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Lesson Learned

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by ibelee, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. ibelee

    ibelee Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I hired a sub that will remain nameless for now who is a member of this site. I took him to the properties in my own truck on my own time and eneded up having to show him how to bid the job to me as the contractor. I told him the going rate in thyis area is $65/ hr. for a sub for push only. I helped him with how long it would take to do each lot. We reached an agreement for all the lots as a total seasonal contract. Now he e-mails me and says someone has offered him $100/ hr + $25 hr for salt after I showed him how to make his own spreader. I even offered him the use of my shop and my welders and tools while he was working for me to make his own spreader. I don't know where you guys live, but $100-$125/ hr is Contractor pay here in Southern MD. $65/hr is sub pay, push only here. When we got back to my shop and he had drank a couple of my beers we wrote up what we had discussed. He was happy when he walked away with his agreement. Today he is not. Now I will have to find another sub and woory that he will take the info I provided him for his own gain, or will he provide the jobs that I am bidding to the company who is paying him $100/hr.
    Sorry for the typos and bad grammer, but I am boiling.
  2. Chainlink

    Chainlink Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 70

    Sorry to hear your woes, I have read alot of posts lately that dont mirror your situation excactly but seems to me you went above and beyond which deserves some loyalty not to mention some professionalism. I realize to some I am young at 34 but I was raised with a certain amount of ethics, when did people lose thiers or was it they werent taught them to begin with. I use to work with for a lack of better description "PUNKS" for the state. And I tried over and over to explain to these kids your name is all you have that cant be repaired after youve earned a bad reputation. Some got it some didnt. Seems to me all the attention in schools these days they worry more about home economics and they should have at least 4 years of ethics classes(if they fail, we get to stone them j/k)

    LOL didnt mean to hijack your rant with my own. When the deal he thinks is better falls apart you will be their with a big smile....Karma will get him
  3. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I actually have a similar situation. I had called a bigger company and they didn't return the 5 calls that I made. On the night of the storm a person who saw me on this site gave me a call and offered me a position. Actually several did and thank you to everyone. I said yes to the first guy who called and I actually felt bad about having to turn the others down. Yesterday the big company called and now they want me to work for them. I told the guy there is always next year. He said they could pay more and maybe the grass in greener over there. That really kind of pissed me off. I'm not making top dollar but you know what the guy gave me a shot and I appreciate it. I gave him my word and to me thats worth more than any money. So I will stay with the guy who gave me a shot. If he can't use me anymore than thats a different story. Next season is also a different story I may want to advertise and go on my own but for now I think the right thing to do is finish this winter with the guy I started with. What do you guys think, I know some will say go for the money but I think my reputation is worth more to me in the long run.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  4. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I understand what your saying, and you sould like a really nice guy. Sort of how I USED to be. But no offense, if the guy can't even bid HIMSELF prices for you would you really want him working for you? You sound like a professional, and this guy sounds like joe schmoe. He doesn't even have a spreader.

    Just doesn't sound like someone I would hire to do sub work for me. Hey maybe it want a blessing in disguise. :cool:

    MOW ME OVER Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Hey man that sucks about what happened. I am curious to who this is so I will just ask where he is from. Is it Anne Arundel county and the guy is around 23 or 24 years old?

    PS I tried to pm you but you must have it turned off.
  6. Midwest BuildIt Inc

    Midwest BuildIt Inc PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,280

    I think you are right in staying with the guy that gave you a shot. Now you have a trust with each other and you came through for him. You will be much happier working for someone that wants you there , rather than just needs you there. I am the same way. I plowed for a company for a long time , for less money than i could have some where else , but i was always taken care of..trust goes a lot further than money too me....
  7. mickman

    mickman Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    The red flag should have went out when you had to tell him what to bid.
    I too learned the hard way helping someone out. He's either pulling your chain to get you to offer him more, or whom ever offered him that much money will not pay him that amount. You offered a very good sub price,
    so wait to see what happens. You shouldn't have any problem finding someone else.....IF WE EVER GET ANY FREAKIN' SNOW!!!!
  8. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont Member
    Messages: 63

    One bad apple

    My comments are mostly based on the experience I've gained in the workforce (corporate Information Technology job), as I'm pretty new to this with little practical plowing experience. I think personnel issues like this are going to be a part of all businesses, especially one like this in which the ability to move from one employer to another seems so readily available. My advice is to chalk it up to experience, know that what you did in reaching out to help him was the right thing, and use what you've learned when you approach similar situations in the future. I set up a technical support helpdesk a few years ago (for a very large computer firm - 3 letters in the name) where I hired 30 guys in the space of two weeks - some worked out very well, some didn't, some milked me for the training then left. Was I disappointed in those that left so soon - of course, but I took it as a valuable lesson on how to improve my interviewing skills and how to read people a little better (eg. when to follow a gut instinct and when to be more rational).
    Just my $0.02.
  9. ibelee

    ibelee Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Thanks to all!

