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Customer is about to screw me !!!!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by B&E snowplowing, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I manage a company full time (not a plowing company), however during the winter months business gets extremely slow due to the nature on the business,so I lay everyone off with the exception of 2 guys (driver and helper).

    Over the past 4 years I have had a arrangement with my employer that I would plow there lot for free, and in return I was able to plow the rest of my accounts on their time,should the need arise and I would still receive my full SALARY wage. This arrangement has worked out GREAT for both parties for the past 4 years, however this year they came to me and asked that me to go hourly, so that when I was out plowing they would not be having to pay me for not actually being there. This I can understand, however I will be losing 1200 to 1500 dollars in my pocket every month.

    When I asked about plowing they said they wanted to keep everything separate this year,so I submitted a plowing quote, they went out and got a couple of quotes, and even though I was 100.00 more expensive for the season,they decided to go with me. Its a small lot so they are being charged 1500.00 for the season.

    I gave them a contract to sign, and continued to clear there lot. Now the owner has gone away and I still haven't received the signed contract yet. I have billed for the months of December and January (300.00 each month),and still haven't received a cheque yet, and when I ask about the contract and money, I'm told since the owner is not back from holidays (now understand he won't be back until the end of February) the contract is not signed,and since it is the SLOW season things are extremely tight and they are holding payments on most of their suppliers, and contractors.

    NORMALLY I would STOP service and tell the customer to screw themselves,however my fears are that I could open up a can of worms, and actually get laid off as well, at which point I would be screwed. The owner of the company can be extremely nice as long as things go his way,but when they don't he could careless about his staff or you as a person.

    I have already lost about 6000.00 over the next 5 months in wages and I sure as hell am not going to give up another 1500.00 in plowing money.

    I know what I want to do, but I'm looking for some more input.
    SORRY this was so long just wanted to give you all the entire story.

  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    It's quite simple.

    You WERE on salary. You're now on hourly.

    If you're netting MUCH more than the $6000 that you're going to lose from your salary, there's nothing to whine about.

    If you're netting $6000 or less on your plowing, then you didn't think things through.

    If you're breaking even in the checking account between the guaranteed salary job and what you're bringing in plowing, you should have given up the plowing and kept the salary money.

    You say things worked out great for both parties.... well..... I'd have to disagree. You say you're losing about $1200-1500 / month on your salary now. And it cost the company $1500 for the entire SEASON to have the lot plowed this year. So..... if you have a 6 month season, the company is now saving somewhere around $7000-9000 on your salary, and still only paying $1500 for your services to plow, so the company is saving approx. $6000-7000??? Are you SURE it was working out great in the past??

    But... if you're the manager of this company, then while the owner is away, wouldn't you be in control... and if that's the case, are you telling yourself that you're not able to pay yourself? You said yourself that business gets extremely slow during this time of year, that you had to lay everyone off except 2 people.. isn't that a sign that money could get tight down the road??

    Never do outside work for your friends, family, or other people that have a large control over your daily life.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
  3. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    Rule #1 - Never jeoperdize your day job until you have a signed offer from your new job!
    Rule #2 - re-read Rule #1

    Seriously ... It sounds like a bean counter has gotten involved and is separating out the bills. Maybe your owner is about ready to retire or sell the company. Sounds like the writing is on the wall. You had a verbal contract, have submitted bills and not had them rejected. You also had previous working relationship with work for plowing exchange. History is on your side.

    Worse case you have to wait for the money. Make to big of a stink and they'll fight you and stall your payments longer. You could also write them a friendly registered letter asking for payment. You may want to start looking for a new day job too. In the end you should be ready to put a lien on the business - this will stall and company sale, etc. etc. Have your paper work ready to drop in a moment!
  4. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    How about we don't over react and wait untill the Boss gets home from holidays. You agreed on going hourly, you could have disputed it then.
  5. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Okay I understand what everyone is saying here, yes I agreed to go hourly only due to the fact that the plowing business does generate enough income to cover the income that I was losing from my day job.

    My current full time employer is not saving 7 to 9000 only because my work weeks are never 40 hours they are alway up around the 80 to 85 hours per week, so he even agreed that if he were to pay me by the hour during our peak season, it would cost him LARGE.

    I only control the daily operations of the business, I do not control who gets paid and when, when I receive those phone calls I have to take a message and pass the message along to the accounting department, and they decide who gets paid.

    Long story short, do you not agree that they should at least take care of "one of there own" first. My employer goes through this every year making people wait, as for some reason everyone seems to wait... Well I'm not going to wait... He drives a brand new Lincon Navigator, he is able to go south for two months every year....He has a 750k house, pay your DAMM bills.
  6. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    You said it loud and clear...."He has a 750k house". He obviously knows how to live on other peoples money. Get your lien papers ready to fly!
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Again, it seems that you knew this already.... and again, you agreed. Why are you beating your head against the wall about this??

    You already said they're paying you more than another contractor, count that extra up as built in late fee.

    I have 2 accounts that are 90 days out, almost always to get paid. Normally I would do them for $50-60 / time, but since I know they're constantly 90 days out, they pay $100 / time.
  8. Mick

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

    Most people who plow, also have another full time job. Generally, they'll need to "go off the clock" in one way or another. Some (like I was) are lucky enough to have vacation time they can take whenever they want. Others just don't get paid and/or have to wait till after or before work hours. Actually, there would be legal ramifications of being on the clock while plowing (the employer would be responsible to injury, among other things).

