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Be careful who you hire...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Big Todd, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    We have had a bit of a challenge with emloyees this year.

    We hired one guy to run a snowblower at all of our accounts that require it, and he is working out terrific. Dependable, always does what he's told, never asks too many questions and does a good job. We will probably put him in a truck next year (or talk him into putting a plow on his Blazer). Obviously, he is not the problem.

    Hired a guy I've known for a while who supposedly plowed years ago. Anyway, the guy has a hard time keeping a regular job, because according to him, he has personality conflicts with the people he works for. I have always gotten along well with him, and was even his supervisor for a while and never had a problem with him. He seemed like a hard worker and is the kind of guy who can "do anything". Well, long story short, he did a terrible job (way too slow, left a big mess behind, called me halfway through the route to say he was to tired to keep plowing, etc.) Well, after talking with him, he agreed that he wasn't up to it and recomended another guy to take his place.

    That guy turned out to be awsome. He had run county road plows in the past and after a few times out was doing a good job and he was fast. Well, this guy had been through some "tough times" recently, but he was dependable and always willing to do as much work as I could give him. Still there was something about him... slept a lot durring the day, always asking to get paid right away or asking to borrow money or get an advance.

    Well (and I'm a bit hessitant to go into too much detail, I just hope this may help someone else) I got a call tonight that he has voluntarily checked himself into rehab... for the tenth time...

    My wife says I am too nice to people. I guess that I will have to thicken my skin and quit trying to help guys that no one else wants to help. Lesson: I am a business man, not a social worker.
  2. sno-mover

    sno-mover Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Its hard to find good help, no one wants to work.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Todd I know what your referring to when you tell a story like that. I've had many employee's like that but this year I thought I found the the ultimate employee, smart,careful with the equipment, good knowledge of the area, hard worker, would work as many hours as I could give him. He even kept better records than I did :rolleyes: . I knew this couldn't last however and he told me about a week and half ago he was moving, TO SAN DIEGO!!

    I told him I'd write a letter of recomendation for him if he finds snow plowing work :D .
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Big Todd, I agree. You're not a social worker. But if the guy is did a good job for you, I'd encourage you to give him a job if you've got one for him. It's tough for someone with a "history" to get straightened out because nobody wants to take a chance. Hold him to the same as you would anyone else as far as showing up etc but let him know you think he's doing a good job.
  5. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    A wise man once said::: One who gives hope to others, often finds wealth in those who are hopeful. :D You want "fl'ied" lice with that chop suey !!!! ROFLMAO.....:eek:
  6. ProSno

    ProSno Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    I know how you feel. My sisters kid came to me for work about 6 months after my wife died. This guy ran my trucks and equipment flawless and was really into his work well that didn't last long. He started screwing up and coping an attitude then small equipment started turning up missing. Well I put two and two together and went to the local pawn shop and what do I see right in the front window? My stuff! So I buy all my stuff back (and by the way the pawn shop owner gave it to me for what he paid my guy) and I confront him when I get back. Dummy admits it and I send him to rehab. Comes out all better "Ya sure" and does it again. Needless to say after I bought my stuff back a second time he got slapped around the shop and canned. What gets me is after losing a wife and raising a 3 year old daughter myself this kid had no sympathy and no morals, cocaine was his downfall. To bad what drugs can do to good people. Help is always hard to find.
  7. captbo

    captbo Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    Todd and others, I have found any time an new employee has multi questains about money it is never good as you have found it more often than not is a substance issue of some kind. in ANY occupation its not what you do its who you have to hire and what you have to hire from that is the challenge. in this business. it would be hard for a guy not to put himself in business with your equipment. let alone screw it up by being careless

    a drug program may not be out of line. You do not have to have it facilitated , just reserve the right at your discression

  8. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    In the construction business around here, these people are a way of life. They come and go and come and go again. I don't know how so many biz owners keep doing it. Everytime I inquire though, I get a response similar to above...."because they make me money when their here". I guess as long as someone is making money, thats the important thing?????
  9. site

    site Member
    Messages: 61

    I have no problem hiring former addicts. As long as they are FORMER addicts. I have a fromer heroin addict working for me, and he thanks me all the time for letting him work. He sais all the time how much he loves his job, and I know he'll be there whenever I ask. No matter how hard it gets this guy has seen much harder. He would work 18 hours a day 7 days a week if I would let him. He's not the smartest guy around, but dedication and integrity count for a lot.
  10. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I'll agree with that, I keep some of the guys around cause they make me money when they're here and STRAIGHT! There's been sevral ocaisions when I've kicked guys off a site before the day even gets started. One guy has been locked up twice in the last year, he got the boot. I have my dependable guys who have been with me a while and then there are the floaters that come and go, a lot of them do real good work, just not consistently.

    I did however stop lending money to employees unless I know where it's going. I lent one guy $400, and low and behold his fiance calls to tell me he used it to buy cocaine. He sold it for a profit and paid me back but that was the last guy who got an advance. If someone comes to me and cant pay a bill, i'll pay it and take it out of their check over a few weeks but no more cash handouts. I'll give a guy who is dependable the shirt off my back but it's amazing how many times they forget what u did for them and stick it to you. I know a lot of other guys who go through the same thing, I guess it's part of the business.
  11. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I can relate to the whole substance abuse / employee, employer releationship. Good employees are extreamly hard to find. My lead carpenter makes many meetings a week for both alchoal and narcotics abuse. He's been clean for 2+ years and is a pretty hard worker. I did have a few issues with him over this winter regarding the plowing aspect of my company, but he does do a nice job the other nine months of the year.

    I take chances with him every so often, loaned him his down payment for his house, gave him a master key to all my properties, and a key to my garage and tool storage shed. I haven't had any problems. I believe that you need to treat people the way you'd want to be treated or better yet the way you'd want your little sister to be treated. Some times people need a break, a helping hand or for someone to just take an interest in them, be an example and a supporter.

    I've spoken to him many times and he always says he very grateful for what we've done for him and that he is very loyal to the company. I've also had people he's reccomended work for me from the many programs he participates in, some have been good employees and others had to shown the door.

    If he's a good employee than why not give him a chance. I sometimes feel that I'm too kind to people at times, but when I look back at it I'd much rather be that way then the latter. When it's all said and done I'm the only who looks in that mirror in the am to shave me and I'm pretty satisfied with the guy looking back.

    That's just my opinion I could be wrong!
  12. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    My lead foreman is an ex-convict.You'd never know it now.He is one of the best employees I've ever had.The first one in,and the last one to leave.He'll do just about anything,no questions asked.He is my highest paid salaried employee now.

    He was totally open and up front when I hired him,and said he was turning his life around.Well,he has succeded.He has master keys to everything,and has never betrayed my trust.
  13. phillyplowking1

    phillyplowking1 Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    Hey if there a good employee,who cares about there PAST.