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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
got a funny story for ya. how do u think your employees talk about you behind your back? last year i had 2 guys working for me. my family and i took a trip to the west coast, and i left instructions for the guys for the whole week, and made it clear that i trusted both of them, neither one was "in charge", but steve was to do the driving, and if there were any crucial decisions to be made, he would make them. well, after 3 days i decided to call and check with him on how things were going. the phone rings, his son answeres(about 3 yrs old), i ask for him, but apparently the little guy gets distracted and puts the phone down on the table. so, no one knows im on the phone. a minute goes by, and i hear steve yelling and complaining to his girlfriend, "im tired of his crap! he takes off and leaves me with all this work to do, what am i, a slave, he thinks im his slave! and if he thinks im changin the oil and tuning up the mowers, hes nuts, i dont get paid to be his mechanic, and so on, and so on." this guy was trashing me like u cant believe. we have never, ever had bad words between us, we got along and worked great. well, he never did find out i called, and i didnt call back that week. but when we got home i gave him a call, "how did everything go this week?" , "oh, hi bob, how was your vacation, everything went fine, we finished the whole route, mowers are tuned and running fine, and there is a list of our hrs on the clipboard." he never mentioned any problems or gripes, and i never mentioned my phonecall. my wife thought this was so funny, personally i was shocked. if YOU could put a bug in your employees house, what do u think u would hear?
 

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That is a funny story. But it seems to me you have some serious communication problems with your employees. For him to vent that way and then pretend everything is fine upon your return just doesn't seem right. If I were an employee with issues with my employer, I would respectfully bring to his or her attention that I did not think it was good planning to not have the mowers tuned up before they left for vacation. It is already stressful enough to be here making decisons on your behalf and then have to do equipment maintenence that could have been done before or after you leave.......etc.
Do you have an open door policy? Do you practice it? If not, you might want to look into some changes.
 

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Originally posted by ahah
That is a funny story. But it seems to me you have some serious communication problems with your employees. For him to vent that way and then pretend everything is fine upon your return just doesn't seem right. If I were an employee with issues with my employer, I would respectfully bring to his or her attention that I did not think it was good planning to not have the mowers tuned up before they left for vacation. It is already stressful enough to be here making decisons on your behalf and then have to do equipment maintenence that could have been done before or after you leave.......etc.
Do you have an open door policy? Do you practice it? If not, you might want to look into some changes.
I think you are living in a dream world (no offense!!). We have an open door policy, we all (10 employees total) talk all the time and everything is covered, no secret conversations for some to hear and other to not.

Yet, it amazes me the amount of "bashing" that goes on from one person to the next and then about the owner. Everyone gets along, NOBODY dislikes anyone (we are all friends, 8 of us have worked here at least 8 years, the other two 3 years). But still, when someone is in a mood, out pours the bashing. It does not mean we cannot get along, it is just that we all know we have to accept certain things in a business atmosphere and that every decision is not going to please everyone. Sometimes it is just relieving to complain I guess.

I doubt any company can avoid this. It is like a marriage. Without any arguments or disagreements I would be scared something is REALLY wrong. The stress of the week of pressure "being the boss" was probably the issue and when it was over it was no longer an issue.
 

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I do my best to be a good employer. What they have to say about me behind my back is not my concern. I am their boss, not their friend. Is there anyone who has nothing bad to say about their boss?? The fact that my men come back year after year says it all.
 

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I guess I'm ok as an employer. Same people keep coming back year after year...that or they have a grudge against themselves...LOL.

Actually, every one of my guys has been a referral from one another in some fashion. All are friends or related somehow which makes it a nice atmosphere. Never an arguement or bad words thrown at one another. At least, not when I have been around.

What they think bout me? Dunno, but it has crossed my mind more than once over the years.
 

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I have heard it before as well. One of the guys left their cell phone on and I could hear my ex-employee talk
 

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There could be so many reasons it would take Dr. Phil to sort it out.
But think about it if you have ever worked for some one else there is always something to complain about. When your not the boss you don't get to make the decisions and that bugs most of us doesn't it? Isn't that one of the reasons you love being the boss? Well this guys no different than us except he hates himself for taking your orders instead of going out on his own. And don't forget he was talking to his wife and probably trying to improve his image to her. Kinda like (If only I was running things it would be different cause I'm the smart one if only this or that) attitude a lot of guys BS there wifes with. It's his cover up of his own insecurities you over heard. This is just a guess on my part not knowing the guy. In general though I have see this type of individual a lot and they will talk this trash to the other employees. If this goes on all the time it can be a real problem. It gets any new employees off to a bad start and is the kind of thing that people are talking about when they use the "one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel" saying.
Personally I would probably tell the guy what I heard and tell him in no uncertain terms that I wont tolerate it and if he's talking that trash to fellow employees he had better stop or he's history. I worked for a big landscape company several years ago. The crew boss I worked with was like that about the owner. I was always being told I worked too hard and to slow down. " If the company finds out we get this much done they will expect it all the time" I had a choice to make. Rat the guy out or quit. I was new the crew boss was friends with the owner so I quit. I can't work like that and don't need that kind of aggravation in my life. That guy was in the way of my personal goals. You may have a problem like that.
Fate gave you a clue don't ignore it.
Thats my opinion anyway.
 