    Quit worrying about who is getting what advantage. Look at the plowing and employment as two separate things. Treat the employer as another customers. Would you gripe about how big a house any other customer had? I have customers who live in a lot better house than I do and others who live in dumps. Doesn't make a bit of difference.
  9. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I totally agree, I don't really care what he drives, where he lives or any other issue he may have.

    I keep both employment and plowing separate.... Since there kept separate I want to get paid within my terms. My terms are as follows. Invoices are due in 15 days.

    I send, e-mail and fax invoices out on the 15th of each month, every customer must pay on or before the 1st of the month. Since I am a nice guy I give an extra 5 days due to snail mail.

    I sent the employer a invoice on November 15th due December 1.....No payment.
    Kept plowing due to being employer, sent invoice on December 15th due January 1.....No Payment.

    At this point I would have STOPPED service on December 6th, but being the employer I guess I just didn't have the nuts to do that, My employer dosen't seem to care so why should I. Maybe I should stop service and when the trucks can't go in or out I might get paid.

    Don't really know what to do here, as I said this might open up a huge can of worms.
  10. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    You need to contact the owner directly. You need to ask him why you have not recieved the signed contract back. Tell him you have not been paid.Seems like you are screwed. you have no signed contract for the work. you should not have done the work. You choose to do the plowing without a contract. He could just say,"Oh I didn't need it plowed."The other employees are not going to give you a check without a signed contract. You should do the same. live and learn I guess
  11. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    My current full time employer is not saving 7 to 9000 only because my work weeks are never 40 hours they are alway up around the 80 to 85 hours per week, so he even agreed that if he were to pay me by the hour during our peak season, it would cost him LARGE.

    Sorry to tell you but this is your answer------

    you say you were working 80-85 hrs /week for a salary and now they converted you to hourly??

    I don't know about Canada but anything over 40 hrs is overtime at time and a half once you're hourly. Also, management is always exempt here so there are no real managers at an hourly setup--if thats what they tell you its a fake title.

    You're post isn't making a lot of apples to apples sense to make a decision on what to do----are you making a 40 hr week weekly pay now and getting overtime, if you're deducting plow time from your regular pay, are you considering the OT factor, and unless you're dead broke, I'd wait till the boss gets back but also, I think you should consider why any company would want to make you hourly after having you on salary and supposedly getting 40 hrs work/ week free---theres more here than you're telling.
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Anyone who is on salary and works more than 40hrs a week and is not compensated is being taken advantage of.
    You are entitled to over time pay or some sort of compensation= the amount that was earned, it's the law
  13. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    You all are right... Here is the short and skinny... The company I manage is a party rental company where we rent big party tents. There is a TON of work in the summer (May through Sept) however after September there is almost no work except for the Christmas period were everyone is having parties. I was collecting a salary that was based on a 40 hour work week, however during May through September I work on avg. 80 - 85 hours per week. Once September hits I would usually only work about 20 - 25 hrs per week and still get paid for 40 hours, and up until this year I was plowing their lot for free.

    In November after I had put all the overtime in during the summer the owner came to me and said that he was going to put me on a hourly wage until April, as he didn't want to pay me while I was out plowing. I explained to him, the only reason we started with this arrangement was because he didn't want to pay me overtime during the summer.

    Long story short, that's how I wound up losing 1200 - 1500 dollars per month, no big deal though, because I figured if he wasn't going to pay me while I was out plowing I would pick up more work to cover what I had just lost, which I did.

    Now it seems as though I am having to fight to get paid.... Everyone say I should wait until he get back from his vacation in order to get paid.... My answer is WHY should I have to wait to get paid, I did the work, I want my money, I got screwed during the winter, and I'm FREAK IN' telling you I'm not going to get screwed by plowing his lot.

    Prior to writing this message he called into the office to see how things were going, I told him that I wanted a cheque for plowing, and to tell the girl writing the cheques to issue me one, He now says he wants to pay the entire year at the end of the season.

    That's not going to happen, I'm not sure what he is doing with his business, supplier are not getting paid, we can't contact him, and I want my money.

    Looks like I might have to just put the snow back where I found it.
  14. OldMarine

    OldMarine Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    yep i got screwed this way too

    If they are treating you this way they will be firing you soon. I too worked many many hrs last summer and then was told i did not earn my salary in the winter. talk to the big boss and let him ether sine the contract or not but know you are already on thin ice. have that paperwork ready to fly. and if push comes to shove let him know you will be looking for back wages too boot.
  15. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    I can agree with You about the ungodly hours in the Summer.
    I own a small tent rental business , and set them up nights and weekends after driving a dump truck for 10 to 12 hrs .
    It is at the point of do We take it full time . payup
    Have You tried to see if the business is up for sale ? there are not that many trade mag's for Him to sell it in .
  16. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    down time of year. he doesnt have money coming in. probably why he takes off this time of year. nothing going on anyway. if you like your job let it go and dont be to upset. tell him to find someone else to take over plowing or keep doing it either way and try to get acrossed politely (but with urgency) that you need to get paid and he might listen. If he still wants to wait until the end of the season then it is what it is not much you can do. but it almost sounds like your seasonal in employment so to have a job at all this time of year is something he could have put you out on unemployment., He may also be putting off paying suppliers to make payroll. Never know what is going on in his head it may not be malicious at all. He could just be trying to keep it afloat for the four months down time and keep you all getting your weekly checks.
    just my thoughts
  17. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Don't risk your main bread and butter for a piece of candy. The tent business is your main job and plowing is secondary. Protect the main job. Consider it lesson learned and next year bid the lot higher to cover your waiting period.