Management problem - need advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, May 26, 2008.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    Last season, I hired a woman to come to my house each day and enter statement charges in Quickbooks and charge credit cards.

    Her job is to take yesterday's schedules, turned in by each crew, and enter the statement charges in quickbooks and then charge each credit card. She comes in at 5:45 or so and usually works 2 to 3 hours.

    I review her work daily the day after she enters it. I have to get her work reviewed each day before 5:00pm, the time when Quickbooks batches out and any pending errors to credit card charges are final.

    Anyhow, I did this job myself for years and I never struggled to do it right the first time. This lady is, in by my description, an error factory. I'd NEVER dream of letting her credit card charges batch out at 5:00pm without double checking her work.

    So, she had to be out for 2 weeks and she knows how much I HATE doing this daily chore. She recruited one of her friends to come in each day for the 2 week period that she would be out. Her friend is nothing short of exceptional.

    In a perfect world, where people didn't get their feelings hurt, I'd switch to the new girl permenantly.

    The regular girl is as nice as can be and she's been working for me for nearly a year. Her work is tolerable, but I could be doing SO MUCH better by making a change.

    Would you? Would you be concerned about a law suite over the eye sight issue? I mean, I've done nothing to increase font size because I want the schedules to be able to be printed on a single sheet of paper.
  2. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    Eyesight? are you saying it's an eyesight problem?

    If Ctrl + scroll wheel don't work for you, you could lower the resolution on the monitor. I do this with a 2nd monitor (a CRT) I keep it at 800X600 while my main LCD is 1280x1024. When I pull an excel file from the LCD to the CRT it gets noticeably larger. I find things harder to read on a CRT.

    edit: oh and if you are using XP, enable Clear Type.
  3. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    Another thing, if you try and replace one friend with the other, you might lose them both.
  4. dcwservices

    dcwservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    the first girl is pretty dependable. Is it worth the risk of the new hire not being reliable. And besides like he said you could easily loose them both. Maybe keeping the new girl around for when her freind takes off and working with the other a little closer on fixing her problems.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    I think from an employee's perspective it is always easier to do a perfect job when it's just temporary.
    I hope that makes sense, I speak only from my own past experience(s).

    Why that is so I could not tell you but I'm with the consensus, don't swap.
  6. Ooomwizard

    Ooomwizard LawnSite Senior Member
    from atlanta
    Messages: 296

    Business is business. You need somebody who helps and it's your responsibility to hire someone who improves your business.

    My answer: Work them both, then reduce her hours gradually and increase the others hours if ya can. Till it's no longer worth the "inaccurate workers" time to work for you. Or, assign her a new job, keep the other on the old job, then phase out the new job after awhile, if necessary.

    Or outright tell her you need someone very accurate to do this job and wish her luck.
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Texas is an Employment At Will State.
    Document the error rate on employee #1 to the point that the Work Force Commission has no issues with you - and FYI, termination for cause does not mean you have to pay the unemployment fees.
    Then, offer the job to employee #2 - and document her progress. Should she continue without the error rate - great. If she bombs, oh well Sonic is hiring.
    You owe absolutely NOTHING beyond the paycheck to personnel whose job performance hasn't even met the base criteria for acceptability.
    Probably the hardest facet of management is to separate personal feelings from the pure business aspect of performance.
    Put it to her this way - poor job performance in the field on customers property is intolerable, why should the office be any different?
    This isn't being harsh, this is being realistic. This woman is costing you money, effort and time to what end? You wouldn't tolerate sloppy work on site would you?
    One other point, with the economy becoming tight, office staff is the easiest position to fill.
  8. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,300

    I'm with txgrassguy on this. Ownership/management is a tough job to have and you have to make difficult decisions, but decisions that benefit your business. Don't bring up eyesight--that's where you could get into a lawsuit I think, but document performance. Anybody can be fired for performance in a job like this. Have you confronted the current lady at all about this? Maybe if you made her aware that she is making mistakes, she'll be more careful, wear glasses, or even volunteer to let her friend take the position. You certainly can't grow your business if you're having to check up and make corrections on this lady's work everyday.
  9. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    I am pretty sure I read this correctly but you have an issue over wanting the route on a single piece of paper??

    WOW. Seriously, I've heard it all now.
  10. mybowtie

    mybowtie LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 683

    I think u need to read that again...He's worried about credit card errors.
    He has to check her work everyday to make sure she does her job properly.

    The font size and route on a single peice of paper has nothing to do with this lady doing her job rite the first time.

    DFW, If your checking her work everytime, that means YOU ARE doing the job yourself..can her, and keep doing it yourself...:usflag:

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