. of course i said yes. our friendship took a drastic turn from that point on. it seemed that now our usual "exchange of favors" turned into hours on the payroll. i needed my boat trailer rewired, he expected now to be on the timeclock. i needed work done on the car, it was now on the timeclock. he seemed to think now that everything he did for me, he was to be paid for, yet my usual taxi service, and usual favors, etc was still considered a favor, like before. needless to say, our relationship has never been the same since then. he worked for me for one season. how did it end? he needed a ride to the doctor, i told him , " that will be $20. payment in advance required. " he looked at me confused, then said, "huh? what do you mean? i don't have $20." so i drove off and left him sitting there. i was perfectly willing and able to separate work issues from personal ones, apparently he wasn't. ever hire a friend? how did it turn out?
  2. seven-up

    seven-up LawnSite Member
    from la
    Messages: 108

    I've always tried to keep business and personal lives separate. You can't be friends with the boss. It just don't work out. Reason I've never hired a friend is because I've seen similar situations to yours, and of course they never worked out. I don't want to be in that situation.
  3. RobH

    RobH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    I've found that as soon as you enter money into the equation that friendship automatically changes to a business relationship. Money will often times screw up a friendship.

    Money is so evil between friends.

    Like seven-up says, it is best to keep business and personal lives separate. It is definitely not always easy to do.
  4. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I have found that if you are friends first, you will probably have problems like Bobbys. But if you become friends on the job, it usually works out better because there is more separation of work and play. At least thats how its worked for me.
  5. all degree

    all degree LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Believe it or not I have friends that ask to come out an cut with me b/c they think its fun to operate the mowers. One comes out pretty regularly on Saturdays when I am behind and runs a mower and loves it. I usually by him a case of Geary's but it works out great for me.

    I do get a little nervous though b/c he is a little sketchy with the mower.
  6. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Don't do it!

    Your experience is exactly why.
    It always seems to change the equation.
  7. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    99 times out of a hundred it will work out just the way it did for Bobby. Odds are you don't get a good employee and you lose a friend. Bad deal I say.
    Now having said that I have a friend that has been working for me on weekends for five years and so far so good......but this guy is not your average Joe. He helped my wife and I for free the first year we were in business just because he is a friend and he knew we really needed help but because of start up costs we couldn't afford help. You gotta love friends like that.
    AND if a friend like that wants to work part time for pay later on.... you give them the job. Mostly though I have to vote against it. I have another friend that owns his own business as well and he hired all friends too work for him and it was one disaster after another. I heard how they bad mouthed him behind his back ....almost got into a fight with one of them over it but he shut his trap when I told him too. I was disappointed. LOL
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    "Friends" and "Business" just don't seem to mix well bg...been like that for centuries.
  9. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i'm always considering going partners with a friend of mine who also has a lawncare biz. he's a good friend, and I've been told too many times that friends will be lost in the end, so I don't.

    what about family? is that totally different? My brother worked great for for 5 years until this year, but my cousin who I hired and I don't speak anymore. similar..........
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I hired on two friends over the years, the first one I just stopped calling him for work, and the second one...well lets just say he didn't like taking orders so away he went

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