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Let's face it, as a boss your #1 job is to be that - the boss. Employees either accept the way YOU want things done, or they're gone! If they aren't pulling their weight, we can be like a diaper - always on their azz and always full of schidt.

I don't think it to be too much to require employees to continue maintenance on equipment in your abscense. I agree w/ a lot of what leadarrows has stated. Fortunately it has been easier finding employees this year, so I've been able to weed out the undesirables. Everyone will have bad days, but if each employee knows what they're responsible for, and ensures their work is done properly, there is a lot less bickering and dissention in the ranks.

I just let my third employee go this season - all this guy was really good at was either complaining about his job assignment, or talking behind the backs of the other employees and crew chiefs he was not w/ that given day.
 

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ahah,
Bobby is just telling a story, didn't ask for anyone to put a flashlight in one ear and see what kind of shadows pictures it makes on the wall.
Anyone have a 'real' problem with anyone in their group, they're going to know about it soon enough, one way or another.
Used to introduce myself to my new hires by telling them "I'm the biggest a--hole here, don't care if you like me or not, all you have to do is your job, the way your told to do it, and we'll get along just fine."
Real workers will do there job and work just fine, and probably talk behind your back, must be human nature or some quirk.
Paycheck collectors will identify themselves in less than a week and be history.
 

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Hey - who cares (not to bash you at all) - but I adopted the policy of - I don't care if the employees like me, I dont care if they talk about me all I care is that they show up, do their job, do it well and make me money - beyond that I could care less what they say about me behind my back. It's always nice if they like me, but I m not here to make friends - I'm here to run a business. I 'm not mean. I'm just down to business.
Your story is pretty funny though - but I wouldn't give what happened a second thought. Let it go.
 

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The one thing a man really doesn't want to know is what his wife thinks of him. I seem to be a sounding board for some of our friends and some of the things I hear ain't pretty. When it comes to relationships, both professional and private, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
 

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I wouldnt worry about it. Like others have said, your the boss, not there friend. Human nature is what it is! As long as they dont talk bad about you and the job to your customers, no harm done.

But on the other hand.......

Good story though......... "Busted" I think it would make me feel a little strange knowing my employee dosnt feel the way he acts in front of me. hmmmmm. How will you know where you stand with him now? Kind of 2 faced aint it!
 

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I would have to say something to him. Tell him how much you appreciate having an employee like him, who can take over while you are gone, and keep the company going so that everyone has a job. If you didn't have a responsible employee like him, you would have to shut down when you take a vacation, and no one would make any money that week. Then, if it were me, the brat side of me would come out a little, and I would find a way to put in something that he said, just enough to make him wonder if you are psychic.
"I wouldn't want you to feel like a slave, when asked to do things that I usually do, such as changing oil and tuning up the machines."
Crawdad
 

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Thats smart crawdad I like that.:)
When I was managing a bar I made this band I liked the house band for a while. Well the girl in charge of the band played at another bar on thursdays. She was bad mouthing me about something and it got back to me (she didn't no I had lived in that town for 9 years when I was a kid) any way the next time I saw her I just said " You no what I used to live in Arcadia and I have a lot of friends there you no what I mean" She turned kind of white and just shook her head up and down. LOL thats all that was ever said about it but it never happened again. :D
 

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Originally posted by AL Inc
I do my best to be a good employer. What they have to say about me behind my back is not my concern. I am their boss, not their friend. Is there anyone who has nothing bad to say about their boss?? The fact that my men come back year after year says it all.
Exactly.

Though there were incidents where they have done trash talk where I can hear it as they walk away. A couple have lost their unemployment benefits cause of their mouth. Funniest thing is when they think you did not understand what they said.

It's usualy the new guys that have so much to say.

The last line in the quote says much. 3 of my men have been with me over 15 years. One has his son with the company the last 5 years. Those 3 let me know what's on their mind. I am glad that they do. They also are the point of contact for the rest of the employees before it gets to me.
 

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Originally posted by crawdad
I would have to say something to him. Tell him how much you appreciate having an employee like him, who can take over while you are gone, and keep the company going so that everyone has a job. If you didn't have a responsible employee like him, you would have to shut down when you take a vacation, and no one would make any money that week. Then, if it were me, the brat side of me would come out a little, and I would find a way to put in something that he said, just enough to make him wonder if you are psychic.
"I wouldn't want you to feel like a slave, when asked to do things that I usually do, such as changing oil and tuning up the machines."
Crawdad
As I was going thru this thread I kept thinking the same thing. Though some employees are going to bash the boss, the important thing is that they know who the boss is, and that's you! You can look at the conversation you overheard like a "gift" you could never expect to get. There's now way you could ever hope to find out what this guy was thinking about you. It was pure fate. If he's a good worker, then use it as a training exercise. Sort of like what Crawdad said. While you didn't make either guy "the boss" while you were gone, you did let it be known who was to drive the truck and if any decisions had to be made while you were gone who was to make them. Let him know you trust him and value him. Of course, if you can throw that "slave" remark at him with a straight face, or maybe give him a half smile or a wink, then you'll own him! Let us know if you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
actually, hes no longer with us. not for any reason related to the phone call thing, he was just terribly unreliable. we have been through 11 guys in 3 years. i now have only one, but hes a good one, im actually doing better with one, than i was with two.
 
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