    Thanks to all for your kind words and advise. Sometimes it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has made these mistakes.

    Mowmeover..tried to see how to fix the IM thing but don't know how. You can IM me @ ibelee@aol however.

    And this guy was from PG County, not Anne Arundel.
  10. Precision Lawn

    Precision Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Sorry to hear that Some people think that they should make a killing on each event
  11. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Okay I'm going to get killed for this and flamed but here it goes I'll provide my opinion...

    Technically speaking, this individual did nothing wrong. I DO NOT agree at how he went about obtaining the information, but seems as if he got what he needed...albeit falsifying is intent to 'work' for you. If he didn't sign a document basically stating he would work solely for you or wouldn't provide information to other companies, etc. then he has done nothing illegal. Yes, it sucks for you and I do feel bad for you, the guy seems as if he was a jerk. But in the service industry these type of people exist...

    I had people upset with me a few weeks back because I refuse to give my my actual "pricing" out. Seems to me you have added yet another reason why I don't.
  12. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont Member
    Messages: 63

    DJL - you make a good point - it's an ethics / legality issue. He didn't do anything illegal or in breach of a contract but most may say what he did was unethical. But like you say, in the service industry there are people like that and the better you are at determining how to figure out early who they are the more success you'll have.
  13. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I think you did the absolute right thing. It's a demonstration of good character and integrity and speaks to your good name. A man with these traits never puts a price on his name and reputation. These days, a man who actually does what he says he'll do is more an exception than the rule and I think it's a damned shame. By keeping your word, you'll earn this man's respect and maybe make a friend and contact who'll be around to help you out in the years ahead and vise-versa. That's worth more than a few quick extra bucks now. You're right, your reputation IS worth more to you in the long run. This one's for you, :drinkup:
  14. drplow

    drplow Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    i think when you go through all that trouble training a person and he says he will do the work for you and then reniggs on it, thats just wrong. its like you need some collateral or something to make it worth it. a piece of paper is only as good as the person signing it.
    if was looking for a sub the first thing i would ask him is how dependable he is and make sure he is totally free to complete the work for me. if he says that he is already set up with someone else i wouldn't even think about turning it into a bidding process. if i was that desperate for subs that i needed to steal them then i might as well just collect deposits from clients and leave town.
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    DJL hit it on the head. It sucks, but I think having to teach him so much 'could' have been a clue about the guy. Now, my question that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet- the agreement you drew up.... is it a legal binding contract? Aside from the ethical and being used you may very well have a lawsuit IF you want to enforce his working for you. Depends on what you wrote and agreed to.
  16. ibelee

    ibelee Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Was it a Contract?

    It was not a legal contract. It was our pricing agreement that was to be included as a part of the contract. He was to return to sign the contract w/i the next couple of days. Even if it had been a contract I would not have enforced it. Seems to me that if you force someone to do something, they don't do as good of a job as if they actually wanted to do it.

    As many of you have said..."wish the guy good luck, and he will be back when he doesn't get paid".

    As far as helping him with the pricing, I guess I tend to take in strays. He seemed like a nice guy. I was a stray once. I didn't have a clue about plowing. I learned, and am still learning, from you guys. I thought maybe I could help him learn what I have.

    I started this thread with the title "Lesson Learned". Now that i have settled down about what has happened, listened to what all had to say, and thought about it on my own, I hope the lesson I learned is to keep a stiff upper lip. Keep on going.

  17. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    You are doing the right thing in staying with the person you have committed yourself to. :drinkup: IMO what goes around will eventually come around, it's called karma :nod:
  18. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250


    How true that is.

    A friend and I were just talking about this exact subject about ethics, reputation and integrity. The discussion came up at a trade show this weekend when a discussion about a guy who had died that was a big name in the amusement industry. We noticed how everyone was bad mouthing him and how they were glade he was dead. You never heard this when he was alive, people kissed his butt.

    He had for years promised the world to people and never delivered, screwed people out of millions of dollars. He was jailed for a bank scandal and Clinton later pardoned him. He filled for bankruptcy just before his death for a total of 40 million leaving creditors and banks in Nashville holding the bag. This guy lived the life of the rich and famous but in the end look at how people felt about him. Man when I go out I want people to have a beer and say he was a good guy. :drinkup: