"You're Fired!"


LawnSite Fanatic
Beaverton, OR
Me and 'The Donald' got something in common. We've both been having to say those words a lot lately. Only I wish I knew how to say that exact phrase in espanol.

Man, some employees are getting more and more stupid these days.

First one I had to let go late last fall. He had started his own LCO biz on the side - mowing on his days off on the weekends. He actually had the nerve to convince one of my customers to switch to him. And then when people would walk up while he was working for us and ask for one of our business cards - he'd hand them HIS business card and tell them to call him on the weekend. Stupid! His arse got canned real quick once I heard about that. I guess he thought I'd never find out. Thankfully, the other employees he told were more loyal to me than he was. So they let me know. He practically begged me to not fire him. DUH! Shoulda thought of that back before you decided to screw me!

All the other employees knew about what happened with that guy and I had a stern talking to with the rest of the guys.

But do you what happened a few months later? I catch another guy doing the same damm thing!!! I really didn't believe it was happening. Not after he saw what happened to the first guy. I didn't believe it so much that I had to see for myself. I sent one of my friends over to ask him for a card while they were working. Sure 'nuff. He hands him one of his own little business cards and tells him to call later that night. THE NERVE!!! I couldn't friggin' believe it!

That guy was fired within 1 hour. And he REALLY needed the $ and his job. He even had the nerve to lie to me and say that he didn't give my friend his card. That lasted about 10 seconds until I pulled out the card my friend gave me as proof. The look on that little lying weasel's face was classic. GOTCHA!

Then we had one bad apple left. I guess this guy just wasn't happy working for us. Felt he didn't get paid enough. So even after a $1 per hour raise, he still complained every day to guys working with him. Lately, he began to sabotage stuff. Left one of the trucks 3-4 qts low on oil - lifters banging away loud as heck. Almost ruined the engine. This was something he was always good about checking before. He began not telling me that equipment was broken and just set it aside at the shop without telling anyone. He would take the keys to the truck home with him on his days off so nobody else could use the truck while he was gone. He began mowing residentials at 7:15 in the a.m. on a Saturday - something he knows damm good and well we never do. He began leaving junk in customers' yards. Stuff like that. So he got the "You're fired." today.

Man, me and 'The Donald', we're getting pretty good at this.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Funny you mentioned that. Several years ago had a mexican guy who had worked for me for five years take a $36,000 a year condo account. I got a a letter saying I was fired. Could not believe it as the place was great. Property manager said residents were unhappy. We my guy did not show up for work and the guys said he quit. Then I went to his place to get the shop keys and there was his trailer with a new Lesco mower and stuff. The bad part is that I helped him and his family out so many times I can not even count.

Had another guy do the same thing but on a smaller scale.

I feel your pain. LOL

BTW, the proper way to tell a mexican he is fired is getyo asso outo hereo beforeo I kicko ito betweeno youro shouldero!


LawnSite Member
SE Michigan
Been there done that. I hate lasey, lieing dead beats. I've said it before and ill say it again.

Hire slow fire fast.

The worst ive seen is when they use your equipment and your time to have their own cash accounts. I guy had between 12-15 that we found out about. Makes you want to show them the business end of a shovel.

oh did I mention


AL Inc

LawnSite Bronze Member
Long Island, NY
Jim, not sure how long you have been using hispanic labor, but I've seen the same thing happen here. Not so much to myself (that I know of), but to other companies in my area. There is a very large Salvadoran population here, which began in the late 80's. Many worked in landscaping and now have started their own businesses. I would bet that guy is not the last one you find handing out his own business card.

Eric 1

LawnSite Bronze Member
Toccoa Ga.
That is 1 of the top 10 reasons i an SO glad i am and most likely aways will be SOLO.:cool: :p


LawnSite Member
Austin Texas
Thanks for letting us new guys your horrible time with employees. It really makes me think twice about employees and how to handle misconduct.

Does anyone know the legal route to prevent an employee from taking your business. I would assume it would have to be a nocompete clauss or something similar. Then if it does happen how would you prove he stole your customer's.

Thanks for any advice.


LawnSite Member
Houston, TX
Texas is a right to work state and am led to believe that it would be really tough to keep someone from working. ;)


LawnSite Platinum Member
I've been in this business 16 years. Started when I was 16, now average $1.50 a year. Not that much, but hey, I'm cheap. :) Anyways, I was up to 7 full time employees about 5 years ago. You know... I was still making $1.50 a year. Figured what the heck. I'm going back to doing it myself, at least I get rid of the headache of someone not showing up to fill a crew, no one showing up on Sat or Sun cause it rained Thurs and Fri. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. Granted now I work 6 1/2 months straight with 16 rain days mixed in. However I get 5 1/2 months off with 16 snow days mixed in. :)

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