How would you handle this?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Rockchoplawn, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Rockchoplawn

    Rockchoplawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 585

    So I get a call today from an upset customer. Turns out they looked outside and saw one of my guys taking a pee behind a bush near the fence. We are not losing this customer, they just wanted me to assure them it would never happen again. Embarrassed, I apologized and let them know I would be subtracting today's cut from their monthly invoice.

    The guy who did it has been with me for two seasons now. Good worker, no issues. I don't want to can him as fall cleanups are coming up and I need all the help I can get. But I feel like just having a chat isn't enough. Would a one or two week suspension be a reasonable punishment? Being down one guy these next two weeks wouldn't hurt us on overtime and it would give him some time to think about what he did.

    You would think this kind of thing is common sense. Don't pee in a clients lawn
    Bcoogan23 likes this.
  2. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Silver Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 2,945

    One or two weeks with out pay would put most basic labor guys on the hunt for new employment.

    When I was running a crew two days off without pay was the step before being fired.
  3. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,539

    Do you have enclosed trailers? A pee can? What are you doing to help assure they don't need to pee in a customers yard? I can't hold it all day and neither can my guys, can you?
  4. Rockchoplawn

    Rockchoplawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 585

    That's my dilemma, him resenting the suspension for that reason. Maybe less than a week then?

    They know they are more than welcome to make a (quick) stop to go to the bathroom if needed. There is a lunch break but I understand nature can call at any time. As long as there isn't a pattern it is fine.
  5. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,468

    Just pull the guy aside and level with him, as to the fact that the customer saw what he did, and to think before to pee next time.

    When nature calls.... Worse case scenario in those situations is the ''pee bottle'' in the truck.

    Punishment? First offense? You've said he's a decent employee. A verbal talking to should be adequate. If you have a "write-up" (progressive discipline) system in place, you can use that.
    TrainingWheels, iand, AI Inc and 4 others like this.
  6. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,313

    Have a casual chat with him.
    sehitchman, grassmonkey0311 and iand like this.
  7. Rockchoplawn

    Rockchoplawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 585

    I should also add- while this is the first time a customer has caught him, this is not a first offense. I have caught him twice when I've been with them in the spring. I will say the guy does make the effort to do it where he won't be seen, but still. Even after talking to him both times the guy can't stop pissing outside.

    It's just more of a big deal to me this time because he was seen
  8. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    When I did mowing with a crew I made sure I went in a customers yard with woods behind so they couldn't see, a nearby park, or some other area where I wouldn't be caught. There are yards you don't pee in and there are some where you can get away with it.

    Rub a rag with piss on it in his face and he will get the point, no need to go as far as a suspension, that would be a little harsh.
    Bcoogan23 and Rockchoplawn like this.
  9. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Silver Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 2,945

    If you have already had the chat with the guy about peeing in yards. A couple days off might send the message the talks didn't get through.
    Rockchoplawn likes this.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 20,105

    Id just laugh it off, but you could require your employees to be cathadorized.

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